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Saranac Lake school ready for swine flu

SARANAC LAKE - School is back in session and the Saranac Lake Central School District is bracing for what officials are calling an inevitable outbreak of the H1N1 virus, commonly referred to as swine flu.

But district Superintendent Jerry Goldman said his faculty and staff is prepared should the virus sweep through the region, and he's been communicating regularly with the Franklin County Public Health office.

"There's a lot of material out there, there's a lot of information," he said. "I don't think any of the protocols that we're going to be following are going to be that much different. The basic issue is, at what point do you say this is so bad we can't conduct school? Hopefully we never get to the decision."

Goldman said his biggest concern is that so many students could become sick that school would have to be closed down. He adds that teachers and parents have plenty of information on how to avoid the spread of illness.

"Washing your hands; there's hand sanitizers all over the schools," Goldman said. "We try to keep the classrooms clean and the desktops disinfected the best we can. Try to make sure that sick students stay home; don't come to school when you're sick. There are some basic precautions that we take - the kind of precautions you would take if you had the flu."

Parents sending their children back to school should take note that the price of a school lunch is up this year from $2 to $2.25.

According to budget officer Mike Kilroy, the district spends about $50,000 from its general fund each year on school lunches. The rest of the cost for school lunch and breakfast is covered by state and federal aid and the amount raised by sales.

Last year, the district spent $90,000 on lunch. That increase was most likely due to a new, healthier menu. School Board President Debra Lennon said healthy food costs more.

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