Marvin L. Johnson Administration Center
SAGINAW , MI 48609-5199
Phone: (989) 921-3701
Fax: (989) 921-3705

Date: November 9, 2007
To: Parents of Swan Valley School District Students
From: Richard P. Dyer, Interim Superintendent
Recent cases of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in school districts have caught the eye of school administrators, employees and school communities nationwide. To better understand MRSA and its potential impact on our district, it’s important to understand basic facts and understand there are preventative methods we can take.

  • MRSA infections are transmitted primarily through skin-to-skin contact and through contact with contaminated surfaces.
  • Contributing risks include openings in the skin from cuts or abrasions, crowded living conditions and poor hygiene.
  • Although MRSA is resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics, there are a number of readily available antibiotics to effectively treat the infection.
    While we have not had any cases of MRSA at Swan Valley, we are taking extra precautions to protect our students and staff. Our custodians are cleaning and disinfecting desktops on a more regular basis, we are cleaning and disinfecting locker rooms and weight rooms regularly and of course restrooms are always being addressed. We are using a cleaning agent called H2Orange2 which is especially effective in killing germs associated with MRSA.
    Personal hygiene practices are imperative in preventing MRSA infections and transmissions. Individuals should be washing hands regularly, showers should be taken immediately after practices and games and cuts/abrasions should be cleaned and bandaged. Students need to take home and have their gym and athletics clothes laundered regularly.
    Our administrative staff is discussing this issue regularly and we have made MRSA a priority at our leadership meetings. We also ask for your help in keeping our schools as clean as possible. Please talk with your children about MRSA and encourage them to wash and shower regularly and bring home gym and athletic clothing regularly for cleaning.
    The question has often been asked, “Will school be closed if a case of MRSA is discovered?” The consensus among health agencies is that if a single person is infected with MRSA, it is not normally necessary to close the school. However, we would immediately consult with local public health authorities to verify our actions as being the correct course.
    Thank you for your support and your vigilance as we work together to keep our schools and children safe.