The 2009-2010 school year is almost here, and the H1N1 virus (better known as “Swine Flu”) is still working its way across the country. As students crowd into classrooms and dining halls again for the first time in months, school administrators are taking the risk of a new outbreak very seriously.
To help schools minimize the threat to students, teachers and staff, the CDC recommends actively screening for flu symptoms, keeping sick students at home for up to a week, and even preemptively dismissing students with sick parents or siblings. Drastic measures? Maybe. But Swine Flu killed over 500 Americans this year (and hospitalized thousands more), so it pays to be careful.
Of course, missing a week of class, or learning from a substitute while a permanent teacher is sick, can set students back dramatically—especially at the beginning of the school year. That’s why the U.S. Department of Education recommends online tutoring to “ensure continuity of learning.” Here’s an excerpt from “Preparing for the Flu,” a recent report from the Department:
Teacher check‐ins and tutorials: A variety of technologies (telephone, email, web conferencing) can be used to facilitate one‐on‐one interaction between students and teachers, counselors and other appointed adults (e.g., tutors) during prolonged absences or dismissals.
We couldn’t agree more. In a school affected by a flu outbreak, sick students may lose access to many of the support systems, like friends and teachers, they rely on to help them finish daily homework assignments, write papers, study for tests, or just make sense of their healthy friends’ class notes.
Working with a certified tutor is an excellent way for students to keep themselves on the track to college, regardless of what this year’s flu season may have in store.