Flu season arrives early
Area schools report higher rate of absences; LaPoynor
ISD shuts down
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Reports of school absences, mostly due to illnesses,
are running a little ahead of normal for this time of year, but then the
flu season descended a little earlier, as experts predicted it would.
LaPoynor School District, on the southeastern corner of Henderson
County, closed classes Wednesday through Friday, due to a high
percentage of absences.
LaPoynor ISD Superintendent Dr. B.L. Davis said the school has had no
confirmed cases of H1N1, but between 18 percent and 20 percent of the
district’s 500 students were out with flu-like symptoms.
School districts around Cedar Creek Lake report absences at 10 percent
Mabank ISD Superintendent Dr. Russell Marshall said the district’s
absentee rate usually averages between 4 percent and 6 percent of the
This past week, absences were a bit higher, right around 10 percent, he
“The state allows a waiver day, if absenteeism reaches 15 percent,”
Malakoff ISD reports absenteeism up slightly, but no single school
campus is significantly higher.
Three Malakoff students with confirmed H1N1 earlier this month have
recovered, and are back in school after being absent four days,
Superintendent Dr. John Spies said.
Three Trinity Valley Community College students who were recently
reported ill with the H1N1 have also recovered after being out for about
Eustace ISD reports a slightly higher rate of absenteeism, running
between 6 percent and 7 percent of students. It’s usual to see an
absentee rate of 2 percent to 3 percent, the administration reported.
Since the test for H1N1 costs about $550 each, health professionals are
treating flu-like symptoms as they would the regular flu.
The flu is caused by a virus, and not usually treated with an
antibiotic. Medication to ease the symptoms is often prescribed.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the main symptom of
the flu is fever (higher than 100 degrees for three or four days), body
aches and pains, fatigue, headache and a dry cough. About 60 percent of
people with the flu experience chills, and chest discomfort is often
severe with the flu.
With the H1N1 virus, a high fever – 103 degrees or greater – is the most
obvious sign, along with the other flu-like symptoms. Anyone with these
symptoms should see a doctor right away.
An infected person can spread the virus to others until seven days after
the onset of symptoms and one day before getting sick.
Treatment consists of rest, drinking plenty of fluids, taking
fever-reducing medication and isolation from others. Children should not
take aspirin to reduce fever, as it can cause Reyes Syndrome.
To stem the spread of the virus, those who are ill are urged to stay
home from work or school until fever-free for 24 hours, without use of
Flu prevention measures
The H1N1 vaccine is expected to be available locally around mid-October.
The seasonal flu shot is available now.
According to the CDC, flu prevention is the way to go. So it recommends:
• washing hands (for at least 20 seconds) throughout the day, or
• use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if soap and water is unavailable.
• avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and
discard in a waste basket, and
• daily, clean frequently used surfaces such as toys, countertops and TV
Area schools have stepped up their cleaning schedules, extending
sanitizing efforts even to buses.
Students are being reminded to wash hands frequently, and use tissues
when coughing or sneezing. Parents have received letters informing them
of these precautions.
Flexible school day on Mabank
By Barbara Gartman
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Seeing at-risk kids graduate from high school has long been
discussed by educators.
One possible solution being considered at Mabank Independent School
District is the flexible school day.
Following a public hearing Monday, in which no one spoke against the
plan, MISD trustees approved the proposed application to operate an
optional school day program.
The flex-day plan would enhance the present drop out prevention and
recovery programs referred to as the Academy.
Trustee Dr. Darrell Kinnard expressed curiosity concerning the number of
students the plan could impact.
The district’s Exemplary academic rating shows there is no current
However, with the plan in place, at-risk students have an academic
solution ready. The flex-day program would be available to students in
danger of dropping out in grades 9 through 12, curriculum director Dena
“The class plans are based on minutes instead of by periods,” she added.
“In other words, based on how well they perform, students can complete a
year in a semester,” Kinnard said.
In other business, trustees:
• opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance by Central Elementary
Students Dayton Thomas, Dylan Thomas and Montana King.
• heard coordinator Tonya Chapman report the spirit week fund drive
• heard graduation is set for Thursday, May 27, 2010.
• heard the financial report through Aug. 31, the end of the district’s
fiscal year, from assistant superintendent of business operations Scott
“The interest we are earning on the money the district has in the bank
is higher than the interest on the Certificates of Deposit,” he
reported. District accounts in TexPool, Lonestar and other investment
accounts is lower than interest being paid on CDs owned by the district,
• heard the district tax collection rate is 93.5 percent.
Domestic dispute leads to
recovery of stolen goods
Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN COUNTY–It’s so often the little things that draw the eye of the
law in one’s direction, leading to discovery of bigger crimes.
That was the case Sept. 8, when Kaufman County Sheriff’s deputies were
responding to a reported domestic dispute.
The call directed deputies to a residence on Farm-to-Market 148.
While confirming the incident, deputies noticed a substance thought to
be methamphetamines in plain view.
Narcotics investigators were called, and the two residents, Ryan B.
Rogers, 33, and Patricia Lynn Mathis, 26, both of Scurry, were charged
with possession of a controlled substance less than four grams, a third
Since methamphetamines were suspected, a search warrant was obtained.
The search turned up a truck reported stolen out of Henderson County, as
well as a gas-powered pressure washer, airless paint sprayer, large air
compressor on a trailer, MK Huskey air compressor, a Goodman A/C unit
and a craftsman riding lawn mower, all with the serial numbers scratched
The recovered property was valued at $6,300.
Rogers is being held on bonds totalling $198,000, while Mathis is held
on $1,000 bond. More charges are pending for each individual.