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#1292034 - 10/22/09 06:45 PM The H1N1 Exception
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5486
Loc: Orange County, CA
Should teachers modify their absence/illness clause in their studio policies in case of a pandemic outbreak?

This is barely the start of Fall, and I've already had over 10 students calling in sick with the flu--all within the past two weeks. I do allow them to have make-up lessons for "extreme emergencies," but this is now getting ridiculous with the number of lessons to make up.

It is also taking a toll on the students' progress! They are so sick, they can't even practice for five days, and they are so behind in school work, it's not even funny.

Oh, and none of them has the H1N1. It's some other flu bug that's going around town. Scary.
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#1292066 - 10/22/09 07:52 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: AZNpiano]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4794
Loc: Seattle area, WA
I'm in a similar situation teaching high school. I have so many students out sick that handling makeup work and especially makeup labs is becoming ridiculous. I usually give a day or two after an illness to makeup work/labs but these kids are out for an entire week and they have so much work to makeup they are overwhelmed, and in some cases, getting sick again. I'm thinking of modifying my policy. It may seem that I'm trying to accommodate the sick kids but in actuality I'm selfishly making MY job easier.
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Deborah

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#1292073 - 10/22/09 08:07 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: gooddog]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10363
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Mr. McGuire had one word for Ben (Dustin Hoffman) .... plastics.

I have one word for these families ..... vaccination!!
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1292088 - 10/22/09 08:31 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Piano*Dad]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
I had two sisters miss last week due to H1N1. But my policy is that I don't make up lessons. So I just said I hoped they felt better soon, and I look forward to seeing them next week. But so far I've never had any student miss two lessons in a row due to illness. (I have one student who in just 3 months of lessons has missed two in a row twice...but excuses from mother: "I forgot" "I was fasting...and weak" "I remembered until I got a phone call and then forgot" and "I locked my keys in the car"...but that's another story!)

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#1292103 - 10/22/09 08:55 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Overexposed]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11935
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I haven't had any absences due to H1N1, but there are tons of colds and the regular flu going around like crazy in addition to H1N1. I sent out a letter early on in the semester when I could see trouble brewing that I would reschedule lessons canceled due to illness, and that it's better that they stay at home and get better (and not infect others, too!). I feel bad "sticking" to the rules as if I can't change them when it makes sense to do so.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1292139 - 10/22/09 10:01 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Morodiene]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I do makeup lessons when I have cancellations in my regular week, but I don't teach outside my scheduled lesson times. But with all the kids sick so far, I'm planning one or two group makeup times on a Saturday morning or two.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1292248 - 10/23/09 06:11 AM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Stanny]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Piano Dad, the only two kids I've had miss due to H1N1 are also the two who were vaccinated. In my years as a public health nurse, I gave plenty of flu shots and always made sure I let the client know that the shot did not mean that they wouldn't get the flu. It meant that if they got the flu, it would be a milder case. (That's the theory anyway.)By the way, they also had to sign an informed consent that included that they understood that there could be a severe reaction or even death due to vaccination. (All the nurses I worked with were gung ho for flu shots, and any kind of vaccination. I kept my unpopular opinion to myself.)

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#1292301 - 10/23/09 09:33 AM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Overexposed]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I've had about a third of my studio out with the flu. I'm making plenty of exceptions and will be making up all of the lessons.

The vaccination is not yet available for the general public in my area. Hospital staff and public school employees got the first batch.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1292307 - 10/23/09 09:49 AM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Overexposed]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11935
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
In my years as a public health nurse, I gave plenty of flu shots and always made sure I let the client know that the shot did not mean that they wouldn't get the flu. It meant that if they got the flu, it would be a milder case. (That's the theory anyway.)


Actually, that is not scientifically correct. A vaccine will only work on that particular strain of the virus. If it mutates, then the vaccine will not work at all. Antibodies are like pieces of a puzzle, and if the puzzle (virus) mutates, the previously matching pieces won't fit anymore. Thus it's not possible for the flu vaccine to provide a "milder" case of the flu. Either it will work, or it won't. Usually the latter in the case as it mutates throughout the season.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1292371 - 10/23/09 12:09 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Morodiene]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Hi Morodiene,
Yes I agree with you in part. We also gave info about which 3 viurus the vaccine would probect against. But still, you can get each virus you received protection against (I think). The idea is that your body may use the vaccine to build some immunity (or not). But obviously some people get the diseases they were vaccinated against. That's why we have a second MMR requirement for entering middle school...the vaccine didn't work, so we'll just say that the immunity waned over time and make kids get a second dose. And obviously kids who've had H1N1 vaccine are still coming down with H1N1 virus. Maybe you're right though about the "milder" case, but as a public health nurse we were all advised on how to present the information, and that was what we told folks...perhaps incorrectly.

You're right about viruses changing (mutating) and that's why I was never convinced that the flu vaccine did any good. It was always a guess by the manufacturer as to which viruses they thought would be most prevalent...and who's to say how much the virus has mutated since the vaccine was made. Bottom line is that people want to purchase good health instead of being responsible through their daily health choices. People want to buy health and drug companies are delighted to sell them a product and it brings money into the health care system so no one is complaining.

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#1292376 - 10/23/09 12:15 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Overexposed]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Has anyone had an individual student miss more than one lesson due to illness? Here the kids feel bad for two to four days and then it's over. So one missed lesson per student due to illness...is that such a big deal? It's far easier for kids to miss one lesson, than a teacher trying to make up 10 or 20 lessons.

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#1292379 - 10/23/09 12:17 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Morodiene]
Dorrie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 438


Vaccinations are good, but I don't think the H1N1 is widely available anywhere yet. I know we are getting hit by H1N1 here in Maryland. And my belief is the vaccines take 14-21 days for fulle ffectiveness. It will be a long, nasty season.

As a parent/student I think it is fine if you wish to hold to your policies regarding absences and make ups during a pandemic,, but before you make that decision, think about what you will do if you miss 2 weeks of teaching if the flu.

My daughter's teacher just missed 2 weeks of lessons due to a case of H1N1. Her policy states we don't pay for lessons she misses unless she reschedules within the week. Her teaching schedule is tight and she has performance requirements as well. Make ups are guaranteed to be less than convenient.

Guess what? Almost all the families said we'd pay for the lessons now and she could make them up "whenever". She's a young, gifted teacher. We adore her. She's lucky that most of her families understand being self employed

Given that its an unusual year for illness, you might opt for some flexibility if you think it would be reciprocated.

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#1292409 - 10/23/09 12:57 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Dorrie]
wavelength Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 340
Loc: Vermont, USA
I make exceptions for illness anyway. I have had a lot of cancellation in the last two weeks. It seems no one actually has h1n1, but they cancel because they are worried that they might.

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#1292412 - 10/23/09 01:01 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Overexposed]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11935
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
That is so true, Ann. With so many kids getting sick, I wonder, do they not know how to take care of themselves? I've been washing my hands a *lot*, taking good vitamins, getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of water, exercising to deal with stress, and taking some supplements to keep my immune system in good shape. So far, in spite of being surrounded by sickness I've managed to not get sick yet (Lord willing, I'll stay healthy through this!).At the first sign of sore throat or coughing, I take a dose of echinacea and goldenseal and that pretty much gets rid of it. Daily health choices are key in preventing illness of any kind.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1292457 - 10/23/09 01:48 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Morodiene]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1078
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
That is so true, Ann. With so many kids getting sick, I wonder, do they not know how to take care of themselves? I've been washing my hands a *lot*, taking good vitamins, getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of water, exercising to deal with stress, and taking some supplements to keep my immune system in good shape. So far, in spite of being surrounded by sickness I've managed to not get sick yet (Lord willing, I'll stay healthy through this!).At the first sign of sore throat or coughing, I take a dose of echinacea and goldenseal and that pretty much gets rid of it. Daily health choices are key in preventing illness of any kind.


Morodiene,
I could have written the post above. I've been called a health nut for the last 30 years and up until this year, was proud to say I was quite healthy. I started a new job working IN SCHOOLS last September, and have been very ill 4 times now! Right now, I've had to cancel lessons because I have the flu, yet like you, I used hand sanitizers, washed my hands all day long, take supplements, exercise religiously, eat veyr healthy, get plenty of sleep. So how did I get so sick? I think this year, we all have to make exceptions because it is not even technically flu season yet, and people are getting sicker than ever before. My doctor said there's nothing available for H1N1 and if my fever gets too high, go to the hospital.

I was just contemplating getting a flu shot when I started coughing on Monday. I tried to fool myself into thinking it was allergies, drinking echinacea in my juice. I've been on the couch for 4 days now. So before we assume that people who are getting so sick don't know how to take care of themselves, we need to realize even those who do, can get sick as well.

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#1292490 - 10/23/09 02:21 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: chasingrainbows]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11935
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Irene, of course. But I was speaking about my students, and I know for a fact that they are not trying to be healthy. I have taught in schools, and so I know you get inundated with germs there. Perhaps I have some immunity to some of what is going around just from that experiences. That's the one good thing about increased exposure: you'll be immune! laugh. Keep taking 2 droppers full of the echinacea every 2 hours and get some with goldenseal and take 2 droppers twice a day. You'll get better a lot sooner than without, that's for sure. Hope you start feeling better soon!
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1292510 - 10/23/09 02:47 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Morodiene]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Irenev, you're right in that we can all get sick. But still don't the majority burn their candle at both ends? (Besides other poor choices.) Now more than ever parents are running their kids to extracurricular activies seven days a week...an endless treadmill, and if it's not the piano student with activies, the student is still run to sibling's activies. Yes, we can all get sick and we all do...some more ill than others. But what happened to resting when you are tired for example? The parents I know will only let their child stay home from school if they have a fever, whereas I let mine stay home if he seems unusually tired. The ones on a fast treadmill are also the first in line to the doctor's office to get flu mist.

I just generally lack faith in research that is always sponsored by someone who has a profit to make by getting a particular outcome.

What about a campaign to have kids have family time at home and avoid large groups (when possible)during flu outbreaks? But no, the races continue.

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#1292560 - 10/23/09 04:37 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Overexposed]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2346
Loc: Portland, Oregon
This might be a good website to bookmark in regards to the H1N1 flu etc.

http://swineflu.mercola.com/sites/swineflu/home.aspx

This alert on their website was particularly interesting:

http://swineflu.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/21/Special-Swine-Flu-Update.aspx

The first video on that alert, "Mercola/Fisher Swine Flu Vaccine O&A is very interesting..it is in 6 parts.

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#1292697 - 10/23/09 09:39 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Grandpianoman]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11935
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
grandpianoman, I saw that video the other day...really makes you think. Why have there not been studies done on the people who have supposedly died from the swine flu to find out if it was the flu or other health issues that caused the death?
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#1292712 - 10/23/09 10:21 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Morodiene]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1646
Loc: northern California
Hi, here's an update from where I live here in northern CA;
some schools are closing due to a high percentage of confirmed H1N1 cases, not in my immediate area but in areas 50-60 miles away. At least one young school-aged boy died from a case of the H1N1 flu and word is not out as to whether or not he had a pre-existing condition. No school closings in my community as yet. Lots of sickness but no students of mine have the H1N1 right now. I am hearing some strange things happening with vaccines though: 2 people in my community are suffering from paralysis due to the flu vaccine they received this season, not the H1N1, just the seasonal flu vaccine. It is my understanding that these folks underwent intense testing and it was the vaccine that caused the paralysis.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1292735 - 10/23/09 11:57 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Barb860]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2346
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Morodiene, I agree, and that's why I posted the llnks.

Barb860, sorry to hear about the deaths and the paralysis victims, very tragic, and this is one of the reasons why I posted the 2 links above.

As I mentioned before, it would NOT hurt to have one's VitD3 levels checked, not only for the flu, but for a host of other reasons explained here: www.vitamindcouncil.org



Edited by grandpianoman (10/24/09 12:13 AM)

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#1294027 - 10/26/09 12:15 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Grandpianoman]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
We have huge numbers out around here, our local school's latest number is 7%.
I have not changed my policies, although it is clear parents expect me to.

One mom said to me "why can't I get a credit on my bill? He was sick with H1N1, not just the flu".

I have to stick with it, I have beeen burned too many times. "give an inch...." Word gets out and suddenly everyone has it. I know it sounds terrible, but it has happened through the years.

I try to make up the lessons whenever possible, but when I don't get notice early enough, I can't get a child to fill that spot for a make-up. Most parents understand and those are the ones that get dibs on the first open spots for make-ups. I think it was Gary that once said he will bend over backwards to help the families that treat him well. That's how it goes with me too.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1295152 - 10/27/09 10:40 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4378
Loc: Jersey Shore
The paralysis is most likely a scary but temporary problem...

Guillian Barr


Edited by Mark... (10/27/09 10:43 PM)

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#1295259 - 10/28/09 07:06 AM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Morodiene]
appleman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 188
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
grandpianoman, I saw that video the other day...really makes you think. Why have there not been studies done on the people who have supposedly died from the swine flu to find out if it was the flu or other health issues that caused the death?

Beware of anyone selling you something, newspapers or alternatives to proven medical treatments. The CBS article is yellow journalism at it's finest. The reason the tests were stopped was because they were extremely expensive, and most state health departments cannot afford to continue testing. They also had no effect on actual patient treatment, because they take days to get results.

Both a lack of infrastructure(hey, who wants to pay taxes for that! I am saving for a speedboat.) and lack of immediate usefulness is the culprit.

Most tests came back negative, but that is not surprising, since a lot of things cause flu like symptoms, like mom's potato salad. What is surprising is that there should be virtually NO flu during the time that those tests were taken.

Lastly, while routine testing is not done, random sampling IS done, and those reports are available to everyone here:
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivity.htm

It reports lab results and symptom only reports separately. And anyone with two brain cells to rub together can read the charts and see the lab results include subtype testing.

It's very likely the N1H1 is going to be a lot less severe than previously indicated. The largest group that die from flu, the very old, are mostly immune. But we will see a dramatic increase in younger people getting the flu and dying from it.(compared to previous years)


Edited by appleman (10/28/09 07:28 AM)
Edit Reason: sometimes linux hates me.

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#1295287 - 10/28/09 08:27 AM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: appleman]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13789
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Vaccines always carry risks, of which Guillain-Barre is one.

Medicine is rarely an either/or proposition. Careful calculations are done with the vaccines.

They think:

If a person takes the vaccine, they'll have a 0.5% chance of a bad reaction, and an 0.02% chance of dying. (I'm making these numbers up.)

If a person doesn't take the vaccine, they'll have a 2% chance of getting the flu, of which 0.3% of dying.

Obviously, taking the vaccine gives you a better chance, but nothing is a sure thing. I pick up some of the literature my wife gets from time to time, and I've noticed that the medical literature is all about percentages. No drug is 100% effective or 100% safe, and doctors are constantly having to weigh the benefits vs. the risks.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1295655 - 10/28/09 07:45 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Kreisler]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1775
I would not want a child of mine to be taking lessons from a teacher who either teaches when he or she is sick or provides his or her students with any incentive (such as no make-ups, no refunds, or any other incentive) to go to a lesson when the student is ill. You can't sterilize the keys between lessons!

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#1295661 - 10/28/09 07:58 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
Originally Posted By: Rank Piano Amateur
You can't sterilize the keys between lessons!


Ummm, yes you can, and I do.
_________________________
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

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#1295664 - 10/28/09 08:03 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
All you have to do is have your child wash their hands as soon as they get home. May as well have them wash hands as soon as they get home from school too.

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#1295735 - 10/28/09 10:24 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Overexposed]
Rank Piano Amateur Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/07
Posts: 1775
I don't think it is as simple as that. There are plenty of opportunities for germs to be transmitted before the kid gets home to the soap and water!

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#1296067 - 10/29/09 01:35 PM Re: The H1N1 Exception [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Look, most of the time kids with diseases are infectious a couple of days PRIOR to even having symptoms. All we can do is have kids cover their coughs and wash hands.

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