School to Shut Down After Flu Outbreak

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Swine flu is just getting started.

    A suburban high school is shutting down until Monday after 900+ students called in sick with flu-like symptoms on Tuesday, according to a school superintendent.

    St. Charles East High School will be closed starting Wednesday and won't re-open until Monday at the earliest.

    Superintendent: 45 Percent of Student Body Out Sick

    [CHI] Superintendent: 45 Percent of Student Body Out Sick
    Dr. Donald Schlomann said 972 students at St. Charles East High School were absent from class Tuesday.

    The school is also cancelling all extra-curricular activities and athletic events, save for events this evening.

    "My guess is some H1N1," said Dr. Don Schlomann, superintendent of district 303, adding that symptons included those of normal flu, bronchitis, and typical illnesses.

    Schlomann said that, with 2,100 students attending St. Charles, it was difficult to sort through every individual case. However, St. Charles faculty will be calling every student's family to check in with them over the next three days.

    Since the school enrolls ~2,100 kids, over 40 percent of the student body stayed home from class today. Schlomann said faculty absentee rates, hovering at 11-12 percent, are not greater than normal.

    "This does not appear to be affecting our adults as it is our children," he said.

    Schlomann said staff would perform "deep cleaning" of all St. Charles buildings.

    Schlomann suspects that the recent homecoming football game and dance, combined with the cold weather, provided an ideal circumstance for the spread of illness.

    "All other District 303 schools will remain open as no other schools are experiencing higher than normal absentee rates," the school said on its web site.

    Schlomann, who seemed confident in the district's reponse, admitted the school closing was a bit unusual.

    "They don't exactly teach you what to do about this in superintendent's school."