Absences Up at Elementary School

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

Fevers are rising and more flu-like symptoms have many children at one local elementary school staying home.

Kim Gault is one of many parents at Worthington Elementary School with a sick child at home. Gault is also the school nurse, and her office may be the one area in the school that's staying busy this week.

"A lot of parents are wondering why the school is still open," Gault said.

With Thursday's absences topping 100, that means nearly half the students aren't in school.

"At this time it is not recommended that we close the school," Teresa Bayer, Wood Co. Schools' Health Coordinator, said.

Bayer says it would take a major staff shortage for any school to close it's doors. With that said, she's doing everything she can to keep parents informed, including sending out a phone message to every student in the county.

As far as Worthington Elementary principal Joseph Oliverio can see, parents at his school are understanding.

"Our parents are super. We've just got kids that are sick," Oliverio said.

Any time a student misses school it's tough to make up those missed assignments, but because of such a great number of absences, that shouldn't be an issue.

"Pretty much the lesson plans in some rooms have been put on hold due to the number of kids that are absent, so the makeup work will be significantly reduced. In fact, we'll probably just pick up next week where we're supposed to be this week," Oliverio said.

As for the children who are in school:

"I think we still need to do the things that we should be doing every day; wash your hands, cough into a tissue or a sleeve, an upper sleeve if you don't have one available," Gault said.

Bayer says the H1N1 vaccination will be available for elementary students October 26. The vaccine is free of charge and is not mandatory.

Secondary schools will be scheduled at a later date.

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  • by to mom2four on Oct 11, 2009 at 05:03 AM
    You should have thought about childcare before you had kids. These children are your respondible not the schools get a grip. I have children in school and my husband and I take turns calling off if our children is sick. I feel that is why some kids are send in with fever reducer so mommy can go to work. DON'T HAVE CHILDREN IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KEEP THEM HOME WHEN THEY ARE SICK.
  • by Working parent on Oct 9, 2009 at 03:59 PM
    If you have someone watch your children during snow days, sick days = same thing. This concerns more of the childrens health and what is best. Remember there are children dying from this. If they need to close schools, they will for the health and welfare of the children. Sorry if this costs but I rather have my kids healthy than an extra few dollars in my pocket.
  • by Anonymous mom Location: North Parkersburg on Oct 9, 2009 at 03:52 PM
    Schools will NEVER close! Closing would mean extending the school year which could conflict with teachers' contracts. However, I have been told absences this week will be excused due to the epidemic. I sympathize with mom2four because it sounds as though childcare would cause a hardship if the schools would close, which is a mute point right now. What people should ask is if the school should be responsible for paying for childcare or the parents who lack the commone sense to keep their sick children at home and avoid infecting others. I sympathize with mom2four but don't feel the schools should pay for childcare under these circumstances any more than they should be responsible for school closings due to snow, power outages, etc. I believe that schools should close to allow sick students to recover, schools to be sanitized and hopefully stop the spread of these viruses but if they won't, parents can ALWAYS choose to keep their children home. I wish the best to mom2four.
  • by mom2four on Oct 9, 2009 at 02:44 PM
    Who would babysit for my children if the schools closed? The school system should have to pay for the cost of childcare if they close the schools.
  • by parent also Location: Parkersburg on Oct 9, 2009 at 08:20 AM
    concerned parent: little extreme?!
  • by me on Oct 9, 2009 at 05:40 AM
    if they closed schools, than those kids would be congregating in the mall , wallmart, etc. where the potential for more spreading can happen. i doubt seriously if they would just stay home.
  • by debbie Location: parkersburg on Oct 9, 2009 at 04:47 AM
    At this point I think the childrens health is whats important not the lesson plans or the homework. Parents need to stand up for their kids its obvious no one else is!
  • by Susan Location: Parkersburg on Oct 8, 2009 at 09:26 PM
    Kids are getting sicker in larger numbers but still required to attend if well, even though they aren't progressing in the classroom due to large numbers of absences. So what is the point in exposing more children since learning isn't taking place now while waiting on the ill children to return. It means that those who are well now will be sick when the others return and there will still be delays in teaching anyway. ?????????
  • by parent Location: parkersburg on Oct 8, 2009 at 05:25 PM
    good job joe
  • by concerned parent Location: pettyville on Oct 8, 2009 at 05:22 PM
    In my opinion they should close schools. What we need to do is protect our child(ren). This is serious,kids are dead because of this H1N1. We send our child(ren) to school and take a chance on them possibly losing their life. How fair is that?
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