ECISD School Attendance Slightly Lower in 2009

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Ector County Independent School District officials and Ector County Health officials continue to advise parents to keep their children home from school if have flu like symptoms or a fever.

According to Ector County ISD spokesperson Mike Adkins, parents seem to be hearing the message. Adkins reports between a 1 to 6 percent jump in absences, visible in the most current school wide numbers for last week. At Nimitz Junior High, for example, Adkins said there were between 70-80 students out last Friday.

The problem is the district officials still don't know exactly what the numbers mean. Adkins explained that some parents may be taking the proper precautions and keeping their sick children out of school or there are more cases of H1N1 flu or other illness going around this Fall.

Miguel Escobedo with the Ector County Health Department said it's difficult to tie the added absences to swine flu because the disease is no longer a reportable communicable disease.

The added absences may end up costing the school district at the end of the school year, Adkins says that's when the average attendance rates are factored in to figure out state funding numbers but he says the Texas Education Agency may come up with a plan to deal with any dips in attendance rates all over the state.

Adkins says it's too early to tell if the rates will affect the district.