School boards are spending the summer fine-tuning pandemic plans in preparation for the return of students in September and are even considering the worst-case scenario prospect of closing schools if too many students and staff are absent because of influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu.

“We have a process in place in the event that we need to have school closures,” Mark Joel, a superintendent with the Durham District School Board, said Thursday. “We’re preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.”

School boards are working with local public health units on pandemic plans.