CPS Closes Northside Learning Center

Click below to see what CPS has to say about a new school closing.

Unusual

Number of Absences Leads CPS Officials

To

Close Northside Learning

Center

In response to documented absenteeism and illness data,

Chicago Public Schools officials today in consultation with the Chicago

Department of Public Health (CDPH) ordered Northside Learning Center to be closed

Monday as a precaution against the potential spread of H1N1 (swine) flu virus.

Northside Learning Center, located at 3730 West Bryn Mawr

Ave., is a special education facility with 288 students.

Expected absences at this time of the year are about

one-third the reported number.

Under protocols issued earlier this week by CPS in

conjunction with CDPH, students at schools that show an unusual pattern of

absences and reported illness symptoms are being sent home. In the case

of Northside Learning Center,

families of more than 10 percent of the 288 student population have taken them

to doctors for H1N1 testing.

The decision to close Northside Learning

Center Monday follows a

recommendation to do so from the Chicago Department of Public Health, said CPS

Chief Executive Officer Ron Huberman.

“We have said repeatedly that H1N1 is and will

continue to be a fluid situation, and that we would act in the best interest to

protect the health and welfare of our faculty, staff and students,”

Huberman said. “We continue to coordinate our response with CDPH and its

public health professionals, as we continue to manage a very fluid public

health situation.”

Huberman said surveillance data which documented attendance

and student illness from the school indicate that the number of absent students

has been increasing throughout the week, which raised further concern among

school and health officials. The number of students who were reported having

telltale flu-like symptoms of fever and cough further drove the decision to

close the school, he said.

On Wednesday, CPS reopened Joyce Kilmer School in Rogers

Park, which had been closed for a week after one of its students was diagnosed

with a confirmed case of H1 N1.

“We will consult with CDPH in the coming days on how long

Northside Learning Center

should remain closed, but we will continue to be cautious as this public health

issue progresses,” Huberman said.

Additional information about H1N1 and previous CPS

communications on the issue can be found at www.cps.edu

Chicago Public Schools has over 660 schools and serves

approximately 408,000 students. It is the nation’s third-largest school

district.

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