Monday afternoon, the R-VII School District in southern Jefferson County decided to call off classes at all its schools for a week.
On its website, the district says:
Due to the spread of the flu in the Jefferson R-VII School District, we are canceling school for the remainder of the week (October 13 - 16). Since next Monday is a work day for staff, students will resume school on Tuesday, October 20, 2009. We ask that when school resumes that parents make sure that their children do not come to school sick with low grade fevers or while taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Please keep children at home until they are fever free without medications for a full 24 hours.
Parents received notification this afternoon. The district says 22% of students district-wide were absent on Monday. At one of the schools, 32% of students were absent.
The superintendent of schools says a big part of the problem is that students were returning to school before they were completely well. He is asking that when classes resume, students and staff do not come back unless they have been fever free for at least 24 hours (without the help of medicine).
Dr. Tom Guenzler says that while other districts may have higher absentee rates, he decided to cease classes for all 760 enrolled students in the district to prevent further spread of the flu.