DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Walk into Kristen Propst's classroom at Benjamin Davis Magnet Elementary School and you hear laughter, love and lessons. The children are enjoying the feedback with their teacher.
She gives them lessons they can use for a lifetime. "When kids come to school I ask them to give me a hundred percent every day. And when they come to school sick, they can't do that," said Propst.
28 years in the classroom has taught her some lessons when it comes to sick kids. "We can make up for lost time if your child is out sick. But we can't make up for lost time if we have ten out sick," said Propst.
She said days they lose teaching are precious and they need to maximize each opportunity. A few years ago, she said, teachers were tallying each absence during a tough time.
"It was spreading through so quickly, that we had less than 50% in some classrooms, where we really didn't have very many kids here for days upon end. But it wasn't the same 50%. So rather than losing a few days of instruction time, we lost a week of instruction time," she recalled.
When it comes to colds and flu there are a lot of lessons to be learned, not only by students, but parents as well.
Sarah Kyle Payne is the lead nurse for Decatur City Schools. She said there are some lessons for parents to keep their sick children at home.
"The biggest indicator is temperature. Anything over 100 degrees we consider a fever, and they should stay home at least 24 hours," said Payne.
She said there are other indicators. "Diarrhea and vomiting - you want to keep them home, because they may not have a fever with those sort of symptoms. Also, if you feel your child's just not acting right."
Payne said if the child is not eating, not playful and just laying around, it's probably time to keep them home.