Tonganoxie School District reports increase in illness in recent weeks
The Tonganoxie School District is experiencing its share of illness this school year and is adding sanitizer dispensers in hopes of reducing the spread of sickness.
Superintendent Kyle Hayden said the district is tracking flu-like illness and reporting it to the Leavenworth County Health Department on a weekly basis.
Hayden said the district is seeing 15-30 student absences per week in each of its three buildings, which accounts for 2.5 to 5 percent of the student population.
“It’s not alarming yet,” Hayden said. “When it gets to 10 percent it is.”
Hayden said reports to the health department weren’t done in previous years, but because of the heightened alert to H1N1, he said the district is maintaining a database.
There have been symptoms similar to those associated with H1N1 and illness has kept some students out of school for three to five days. But strains haven’t been as serious as H1N1, he said.
Maintenance director Larry Easter said hand sanitizer dispensers are being installed at all schools. In total, he said 57 are being place throughout buildings, although 50 of those are being placed in the elementary school. Easter said statistics show a need for more dispensers in the younger grades. Cost for the hand sanitizers is about $1,250.
Student and staff flu-like symptoms have increased in the past three weeks. Hayden said typically schools don’t experience much sickness in August and September.