Superintendent's Memo #234-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

August 28, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Reporting School Closure Due to H1N1 Influenza

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Education plan to monitor school closures during the 2009-2010 school year, in collaboration with state and local health and education agencies and national non-governmental organizations. The monitoring system will generate highly-accurate, real-time, national summary data daily on the number of school closures and the number of impacted students and teachers. The purpose of this memo is to outline the procedure for reporting school and/or school division closures due to the H1N1 virus.

The CDC is no longer recommending school closure in order to decrease the spread of H1N1 influenza at the current level of severity. School closure may be indicated if absenteeism interferes with the effective operation of instruction or other local factors. Decisions to close schools are to be made in consultation with the local health director.

Once the decision to close a school or division is made, the superintendent or his/her designee must complete the Novel Influenza A (H1N1)-Related School Dismissal Reporting Form found on the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) H1N1 website at: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/support/health_medical/influenza/index.shtml. Once on the VDOE website, locate the school closure link, complete the form and submit electronically, or you may download the form and fax it to CDC using the number listed on the form.

Information requested on the form includes: Optional information includes:

Division superintendents are expected to ensure the information is reported if schools or divisions are closed. In addition, please contact Tia Campbell, school health specialist, at Tia.Campbell@doe.virginia.gov or 804-786-8671 to report school closures to the Virginia Department of Education. Thank you for your continued attention and cooperation with procedures related to schools and the H1N1 influenza outbreak.

PIW/tbc