Case of the missing students

Julian Laguisma

Administration is asking teachers to be more alert for sick students within their classes

It’s like a plot from a surreal movie.  All across campus, students have gone missing from classes. Due to the recent sweep of illnesses among the student body, administration has asked teachers to be more alert for sick students among their classes and to send them to the office.  

The current protocol is for teachers to send noticeably sick students from their classes to the office, alone if they are well enough and with another student if not.  While this procedure has not changed from previous years, what has changed is that teachers are now being asked to be more attentive to the telltale signs of a sick student.  

Once a student is at the office, the office has the student call his parents and rest at home until he becomes better. Due to the recent sweep of illnesses incapacitating many students, the office has asked teachers to look out for noticeably sick students.  Photo taken from sxc.hu

"They need to be home 24 hours feverfree without medicine reducing the fever,"  secretary Crystal Coppel said.  "We will not let them back [on campus].  We will not let them go to class."

The increased vigilance is due to the large number of students who are attending class even while they are sick. Social Studies teacher Andrew Sturgill acknowledged this as a cause of the problem.

"At this school kids don’t want to get stuck in a position where they have to do make-up work so they will come to school through being sick," Sturgill said.   However, when students do so, they put their classmates at risk of becoming infected as well.  

"If you have a fever, then you’re contagious…which is why we had so many kids out sick a couple weeks ago," Coppel said.  



The office has taken measures to prevent sick students from attending class.  When Coppel and Attendance Administrator Monique Orozco measure a student’s temperature and confirm a fever, they mark the student absent for the next day in the attendance program SASI, preventing the student from attending class.


If the parent wishes for their child to come to school even if he is sick, then the situation becomes more complicated.  

"We have an administrator talk to [the parents] and [the administrator] explain to them that their [student] cannot be here at school especially if they still have a temperature or haven’t been fever free for so many hours," Coppel said.  "We’ve had a few situations like that and we just really have to be persistent with the parent."

Teachers may also be contributing to the spread of sickness at school. 

"I think there’s been a lot of teacher buy in…because if we get sick we also get [behind] because substitutes can’t do what we do on a normal day," Sturgill said.  "If I missed three days of school, my classes would really be three days behind."