Public school’s portable classrooms get first dibs on swine flu sanitizers

News Sep 25, 2009 Ancaster News

All portable classrooms at city public schools have been equipped with hand sanitizers as part of efforts to prevent an outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu this fall, but other classrooms will have to wait.

Superintendent John Forbeck told trustees this week the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s 200 portables were given priority because they don’t have sinks or easy access to washrooms like traditional classrooms do. The board can also not afford to provide hand sanitizers to every classroom because doing so would cost 10 times the $66,000 granted by the province for flu-fighting measures, he said.

Mr. Forbeck said outfitting portables costs $5,000 and additional stockpiles have been purchased for schools experiencing an outbreak.

All schools have meanwhile been issued “eye-catching” washroom signs warning students to wash their hands and a board-wide campaign is stressing that point.

The board is also doing a survey of classroom sinks and considering hand sanitizers for those without them, he said.

“It’s the proximity to washrooms that a portable doesn’t have,” Mr. Forbeck said. “Hand-washing is the best thing our staff, students and you can do in your homes,” he said. “We are in the business of education and educating about hand-washing is a good thing for us to be doing.”

Stoney Creek Trustee Robert Barlow welcomed the efforts but said parents still want to see hand sanitizers available in classrooms without sinks even if they send their kids to school with their own.

“This is my No. 1 call that I’ve received this September,” he said. “I’m still getting calls on this.”

Mr. Forbeck said an emergency-planning committee continues to meet weekly to develop the H1N1 response plan, which has thus far included letters to parents, brochures to students, staff and teachers, and information posted on the board’s website.

Public school’s portable classrooms get first dibs on swine flu sanitizers

News Sep 25, 2009 Ancaster News

All portable classrooms at city public schools have been equipped with hand sanitizers as part of efforts to prevent an outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu this fall, but other classrooms will have to wait.

Superintendent John Forbeck told trustees this week the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s 200 portables were given priority because they don’t have sinks or easy access to washrooms like traditional classrooms do. The board can also not afford to provide hand sanitizers to every classroom because doing so would cost 10 times the $66,000 granted by the province for flu-fighting measures, he said.

Mr. Forbeck said outfitting portables costs $5,000 and additional stockpiles have been purchased for schools experiencing an outbreak.

All schools have meanwhile been issued “eye-catching” washroom signs warning students to wash their hands and a board-wide campaign is stressing that point.

The board is also doing a survey of classroom sinks and considering hand sanitizers for those without them, he said.

“It’s the proximity to washrooms that a portable doesn’t have,” Mr. Forbeck said. “Hand-washing is the best thing our staff, students and you can do in your homes,” he said. “We are in the business of education and educating about hand-washing is a good thing for us to be doing.”

Stoney Creek Trustee Robert Barlow welcomed the efforts but said parents still want to see hand sanitizers available in classrooms without sinks even if they send their kids to school with their own.

“This is my No. 1 call that I’ve received this September,” he said. “I’m still getting calls on this.”

Mr. Forbeck said an emergency-planning committee continues to meet weekly to develop the H1N1 response plan, which has thus far included letters to parents, brochures to students, staff and teachers, and information posted on the board’s website.

Public school’s portable classrooms get first dibs on swine flu sanitizers

News Sep 25, 2009 Ancaster News

All portable classrooms at city public schools have been equipped with hand sanitizers as part of efforts to prevent an outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu this fall, but other classrooms will have to wait.

Superintendent John Forbeck told trustees this week the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s 200 portables were given priority because they don’t have sinks or easy access to washrooms like traditional classrooms do. The board can also not afford to provide hand sanitizers to every classroom because doing so would cost 10 times the $66,000 granted by the province for flu-fighting measures, he said.

Mr. Forbeck said outfitting portables costs $5,000 and additional stockpiles have been purchased for schools experiencing an outbreak.

All schools have meanwhile been issued “eye-catching” washroom signs warning students to wash their hands and a board-wide campaign is stressing that point.

The board is also doing a survey of classroom sinks and considering hand sanitizers for those without them, he said.

“It’s the proximity to washrooms that a portable doesn’t have,” Mr. Forbeck said. “Hand-washing is the best thing our staff, students and you can do in your homes,” he said. “We are in the business of education and educating about hand-washing is a good thing for us to be doing.”

Stoney Creek Trustee Robert Barlow welcomed the efforts but said parents still want to see hand sanitizers available in classrooms without sinks even if they send their kids to school with their own.

“This is my No. 1 call that I’ve received this September,” he said. “I’m still getting calls on this.”

Mr. Forbeck said an emergency-planning committee continues to meet weekly to develop the H1N1 response plan, which has thus far included letters to parents, brochures to students, staff and teachers, and information posted on the board’s website.