JACKSON COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - There will be no school Friday for kids in the Jackson County School District.
School administrators point to an outbreak of flu that led to a “high amount of student and staff absences.”
Superintendent Chester Shannon told Region 8 News that they have “a lot of confirmed flu and sickness” spreading throughout their district.
He said approximately 20 percent of the student body is out sick. Even more faculty members are fighting the flu, he said.
In fact, Tuckerman Elementary School Principal Pharis Smith returned to school Wednesday after having the flu.
Smith says 100 of 450 students are absent in his student body and more than eight teachers called-in.
While students use Friday as an AMI Day 1, cleaning crews will be busy disinfecting every room.
- “They’re going to come in and they are going to clean water fountains, handles, desk, you name it and they are going to clean it and hopefully get rid of some of these germs and we can come back to school Monday in an healthy environment," Smith said.
He adds that with a district that size and with that many teachers and students out, substitutes are also hard to find, especially if they have children in the district.
Since it is an Alternative Method of Instruction day, students will still get work to complete at home. Teachers will be available until 2:30 to answer questions through email.
Flu activity, according to the latest report from the Arkansas Department of Health, remains widespread with a “high level of intensity.”
So far, 27 Arkansans have died from the illness, including four in the past week.