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Schools respond to swine flu outbreak

The New Trier Townships schools are taking precautions to keep their students healthy amid growing reports of swine flu around the country.  At the time of writing, there are nine confirmed cases of swine flu in Illinois, and thirteen probable cases in Cook County.

The townships administrators are not panicked by the news of the pandemic, but they are insuring that parents and teachers stay as informed as possible.  New Trier High School sent out a letter to parents with health and safety tips that urged parents to keep this in perspectivealmost all cases [of the flu] throughout the world other than Mexico have been mild.

Private high schools in the area and districts 29, 36, 38, and 39 have also sent out letters to parents, encouraging them to keep their childrens hands clean and keep them at home if they develop any flu-like symptoms.

None of the districts in the township have confirmed or probable cases of swine flu.

District 39 in Wilmette informed parents that they have scheduled additional cleaning.  Winnetkas district 36 also mentioned in their letter that the custodial staff is taking care to keep doorknobs, light switches and bathrooms particularly clean.

Matt Fuller, director of education technologies and communication for district 36, described the districts announcement as a prevention-based letter, focusing on what students and parents can do to remain healthy.

This is one of those situations that isoutside the boundaries of what we normally deal with, Fuller said.  Were working with everyone in the New Trier Township because this is something that is unknown and new for everyone.

–by Nona Willis Aronowitz, reporter

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