2003-06-26 / Front Page

Keeping sick kids in school worries parents

Officials promise
to review policy
By jane meggitt
Staff Writer

Keeping sick kids in school
worries parents
Officials promise
to review policy
By jane meggitt
Staff Writer

UPPER FREEHOLD — Parents expressed alarm at what they see as a threat to the health of the student body in the Upper Freehold Regional School District.

At last week’s Upper Freehold Regional Board of Education meeting, several mothers brought up concerns about cleanliness in the school building in response to an outbreak of strep throat among the students.

Karen Doherty said she wanted to know if the specifications for the cleaning contract were part of the public record.

Business Administrator Viola Yosifon said the contract could be viewed at the board office.

Doherty also asked if anyone was responsible for making sure the specifications were followed. Yosifon explained there is a regular manager and a monthly inspection of the schools.

Leslie Search, an active volunteer and special education assistant who has three children in the school system, said the number of children who have contracted strep throat have increased significantly.

"I’ve seen Mrs. Klink (the school nurse) have to deal with parents who don’t want to pick up their kids because they are at work," Search said.

"The cleaning issue goes hand-in-hand with sickness in our schools. We have to protect people who play by the rules. We can’t accept people not picking up children when [they are] sick."

Another mother said her son had to be hospitalized for a strep infection and many parents may not realize how serious the disease can be if left untreated.

Board President Jeannette Bressi voiced agreement with the parents. "We need to set in place a way to monitor who is being sent back [to school] too early [after diagnosis]."

District Superintendent Robert Connelly told the parents there would be a review and evaluation of policies and procedures in reference to keeping sick students in schools, and that the district would get an opinion from the county medical examiner and the local Board of Health.

In other business, Elizabeth Trent has joined the board as a representative from Allentown, filling the seat vacated by Lynn Meara, who resigned.

Board member Robert Cheff was appointed as an alternate for the Land Acquisition Committee.

Mr. and Mrs. Clint Ecks of Swan Pump and Supply Co. have donated 40 field hockey uniforms to the high school.

The Allentown High School chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) gave the Board of Education its Blue and Gold Award at the meeting. This is the highest honor the FFA can give outside of its organization. It was given in recognition of the support the Board of Education has given the organization over the years.

Connelly said, "We are, without a doubt, the premier agricultural program in the state of New Jersey."

Board member Jennifer DeMauro was confirmed as an appointee to the Developmental Disabilities Council in a letter from Gov. James E. McGreevey.

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