School attendance down across San Antonio

Illness, early Christmas, fear of violence blamed

SAN ANTONIO - Attendance was down in San Antonio schools Friday for reasons that include illness, fear of school violence and because students are taking an early Christmas vacation.
Northeast Independent School District had about 1,500 extra students out.
In the Judson Independent School District, spokesman Steve Linscomb said attendance was down but that it varied by school.
"On the low end, we have one school that has 25 percent of the students gone," Linscomb said. "Now, you put that in perspective, a lot of that is the flu."
Attendance was down as well at Northside Independent School District. At Kuentz Elementary, 46 students were absent. The average is around 25.
Nurse Nancy Fox has had her hands full.
"It's been very busy," Fox said. "On a typical day I'll see anywhere from 85 to 100. I've seen some days of 135 kids through the clinic."
And Fox said it is not just one illness.
Flu is a big cause, but strep throat is right up there and so is the stomach virus.
Fox and parents say the key to keeping kids well is to practice good hygiene.
Nicole Vern, a parent, said she tries to get her daughter to avoid germs.
"They love to share," Vern said. "My daughter's very sharing, so I'm like not things that are going to be in each other's mouths. Everybody keep your stuff to yourself."
Health experts say the best advice is to have kids cough into the crook of their elbows and wash hands frequently.

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