Another update, but with some information buried in it:
Keller ISD has no confirmed cases of Swine Flu, but it is diligently working to minimize risks for all students and staff. As a result all out-of-district supported and/or sponsored travel is suspended until further notice; however, the exception to this suspension is travel necessary to current instructional courses. In addition, all non-district events that are scheduled through the rental of KISD campuses, such as church services and boy scouts, should continue.
The district’s suspended travel decision aligns with the Texas Department of State Health Services’ decision to suspend all University Interscholastic League competitions. On the recommendation of Dr. David Lakey, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, and in consultation with Texas Education Agency Commissioner Robert Scott, the UIL decided to alter its schedule of events due to the outbreak of Swine Flu in Texas. All UIL interscholastic competition has been suspended until May 11. More information on the UIL’s decision can be found on its Web site: uil.utexas.edu.
Keller ISD has activated a district level emergency response team and is currently taking the necessary precautions against the potential effects Swine Flu may have on the District.
“The health and safety of our students is of the utmost importance, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that our schools remain free of the influenza virus and instruction will continue as normal,” said Director of Communications Shellie Johnson.
Keller ISD has reported two Type A Influenza cases, one each in two separate KISD schools. Swine flu has yet to be determined in either of these cases.
Nurses have been designated as the campus contacts regarding this issue. They are on alert to notify any kind of communicable disease to their principal and Director of Health Services. The principal, in turn, will notify the appropriate Executive Director. The Director of Health Services is in close contact with the Tarrant County Health Department. Nurses are currently looking for flu symptoms including cough, congestion, and fever. Other possible symptoms are: diarrhea, vomiting, and body aches. They have also been asked to meet with principals and teachers to help them recognize the flu symptoms in students. Should a student miss school due to an Influenza type illness, a doctor’s note will be required to return to class.
In the event that a case of swine influenza is confirmed by a school, the district will consider the Tarrant County Health Department’s recommendation and make a determination on a case by case basis.
“School Nurses are committed to the health and well-being of students and staff. They are promoting hand washing and preventative measures to reduce the spread of illness,” said, Cindy Harton, BSN, RN Director of Health Services.
Keller ISD Operations Department initiated its Environmental Quality Team, which consists of a KISD Indoor Air Quality Technician, an Energy Management Technician, a Pest Control Technician, and a Trainer, who are working closing with school nurses. KISD currently uses the disinfectant Triad, which is effective against Type A influenza. Every head custodian has been notified to increase disinfecting procedures on all “touch surfaces” until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, desks, door knobs, drawer pulls, water fountains, sinks, soap dispensers, and chair backs. The district’s transportation company, Durham School Services, is taking precautionary measures as well disinfecting the following surfaces:
Surfaces to be disinfected:
• Bus / Stair Handrails
• Door Knobs / pulls / push surfaces
• General surfaces frequently touched by others
In addition, Keller ISD has increased air ventilation in buildings to ensure clean air circulation. “While we may spend a little more in energy in the coming weeks, it is a small price to pay to maintain the safety of our students,” said Director of Operations Frank DiNella.
In the event that Keller ISD has a confirmed Swine Flu case, the Incident Command System will be initiated and the pandemic influenza plan will go into affect. Should a campus close on a day that TAKS testing is scheduled, KISD will receive direction from the TEA.
Emphasis mine. I want to commend Shellie Johnson at KISD. Shellie and I haven’t always seen eye to eye, but she has stayed on top of this issue answering all my questions that I’ve peppered her with in a timely fasion. The district has also been very diligent in updating their website with information.
Let’s hope the two cases of flu are found out to be just of the normal everyday variety and the two kids get better soon.
I don’t travel much anymore, but I have tickets to see the Rangers play the White Sox in Chicago in a week and a half. Not looking forward to getting on a plane during this scare.