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Flu Prevention is Elementary

Ed. Note: As the Administration continues to prepare for H1N1 and flu season across all federal agencies, we welcome Principal Hindman to give us a glimpse of what school administrators are doing to prepare locally.
As an elementary school Principal, I join school administrators across our country who are concerned about the spread of flu-related illness among students and school staff.  We know that preventive hygiene measures and classroom instruction designed to prevent the spread of flu is essential as students and school personnel begin the school year.
At our school, we are telling students, teachers and staff with influenza to remain at home until they are symptom-free for 24 hours.  We have eliminated attendance awards that might encourage sick children to attend school.  To prevent or reduce the spread of flu-related illness, our staff is teaching children hand-washing techniques and cough/sneeze etiquette. We are making hand soaps, sanitizers and tissues available in classrooms, lavatories, gymnasiums, and cafeterias for use by all students and staff.
Robert Hindman is Principal of Zachary Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia