Nearly 20 percent of the middle school and high school student body has missed class due to seasonal colds, Superintendent Scott Oswald says.
By Matt Skoufalos
Teachers and students usually enjoy a little extra time off in the winter months thanks to a holiday-friendly calendar.
But a week before Collingswood takes its winter break, significant numbers of students at its middle and high schools have already been missing classes thanks to a taxing cold and flu season.
Illness has stricken nearly 20 percent of children in the ninth through 12th grades, reported Superintendent Scott Oswald, who noted that the district is experiencing triple its normal number of absences or early dismissals.
“It’s not uncommon for this time of year, but it seems to be hitting quickly,” Oswald told NJ Pen in an e-mail.
“We have been in contact with the health department and will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
In response, Oswald said, custodial staff disinfects every room in the building nightly, as well as common areas, bathrooms, and locker rooms.
“While we routinely clean every night, we are doubling back to both clean and use a spray disinfectant on all high-touch surfaces,” he said. “We have disinfectant dispensers all over each school and students have been using them.”
Children who fall ill are asked to stay home from school until they are fever-free, without the use of medicine, for 24 hours. Students with immunity concerns “would be well served by staying home in an effort to limit any risk,” Oswald wrote.
Standard precautions, including frequent hand-washing and the use of sanitizers, are recommended, he said.
As far as attendance is concerned, “Every parent should make the decision that he or she feels is best for his or her child,” Oswald said.