Central Valley Schools' H1N1 Plan

September 2, 2009 5:48:27 PM PDT
Porterville administrators said they notified parents by phone and letters because they want to provide a service to the community. Other districts said they don't want to cause panic in their neighborhoods. Whatever the reason, the decision of how to handle H1N1 cases is left to individual school districts. If your child's classmate were diagnosed with the H1N1 virus would you want to know? The parents and students we spoke with said yes.

Catey Foshee, Madera Unified Parent said: "How are you going to fix it or contain it, if no one knows about it?"

Katie Roberson, Madera Unified Student said: "I don't think it's a bad thing to tell parents if they are worried."

But school districts are not required to send notices to parents. Action News spoke with administrators of nearly half a dozen districts who say they are following County Health Department guidelines.

Jake Bragonier with Madera Unified said they do not send letters or notices home for H1N1cases. He said that's because Madera Unified has been instructed to respond to H1N1 cases the way they respond to seasonal flu.

Jake Bragonier with Madera Unified said: "Trying to prevent that panic letting parents know if your student gets the flu its ok. If it gets it's administered to properly."

Susan Bedi, Fresno Unified said: "It's confidential if an employee has it or if a student has it, what we will do is take some added precautions at the school site for instance cleaning the desks."

But not all schools respond in the same way. Clovis unified does not send letters home-however Kerman Unified will send home siblings of students with H1N1.

Kings County unified and Visalia Unified do send letters home to parents.

In Visalia, they even call parents of students with chronic health concerns to notify them.

Susan Bedi, Fresno Unified said: "If you student is ill if an employee is ill stay home.

Jake Bragonier, Madera Unified School District said: 'If they show signs of H1N1 or seasonal flu or any type of an illness they are at risk of infecting a broader population."

Fresno and Madera Unified said they are sending information home to parents, students, and staff letting them know how to prevent getting sick this flu season, and how to respond if they do.

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