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School officials cancel attendance reward program over flu fears

Fear that students will show up to class sick has prompted high schoolsin the Halifax area to cancel a program that rewards good attendance.

Fear that students will show up to class sick has prompted high schools in the Halifax area to cancel a program that rewards good attendance.

The Halifax Regional School Board announced yesterday that students will no longer be able to apply for exam exemptions based on their attendance record. Previously, students who missed fewer than seven days in a given semester could opt out of one exam at the end of that semester.

Thirteen of the 15 high schools in the Halifax area had put the program in place, but collectively decided that it should be cancelled for the remainder of the 2009-2010 school year in the wake of the H1N1 outbreak.

“They don’t want to encourage students to come in sick,” explained HRSB spokesman Doug Hadley.

Over the past two weeks, 65 out of 137 schools in the HRSB have reported higher-than-normal absenteeism due to illness. Schools are required to inform health officials when absenteeism reaches levels that are 10 per cent higher than normal, Hadley said.

 
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