Schools are monitoring flu-related absences

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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 1/18/2013 10:49 am Published: 1/17/2013 9:22 pm

Another school district in Green Country has canceled classes due to illness.

Porum Public Schools officials have canceled classes for Friday due 18% absences right now.

With the recent flu cases affecting students FOX23 asked local schools how many student absences are needed to close the school.

A student’s absence from school due to illness is troublesome to the Assistant Superintendent at Sand Springs Public Schools, Lonneta Sprague, especially this season.

“We don’t have anything close to epidemic in our school system but we are concerned because that is the talk,” said Sprague.

Sand Springs has approximately 5300 students in Pre-K through 12th grade. Sprague says the district has been relatively lucky this season and has evaded any major cases of sickness.

Sprague tells FOX23 there aren’t a specific percentage of children that would have to be sick in order to close the school but it would have to be a significant amount.

“There is no magic number,” said Sprague, “Essentially we will not close a school site or the district without some kind of communication or advice from our health department.”

Although the ten Sand Springs Schools sites have remained fairly healthy, Sprague says she and other educators are keeping a close eye on attendance. She says that some school locations are beginning to record and keep track of specific illnesses reported at the school.

“We wouldn’t do that as standard procedure but right now we are try to find out and get a feel for what is happening,” said Sprague.

FOX23 checked in with area schools on their policies regarding school closure due to illness. Tulsa, Jenks and Broken Arrow Public Schools do not have a set percentage as to when a school would close.

Sprague says the district is taking extra measures to maintain a healthy environment inside of the classrooms. The school is encouraging extra hand-washing time and providing hand sanitizers in all classrooms.

“We are not concerned today,” said Sprague, “I’m hopeful we will get through this and not have to do anything drastic.”

To her knowledge, Sprague says the district has not had to close due to illness.

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