Sad News from Columbus Magnet School

Sad News from Columbus Magnet School
Posted on 02/18/2018
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It is with heavy hearts that we share that a six-year-old classmate, friend and student at Columbus Magnet School unexpectedly passed away this weekend. Our hearts go out to her family and friends for this terrible loss.

Beginning Tuesday and for as long as needed, counselors will be available at Columbus to help children and staff through this tragedy. Death, loss and grief are difficult topics to discuss with young children, but the National Association of School Psychologists has resources available that may be useful.  Some of the suggestions for talking with children include:

  • Using language that your child understands
  • Speaking briefly and factually
  • Encouraging your child to share his or her feelings and ask questions
  • Providing age and developmentally appropriate answers
  • Being available when he or she is ready to talk, even at unexpected times

In the days ahead, we know that the Columbus community will come together with love and compassion. Administrators and staff from the district and other schools will be available to lend support as well. We will all hold this sweet child and her family in our thoughts and prayers.

Staying Healthy This Season

We know from the national news that this flu season has been a terrible one. Although there have been reports of flu in some schools, we are fortunate that it has not been widespread in Norwalk. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and our own school medical advisor, Dr. Norman Weinberger, the flu vaccine remains the best choice for preventing and lessening the effects of flu, even at this point in the season. With flu season expected to run through March, it is not too late to get a flu shot. Contact you doctor or the Norwalk Health Department for more information.

Anyone experiencing flu signs or symptoms should see their health provider right away.  Antiviral medications can help if taken early. Please do not send your child to school if he or she is not feeling well. According to the CDC, signs of the flu include:

  • Fever (although not everyone with flu will have a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuff notes
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting and diarrhea for some, especially young children

Although the CDC reports that the flu virus can only live a short time on a surface, last month the NPS Facilities Department added a more aggressive disinfectant to their school cleaning supplies. School custodians will continue using it over the coming weeks to provide a deep cleaning, with particular attention on “high touch” areas.

Other steps for staying healthy include:

  • Washing your hands regularly. Washing hands often helps protect from germs. Schools are emphasizing this among with our students as well.
  • Seeking care early. See your healthcare provider immediately if you develop flu symptoms.
  • Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your school nurse, healthcare provider or the Norwalk Health Department.