Schools Trying To Keep Flu Away - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/08/05 - Lufkin

Schools Trying To Keep Flu Away

by Jessica Cervantez

It is flu season, and school administrators are doing whatever possible to keep their students in class. So far, in most places, they are succeeding. In the Lufkin Independent School District, only three campuses have fallen below the 90% attendance rate.

For the most part, you will see classes filled with students, but at Kurth Primary in Lufkin, more and more students are starting to miss school.

Principal Linda Montes said, "Starting about last Thursday, we saw more than usual out. We called parents, and parents called us. We're finding out it's mostly a stomach virus, but we've had children today go home with fever."

So, these days, when the bell rings at the end of the day, teachers and administrators are looking ahead. They are hoping the kids leaving the building will be back again in the morning.

Montes said, "We are hoping we can avoid the flu epidemic. Teachers are spending a lot of time making sure kids are dressed warmly, they are washing their hands, and they cover their mouths when they sneeze."

Kurth normally has a daily attendance rate between 95% and 97%, but those numbers have been dropping recently, making it even more important for the school to take preventative measures.

Montes said, "We always try to be proactive. Children can't learn if they're not in school. We want them to stay home if they are sick, but we want to make sure they really are sick."

The ultimate goal is to keep as many kids as possible in school, instead of home sick.

Attendance in the Lufkin I.S.D. was down Monday, but up again Tuesday. The superintendent blames the low attendance numbers partly on factors other than the flu, like bad weather and even Sunday night's Super Bowl game.

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