• Last modified 896 days ago (Feb. 14, 2019)


Icy weather puts damper on student sickness

Staff writer

For some area schools, two snow days last week reduced the number of students out sick.

Hillsboro superintendent Max Heinrichs said the district has been tracking absences since a wave of cold- and flu-like illness began circulating in the county about a month ago.

He said he has principals notify him when there are more than 10 students out sick. The number of students out sick has not been above five percent, Heinrichs said.

On Feb. 5, just before two snow days, there were 40 students out sick.

On Friday, after two days of canceled school because of icy conditions, the school had 25 students out sick – four percent of the student body, Heinrichs said.

Peabody-Burns superintendent Ron Traxson said he didn’t have exact numbers of students out sick, but students were coming in and out the door with illness before snow days Wednesday and Thursday of last week kept everyone home. In any event, the number of students out sick didn’t trigger a school cancelation of its own.

“It wasn’t to the point where we’ve called off school before for that reason,” Traxson said.

Still, there seemed to be fewer students out sick Friday, he said. The community has been seeing illnesses ranging from a “24-hour bug” to strep throat to respiratory syncytial virus in daycare facilities, he said.

“A little gap in there didn’t hurt,” Traxson said. “We did have strep throat and it branches off into different things. I just sent a flyer out today with symptoms of scarlet fever. It’s out of that same strep bacteria.”

He also posted information on influenza on the school website.

Traxson said the school is reminding parents that if children have a fever, they should stay home until 24 hours after the fever disappears.

Centre superintendent Susan Beeson said the number of students out sick peaked earlier than other county schools.

“We kind of peaked a couple of weeks ago,” she said Friday. “I think we have good attendance today. I don’t think we can say the two snow days made much difference. We’re staying healthy and grateful the weather is improving.”

Denise Nickel, administrative assistant at Goessel schools, said the district has not had a large wave of student absences due to illness. Last Tuesday saw 13 out sick, but fewer on Friday.

Marion Elementary School was hard-hit by illness Feb. 1, with 52 students absent or sent home. In fact, the school had to post a notice on its website that students who were sick that day, or who had a sibling or parent sick, could not attend the school carnival.

That day seemed to be the peak, district secretary Kristi Mercer said.

Still, two snow days seem to have helped, she said. Fewer than 30 elementary students were absent Friday.

Last modified Feb. 14, 2019