Schools prepare for the peak of flu season - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Schools prepare for the peak of flu season


East Texas schools have seen an increase in the number of students and teachers coming down with the flu. However, the outbreak has not impacted attendance as severely as it has in the past.

Kids and schools are often considered a breeding ground for germs. But in 2008, after the flu caused Brownsboro ISD to close its doors for a day, they've made sure to take all the necessary precautions to keep their doors open at the height of flu season.

"It was a bad year," recalls head nurse Lori Graham.

"Our campus nurses are doing a fine job of making sure that our students who are ill are going home and not spreading it at school and that they're good before they return," says Brownsboro ISD Superintendent Christopher Moran.

BISD is tracking attendance closely. They had the most students out when 141 were absent Wednesday, but that still left 95 percent of the district present and learning.

"Many schools who are impacted greatly by the flu have that opportunity through the Texas Education Agency to request a waiver if their attendance were to drop more than 10 percent below last year's attendance. Ours has not come close to that,' says Moran.

Graham worked through BISD's 2008 outbreak.

"[In 2008] we were actually going around to the classrooms and spotting the kids and taking temperatures as we went because it was getting so bad," Graham says.

Now teachers and staff are on alert to keep the campus as flu-free as they can.

"Teachers are aware of the symptoms, and they are sending more students to the nurse just to verify and make sure," she says.

"They take special precautions to disinfect certain areas and more routinely maintain those areas so they're cleaned more frequently," says Moran.

When it comes to keeping the flu off of you, nurses agree hand washing is one of the best tools to stop those germs in their tracks.

Cleaning desks, water fountains and doorknobs has helped Brownsboro ISD keep relatively normal attendance rates during flu season. Administrators also say students who go home with a fever are not allowed to return to school until they've been fever-free for 24 hours.

For more tips on keeping the flu away from you and your children, click here.

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