Danville School District Closes For Sick Day

DANVILLE, Ark.- At least one school in Central Arkansas is closed on Friday but it has nothing to do with the weather.

The Danville School District decided to shut classes down for a sick day.

"We looked at the numbers starting really about Tuesday," says Danville Superintendent, Gregg Grant.  "We went from 12% of our student body up to 16% to right at 20% of our kids and the same thing with our teachers."

Grant says the Danville district has been hit hard by illness.  The flu, strep, and a stomach virus have all been circulating, so on Friday they're taking a district wide sick day.

"It's kind of unusual that you close because of an outbreak of flu or any type of sickness," says Grant.

Chambers Memorial Hospital emergency room doctor, Cody Foster, says the majority of the patients they've been treating have been for flu-like symptoms.

"We see some of that all the time but here in the last couple of weeks [it's] probably 80% of what we've seen," says Foster.

Grant says this is the first time the district has had to make a decision like this.  He credits legislators and the Department of Education for making it possible by coming up with the option to use what they call an AMI day or alternative method of instruction.

It's typically used for bad weather, but can be used in the event of an outbreak of disease.

"It benefits us that we're still able to get some educational goals and still hopefully maybe curtail some of our illness," says Grant.  

Friday the students will complete day one of their AMI packets and school will resume Monday.

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