Absenteeisms due to illness strains both the school and family budgets. Teacher absences require substitute teachers. Student absences due to illnesses result in parents missing work, extra childcare costs, or child neglect because they cannot afford the extra childcare.
This far-reaching problem of not washing one’s hands is not only costly, but also decreases student achievement. It is estimated that every teacher is absent due to illness an average of 5.3 days/year, while students are absent an average of 4.5 days/year due to illness.* Both types of absences are disruptive to learning. Teacher absences result in a re-teach of lessons due to missed days. Students either miss out on the lesson taught during their absence or they must make up the work, often times holding back the class. Student absences begin to tangentially negatively impact the achievement of surrounding students. While the lack of Hand Awareness (hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and cross contamination) impacts every student across America, the IPSPP seeks to improve the health of students and teachers within the Cincinnati Public School System. This behavior modification program will benefit the health of every student and staff member in participating schools.
Then there is the issue of absenteeism from work for us. Although more and more students are being sent to school sick trying to avert the work absence for parents. Not to mention that it is harder for a student to learn when sick.
*Statistics acquired from Minnesota Department of Health website