Perrin school takes a sick day
The flu season has hit one Jack County school especially hard. Perrin-Whitt CISD closed Monday to disinfect the school.
Superintendent Cliff Gilmore noticed a sharp decline in the attendance for the first two days of February making the call to not hold school Monday.
“We had a big drop off in the attendance,” Gilmore said. “Friday, Feb. 2 attendance was 79.44 percent for the elementary. We wanted to make sure if we took off to tie it into a weekend to extend the time that the students were away from each other.”
To bring the Feb. 2 attendance rate into perspective, Perrin’s normal attendance rate is 97 percent.
Even with lower averages during the winter for cold outbreaks, the rate usually doesn’t dip below 92 percent.
The district also experienced several staff absences due to illness which also prompted the school closing for a day.
“We were just trying to help the situation,” Gilmore said. “Our janitorial staff cleaned all the rooms thoroughly and disinfected the tables and chairs.”
The superintendent said he has no idea of the Monday’s closure helped, but attendance is up.
“It’s in the higher 80s, I believe it was 89 (percent) today,” Gilmore said Wednesday. “That’s still low; normal would be around 93 (percent) this time of year.”
Jacksboro ISD has also seen its share of absences this cold season. December and January’s attendance rates were the lowest they have been for the last three years.
The attendance was 91.7 percent for January compared to 94.25 percent in 2017 and 95.54 percent in 2016.
The highest number of students absent in January was 104 for all three Jacksboro campuses. That number has been decreasing with 57 absences district wide Tuesday.
District attendance coordinator Teresa Teague noted that not all of those absences are illness-related. Some are the results of scheduled doctors’ appointments.
Though no attendance numbers were provided, Bryson Superintendent David Stout said his school has fared fairly well so far during this flu season.
“There have been a few days where our attendance was slightly less than average but overall we have been blessed to come through this issue thus far without major issues,” Stout said. “Our normal cleaning staff does a wonderful job and our entire staff and parents work together to help keep things clean and sanitized or to keep those that are ill out of school until they are no longer infectious.
“All of these things work together to allow for the cleanest environment possible for our learning environment in times that society is dealing with high infection.”