BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A school district will not be in session for a couple of days as officials battle illness.
The Batesville School District announced on their Facebook page Thursday that all schools will be closed on Friday, Feb. 16 and Monday, Feb. 19. The closure also includes the preschool.
The post cites "excessive illness" among students and faculty as the cause.
Superintendent Michael Hester tells Region 8 News 57 staff members called in sick Thursday, which is about 20 percent of his staff.
"And staff members are where it grinds us to a halt and the educational processes are interrupted," Hester said. "Because when you don't have bus drivers, if your nurses are sick and they can't take care of the kids, the staff issues ends up being what determines really if we can deliver a quality day for our students."
He also says 400 to 500 students have called in sick each day over the past two weeks.
Since the entire area has been hit hard by the flu and other viruses, substitutes are also hard to find.
"We will be disinfecting all buildings tomorrow and this weekend, please help us out with this and do not send students to school who are still showing symptoms of illness," the post also stated.
Friday will be counted as the district's second AMI day. Monday is counted as a holiday, President's Day.
All activities after school and this weekend will still be held as regularly scheduled.