Discuss The Case For Early School Closure here.
See also Colleges
Connie Harden is a nationally known HR consultant who wrote a chapter by that title for an upcoming book. The publisher, Thompson Publishing Group, has consented to its posting. It will be included as Chapter One in a book on various challenges facing schools at the K-12 level, to be published in the next month or so.
What Do You Tell Your School Board When It Asks About Avian Flu Readiness? The 22 page .pdf can be downloaded here.
We are very grateful to both the author and the publisher for graciously allowing us to post this text in the interests of furthering preparedness.
Pandemic Influenza Tabletop Exercise: K-12 School Closure as a Disease Containment Measure from Minnesota Department of Health
Case for early school closure: Children will play a major role in transmission of infection as their illness rates are likely to be higher, they shed more virus over a longer period of time, and they control their secretions less well.
Evidence to Support School Closure
Evidence presented at IOM meeting:
1- Early interventions– before 3% cumulative infection, shown to have substantial effect.
2- Early school closure consistently related to reduction of epidemic peak, both from modelling and from 1918 data.
3- Closure of churches, theatres, and other ‘social distancing’ measures also work.
4- Multiple early interventions increase benefit further.
5- Social cohesion, local leadership, and trust in government important.
6- Measures not found to provide benefit – quarantine, banning of public funerals, making influenza notifiable.
Note: the IOM report does not conclude that there is definitive scientific or historical evidence. Models reviewed have mixed results:
Basis for Targeted Layered Containment
1- at least 1/3 of all flu transmissions will be due to children.
2- closing schools early will reduce the attack rate (AR) for children and decrease overall number of cases, but will increase transmission in community and in households.
3- keeping kids at home will reduce community transmission but increase the relative importance of workplace transmission.
4- household quarantine ie keeping sick people and their family at home, especially with antivirals, will reduce overall transmission.
5- further but increase the relative importance of workplace and community transmission.
6- promoting social distancing will result in further reductions.
Once deaths occur, parents will take their kids out of school. Unplanned school closures will not happen early enough to reduce mortality, but resulting chaos and mistrust will reduce compliance for further interventions and damage social stability. Losing children is recognized as severest trauma by psychologists.
see also Homeschool
Orange County, CA Pandemic Planning Kit
Contra Costa, CA Pandemic Planning Kit
Pandemic Influenza Preparedness for Schools from California Distance Learning Health Network
Satellite Broadcast • Tabletop Exercise • Online Toolkit
Launches: May 17, 2007 • Live Broadcast: 9:00–10:30 a.m. PT • Tabletop exercise to follow
40,000 Marin Schoolkids Get Bird Flu Warning
NY School district seeks flu plan