School officials say Washington Elementary School underwent a thorough cleaning over the weekend after an unusally large number of students and staff fell ill on Halloween at the Evanston school with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
In Halloween parties and a parade at the school were also cancelled as a precaution on the advice of the city's Health Department.
School officials are asking parents whose Washington School children may have experienced such symptoms to call the city's 311 number to complete a survey to help identify what may have cause the outbreak of illness.
Here's a copy of a letter sent to parents:
November 3, 2014
Dear Parents and Guardians,
On Friday, October 31, an unusually large number of students and staff became ill at Washington Elementary School with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. In response, district administration immediately contacted the Evanston Health and Human Services Department. As a precautionary measure, the administration at Washington cancelled Friday’s Halloween Parade and in-class Halloween parties per the recommendation from the Evanston Health and Human Services Department.
At this time there is not a known origin of the illness nor has the Health Department identified the cause. The Department is interviewing students, parents and staff impacted by the illness. Anyone with a child experiencing those symptoms and enrolled in Washington School is encouraged to call 311 or (847) 448-4311 and complete a questionnaire to help identify any possible activities or actions that may be associated with the illnesses. There has been no report or evidence of widespread illness at any other district school. Per established district practices, School Illness Reports are sent weekly to the Evanston Health and Human Services Department.
Over the weekend, the school was thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized per District and Health Department procedures in preparation for the return of students and staff to school. As always, parents are reminded to keep sick children home from school and activities until they are symptom-free for 24 hours. In order to promote health and wellness, the Evanston Health and Human Services Department is also reminding students and staff to practice good personal hygiene including frequent and proper hand washing.
If you have any questions, please contact the Evanston Health and Human Services Department at (847) 866-2962 or the District 65 Health Services Department at (847) 859-8120.
Assistant Director Evanston Health and Human Services Department
Mary H. Larson, BSN, RN, PEL-CSN, MEd
District 65 Coordinator of Health Services
District 65 Superintendent of Schools