MILFORD - Students at Foran High School in Milford were sent home early Wednesday after health officials say they noticed flu-like illnesses at the school.

Although no cases of the swine flu have been confirmed at the school, samples from five students have been sent to the Department of Health for testing. According to Milford's health director, Dr. Dennis McBride, 20 students have reported flu-like symptoms to the nurse over the past few days.

Some parents are questioning how the shortened school day will protect their children from the threat of the H1N1 virus.

"Honestly, [having] half-days isn't going to make any big difference," says Melissa Anyan, of Milford. "Just cancel the school for the last two days until they find out the answers. They said they won't get them until Friday."

However, Foran High School Principal John Barlie says he believes the approach has already proven to be effective because fewer students were found sick at school Wednesday.

"The whole purpose of our planning here is having a mitigating step in place rather than a panic mode," Barlie says.

According to Barlie, decreasing the time students spend in school by 40 percent, from six to four hours, significantly lessens the threat of exposure to a virus.

The half-day schedule will be in place at Foran High School until further notice. The last day of school is scheduled for June 25.