Rowland Unified Health Specialist Cindy Rose Escamilla checks Natalie Solorio at Northam Elementary School. (Photo by Walt Mancini / Staff)
Area students are once again back in school learning their ABCs. Only this year, they're the ABCs of flu prevention. 
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
Be sure to wash your hands often with soap and water.
Cover your cough. 
Don't go to school ill. 
Ensure your child is vaccinated. 
Using these common sense procedures, health officials believe we can contain any outbreak of the flu, whether it's the regular flu or the H1N1 strain that everyone is worried about. 
Flu cases actually began appearing in local schools last spring. Nogales High School in La Puente reported several cases, as did Evergreen Elementary in Diamond Bar. 
Hacienda La Puente Unified didn't have any flu cases until the very last day of school, according to Gayle Rogers, director of student family services.
"We spent the summer working on an action plan to handle any flu outbreaks," said Cindy Rose Escamilla, health services specialist for the Rowland Unified School District. 
The nurse-practitioner proudly displayed a thick binder of instructions, outlining the district's plans for any epidemic. 
"I wrote it all down so someone would know what to do in case I got sick ," said Escamilla with a grin. 
Teachers in all the districts are encouraging their students to prevent the spread of the flu by washing their hands whenever they can.