Washington Court House City Schools Superintendent Tom Bailey said the district resumed classes Monday and that attendance is up following the closure due to many illnesses last week.
On Wednesday, Jan. 29, WCHCS announced it would close all buildings and cancel all student activities due to Influenza A or B, Strep Throat and a stomach virus causing students and staff to call off of school in higher numbers than usual. It was decided by Bailey — after careful consideration with the building principals and Fayette County Public Health Department — to close the district for disinfecting and to “give everyone a break.”
“The cleaning went well, we had our regular crew on board last Thursday and Friday when we were off,” Bailey said. “We did bring in a few extra hands and did a deep clean. We found everywhere a student could touch and made sure we disinfected it. We did a very thorough cleaning in all the buildings as well as the buses over those two days.”
Bailey said attendance this week has improved following the break. According to Bailey, the district was seeing attendance as low as 80 percent last week before the break and cleaning. This week has seen a return to the 90 percent attendance mark — something the superintendent said the district was glad to see.
“We will never get rid of it, this was never meant to wipe out every germ in the city,” Bailey said. “We still have kids that are sick but we just wanted to give everyone a break. We were running low on staff and substitute teachers. We still have students with Influenza and Strep Throat — the two most dominant in the district currently — but we are glad to see students and staff back.”
Bailey also took time to urge staff, students and parents to continue to monitor their health to ensure they are healthy enough to return. Though attendance numbers are much better, he said those who still think they are unhealthy should remain at home to continue their recovery.
“If you’re exhibiting signs — especially if you have a fever though that may not always happen with this strain — but if you have an achy body, congestion in the chest and respiratory distress you should probably stay home, as those are signs of the flu,” Bailey said. “Strep comes with a sore throat, a headache, a fever and we still have some students suffering from a stomach virus. So certainly if you are vomiting or have diarrhea, do not come to school.”
Finally, the superintendent thanked the custodial staff, the maintenance crew and the bus drivers for taking the time to clean the district. He said these employees continue the cleaning at night as well so that everyone can stay as healthy as possible.
The information in this article was provided by Washington Court House City Schools Superintendent Tom Bailey.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter@MartiTheNewsGuy.