Florida School Business - Spring/Summer 2010 - (Page 14)

SCHOOLSAFETY Orange County administrators frequently use tabletop exercises to test district emergency plans. The district changes plans based on lessons learned during each exercise. District Ready for H1N1 In t spring of 2009, as school districts were preparing to close the o out another school year, news began to spread about the upcoming fl season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) flu s id iden identified a new strain as the A/H1N1 or swine flu. On June 11, th the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the A/H1N1 a pan pandemic. By the end of July, Florida reported nearly 3,000 cases of A/H1N1 and a death toll of 22. At a news conference Gov. Charlie Crist compared preparation for the A/ H1N1 to preparing for Florida’s hurricane season. With the help of state Surgeon General Viamonte Ros, Florida begin preparing for massive A/H1N1 f lu immunizations, starting with school children when they returned to begin the school year in late August. As early as June 2009, Orange County Public School’s (OCPS) emergency planners began dialogue with Orange County Health Department staff regarding A/ 14 FASBO SPRING - SUMMER 2010 BY RICK HARRIS Orange County Public Schools; Safety, Security & Environmental Services H1N1 represented a major concern for communities throughout Florida even after an approved vaccine was developed and made available in late 2009. Dates announced for the delivery of supplies of that vaccine constantly changed and no one could effectively explain the A/H1N1 vaccine distribution plan after the CDC identified priority groups that should be vaccinated. Those priority groups were pregnant women, infants and school-age children, caregivers, and senior citizens. All of these factors posed significant challenges for Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) and the Orange County Health Department as those agencies coordinated the overall A/H1N1 strategy throughout the county. The school board and health department planners implemented a series of coordination meetings that focused on outcomes from state and county A/H1N1 monitoring, CDC updates, and OCPS case H1N1. With reference data from the (CDC), health departments and school districts throughout the nation immediately began their planning. Working with other emergency planners was not new for the school district’s team. As a full community partner, OCPS provides transportation and sheltering assistance during hurricane season. No agency knew with any certainty what impact A/H1N1 would have within the United States. The absence of an approved and fully tested vaccine for A/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Florida School Business - Spring/Summer 2010

Florida School Business - Spring/Summer 2010
Message from the President
Big Issues for Schools: Budget, Class Size
ARRA Funds: Fueling Education Reform in Florida
District Ready for H1N1
2010 FASBO Conference Preview
Advertisers Marketplace
Index of Advertisers

Florida School Business - Spring/Summer 2010