The Department of Health has identified six suspected swine flu (H1N1) cases in our state. One of those cases involves a student at Madrona K-8 in Seattle. The child's mother chose to keep him home from school when he became ill (good job, mom!). As a precaution, however, Seattle Public Schools and Seattle/King County Public Health decided to close the school through Wednesday, May 6.
"While this is a time to prepare, it’s not time to panic," warned Supt. Randy Dorn in a statement released this afternoon. We couldn't agree more. Most likely, principals and assistant principals are responding to a high degree of anxiety (and maybe a bit of panic) in their school communities.
Need some level-headed conversation about swine flu? Education Week will be hosting a live chat tomorrow, 12-1 p.m. PST (3-4 p.m. EST), on "Helping Schools Plan and Respond." The chat will feature Massie Ritsch, deputy assistant secretary for external affairs and outreach, U.S. Department of Education, and Jeanne McCann, managing editor at edweek.org. If you are interested in participating in this chat, click here.
In the meantime, if you have sample letters or advice you are willing to share with fellow principals, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org ... or just post a comment here!