4:180-AP1 -School Action Steps for Pandemic Influenza

Building a strong relationship with the local health department and emergency medical agencies is critical for developing a meaningful school action plan to address pandemic influenza.  The key planning activities in this checklist should build upon the District’s existing contingency plans.

The following is a list of important step-by-step actions school officials should take before a pandemic influenza outbreak.  This list needs to be repeated when an outbreak has several cycles or waves.

Prior to Outbreak/Preparedness and Planning Phase

Actor Action
Superintendent or designee Identify Pandemic Planning Team to operate as a Superintendent Committee and includes one or two School Board members, administrators, and staff members.
Superintendent and School Board Identify, modify, and monitor relevant policies which a pandemic may possibly affect, including but not limited to:  1:020, District Organization, Operations, and Cooperative Agreements  2:020, Powers and Duties of the School Board.

2:200  Types of School Board Meetings

3:070  Succession of Authority 

4:130  Free and Reduced-Price Food Services

5:035  Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act

5:040  Communicable and Chronic Infectious Disease

5:180  Temporary Illness or Incapacity

5:185  Family and Medical Leave

5:200  Terms and Conditions of Employment and Dismissal

5:270  Compensation and Assignment

5:300  Schedule and Employment Year

5:330  Sick Days, Vacation, Holidays and Leaves

6:020  School Year Calendar and Day

6:120  Education of Children with Disabilities

6:150  Home and Hospital Instruction

7:070  Truancy

7:280  Communicable and Chronic Infectious Disease

8:100  Relations with Other Organizations and Agencies.

Superintendent or designee and Pandemic Planning Team Begin use of the School District (K-12) Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist, online at: www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pdf/sppg_checklist.pdf, orwww.pandemicflu.gov/plan/schoolchecklist.html.Ensure a succession plan exists in case Board members, administrators, and/or others are unable to fulfill duties during the pandemic.Work with local health and emergency preparedness officials.  They may want to use the schools to disseminate information to families.

Train employees about FLSA, overtime, and recordkeeping requirements necessary to work during a pandemic while the School District is closed.

Open communications with employee unions regarding “wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment” during a pandemic.

Address policies for employee absenteeism, identifying critical job functions, plans for alternate coverage, and return-to-work policies as well as flu symptom recognition.

Train nurses and staff in flu symptom recognition.  See 4:180-AP2, Pandemic Influenza Surveillance and Reporting.  Remember that a person who is infected does not show symptoms right away, but children becoming ill may show different behavior than usual, such as eating less or being irritable.  Knowing the differences between seasonal and pandemic flu is also critical to pandemic preparedness.  A fact sheet is available on line at:

www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pdf/sppg_fact_sheet_differ.pdf

Train staff to protect themselves from occupational exposure to influenza through workplace “social distancing” based upon the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA), Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic, which may be found online at:

www.osha.gov/Publications/influenza_pandemic.html.

Ensure that Standard Surveillance/disease recognition procedures are in place and implemented.  See 4:180-AP2, Pandemic Influenza Surveillance and Reporting.

Encourage the use of simple non-medical ways to reduce the spread of flu by “cough and sneeze etiquette” and cleansing of hands and work areas.

Decide to what extent the District will encourage or require students and staff to stay home when they are mildly ill.  Some parents/guardians may need to be more cautious in keeping their students out of school.

Identify students who have a greater risk of infection and are most vulnerable to serious illness.  Review their health needs and encourage those families to talk with their health care provider.

Assess nutritional assistance needs for students who receive free and reduced-price food programs.

Through consultation with the Regional Office of Education and local authorities, develop strategies for remote learning through collaborative agreements (television or other local cable stations, teleconferencing, electronic instructional resources, etc.).

Educate staff, students, and parents/guardians about the differences between the various types of flu, best hygienic practices to prevent any sort of flu, and what could occur in a pandemic.  Consider issuing Sample Parent Letter #1, Preparation and Planning, online at:www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pdf/sppg_ltr_preparation.pdf.

Review Sections IV and V of School Guidance During an Influenza Pandemic, online at: http://www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pandemic_guidance.htm.

Outbreak of Flu Disease

Actor Action
Superintendent or designee

Consider issuing Sample Parent Letter # 2, First Bird Case, online at: ww.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pdf/sppg_ltr_bird.pdf.Begin Heightened Surveillance responses.  See 4:180-AP2, Pandemic Influenza Surveillance and Reporting.

Issue Sample Parent/Guardian Letter #3, Illinois/Regional Cases, informing parents/guardians that some students are sick but schools remain open, include tip sheets and information resource list.  A sample is online at: http://www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pdf/sppg_il_cases.pdf.

Pandemic Planning Team Work with local health department regarding a press release announcing that schools will remain open and advising parents/guardians of their need to prepare.  A sample, titled “Schools Open,” is online at: www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pdf/sppg_media_open.pdf.
Building Principal Post flu prevention signs on campuses.  See Section V of School Guidance During an Influenza Pandemic, online at: www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pandemic_guidance.htm.

Expansion of the Outbreak

Actor Action
Local Health Department Issue epidemic statement to general public.
Superintendent or designee Begin intensive Survelliance responses.  ee 4:180-AP2, Pandemic Influenza Surveillance and Reporting.

Continued Expansion of the Outbreak

Actor Action
Local Health Department Evacuate the need for school closure with local school officials.
Superintendent of designee In consultation with local health department, emergency management agencies, and Regional Office of Education, close school(s).Issue press release.  A sample, titled “Schools Closed,” is at :http://www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pdf/sppg_media_closed.pdf.

Issue Sample Parent Letter #4, School Closure. A sample is online at:

www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pdf/sppg_closures.pdf.

School Board and/or Superintendent Cancel any non-academic events.

Following the Outbreak

Actor Action
Local Health Department Evaluate the advisability of opening school(s) with school officials.
Superintendent or designee Issue press release that schools are open.Issue Sample Parent Letter #5, Schools Reopen.  A sample is online. at: www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pdf/sppg_reopening.pdf.
Pandemic Planning Team Continue communicating with local health department.
Superintendent or designee Return to Heightened Surveillance response.  See 4:180-AP2, Pandemic Influenza Surveillance and Reporting.Begin checklist again if an outbreak recurs.

 

Local Health Department Local Health Department
Kane County Health Department

28 N. First Street

Geneva, IL  60134

630-208-3801

Regional Office of Education

28 N. First Street

Geneva, IL  60134

630-232-5955

Emergency Management Agencies  
Batavia Police Department

100 N. Island Avenue

Batavia, IL  60510

630-879-2840

 

 

Important Resources

The Illinois State Board of Education and Department of Public Health released a publication titled School Guidance During an Influenza Pandemic, December 2006, online at:

www.isbe.net/regionaloffices/pandemic_guidance.htm; or

www.idph.state.il.us/pandemic_flu/schoolguide.htm.

The resource is meant to guide and supplement, not replace school districts’ existing plans.

Further information on pandemic influenza can be found by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO or at the following websites:

www.pandemicflu.gov

www.cdc.gov/flu

www.redcross.org

www.cchealth.org

Date Adopted:   May 52008