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School district urged to take action against flu, norovirus

Union Leader Correspondent

January 15. 2014 10:08PM

MEREDITH — Andrea Marshall is concerned about norovirus and the flu spreading from student to student at Inter-Lakes School District schools, particularly at the Sandwich Central School, where two of her children go to school.

The school, she said, only has two sinks each in the girls' and boys' bathrooms for approximately 60 students. There are verbal instructions given to students to wash their hands, but that often goes unheeded, she said.

"Teachers offer the use of hand sanitizers, but that's not really the answer," she said. "There are viruses around us now."

Marshall, who brought her thoughts on the matter to a school board meeting Tuesday night, said she is not angry with the school district.

"It's a great school, the education is fantastic, and it's not that the school has done anything wrong, we just need an upgrade," she said.

"Verbally, it's become part of the routine of the school days, but it hasn't really taken hold in our elementary school, our students need to be getting in the habit of washing their hands."

It's a problem at schools statewide, too, she said. "It's not an integrated part of school criteria anywhere now," she said.

Superintendent of Schools Mary Ellen Ormond said Wednesday washing hands has always been a part of the school's guidelines and practices, and teachers routinely tell students of the need to wash their hands.

Because of Marshall's input, Ormond said she would issue further administrative guidelines to district schools.

"It brings it back to everyone's attention, which is a good thing, considering we have norovirus and the flu around," Ormond said.

Marshall said she will be looking into grants that would help bring as many as 30 new sinks to the school.

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