NZHerald Monday June 08, 2009 By Martin Johnston
“If a school or early childhood service was directed to close it could happen very fast – students would be sent home at the end of the day and told not to return. Your communication with parents needs to be thought through and prepared. Consideration also needs to be given to remote learning and lessons by schools, not just for a week, but potentially several weeks.”
Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand vice-president Paul Daley said closing schools for this long would disrupt learning, but if it was needed there could be no objection.
“If we get to that, everybody’s health is what’s important.”
Some education could continue through email, the internet and by hand-delivering materials, but this had limitations. If some schools were closed for much longer than others, this would have to be taken into account in NCEA results.
Dr Jacobs also suggested students be kept home from school for a week if they had recently returned from Australia, even without flu symptoms.
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A friend got this letter from her son’s school:
5 June 2009
Dear College Community
Influenza A (H1N1) Swine Flu
Over the last few days I have been receiving an increasing amount of correspondence from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. You may have also noticed more media coverage on this topic.
It is clear there are clear signs of the early stage of a pandemic, namely significant increase in the number and spread of infection outside Mexico and North America. and that schools seem to be particularly susceptible to the virus as evidenced in the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.
At present there is no clear policy from either the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Education. However, the Director of Public Health (Dr Jacobs) recommends that students who are unwell should be sent home.
Thus the policy at Scots College is to follow this recommendation. Therefore we ask that all students who feel unwell are kept at home. Should this be the case we ask that you contact College reception to confirm this (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Secondary School and (e-mail email@example.com) in the Prep School. Should students appear unwell at school we will contact you and send them home. The purpose of this is to avoid infecting others.
Given the experience in Australia schools with infected students were closed. Should this happen here, the College will provide work for you via email. Should assignments etc be due, consideration will be made for this and deadlines extended. While this may seem an extreme reaction, it should be noted that a suspected case at the College will close the whole College for at least 7 days. It is likely the College would be closed the day the virus is confirmed so any notice period is likely to be very short.
We have also given our student’s basic hygiene advice such as regular hand washing (before anyone puts anything into their mouths) and covering their coughs and sneezes. It would be helpful if you reinforce this at home and provide your sons with disposable tissues.
The College has also implemented options for delivering courses remotely during an enforced closure. This will be done via our First Class email system. We ask that all students ensure their First Class email account is operational. If there are issues in this regard please contact the Director of ICT (e-mail address) There is information on the front page of the College website regarding how to install the client software on your home computer.
We will keep you updated of any further developments as they arise, but I would ask that you prepare as the College may have to move quickly and is therefore anticipating the worst case scenario.
Further information and updates are available from the World Health Organisation, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education websites.
Children Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk Of Hospitalization For Flu, Study Suggests
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 … 172045.htm
“…children who get the flu vaccine are more at risk for hospitalization than their peers who do not get the vaccine, according to new research that will be presented on May 19, at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.”
Vaccines as Biological Weapons? Live Avian Flu Virus Placed in Baxter Vaccine Materials Sent to 18 Countries
Medical Martial Law, Episode 86 at The Corbett Report