Schools preventing more missed days with clean environment - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Schools preventing more missed days with clean environment

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

HOXIE, AR (KAIT) - Keep them clean, keep them healthy.  That's what schools in Arkansas are doing to battle germs.  Last year's flu outbreak changed the way some things are done in the classroom. 

"We had so many kids, I think at one point I had eight or nine kids out of roughly twenty out with the swine flu," said fourth grade teacher Tashena Tate.

"We really started asking the classroom teachers to do things like sanitize desks everyday," said Hoxie Assistant Elementary Principal Tim Booth.

Each classroom has disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer.  At the end of the day teachers have to sanitize more than just the desks and the door knobs they have to sanitize other things kids touch everyday, including the keyboards.

"Sneezing or coughing, we have Germ-X on the table ready for them," said school Nurse Laura Jamison.

The kids help keep their work space clean by wiping their desks and other surfaces down.  Washing their hands can help students stop from spreading germs.  Teacher Tashena Tate said she encourages her students to use any of the cleaning products whenever they feel it's necessary.

"They want the kids in the classroom so they want to make sure their environment is clean," said Booth.

Jamison said there are fewer cases of the flu and other illnesses this year.  She said if your child is sick it's best to keep them home.

"When your child is not feeling good and running fever and we may not know until two hours later then they've infected the whole entire class," said Jamison.

When students miss class, Booth said one of the secretaries will call the child's parents to find out what their symptoms are so they can watch for it in other kids.

"We get an idea of what kids are missing for and that gives us a little bit of insight on if it's a certain grade level that we've got something going through and where to target more cleaning," said Booth.

Booth also said they've seen a lot of parents come in and check their children out early.  He said their teachers focus on instruction from "bell to bell" and when students are checked out early for reasons other than illness, it can cause them to miss some necessary instruction time.

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