Flu finds it’s way here, schools closed earlier this week

Posted January 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm

The various types of flu that is almost to an epidemic proportion across the country, especially in several states, finally caught up to Clinton County late last week when a drop in attendance in all schools prompted the closing of classes for a two-day period earlier this week.

Superintendent Charlotte Bernard, in a brief statement issued to the news media last Friday afternoon, announced that because of the sickness, Clinton County schools would be closed on Monday and Tuesday, January 14 and 15. In the statement, classes were to have resumed on Wednesday, January 16 (too late for press deadline). On that date, a decision, based on attendance would have been made pertaining to whether or not classes would remain in session or have to be closed longer.

Clinton County was somewhat fortunate in that a lot of the flu virus in this area occurred during the extended holiday break period, giving several people–including students–the chance to get well prior to classes resuming on January 3.

Last Friday, however, the decision was made to dismiss classes for a couple of days when attendance dropped.

Director of Pupil Personnel Julie York compiled the percentages from last Friday, January 11. On that date, the overall attendance was down to 87.94 percent across the district.

Not counting Foothills Academy, the school with the highest attendance on that day was Albany Elementary, but it was still down, at 90.19 percent. On the other end of the scale, the Early Childhood Center attendance was only 85.80 while the high school was down to 86.78 and the middle school at 86.10 percent for the day.

When giving her monthly attendance report to the Clinton County Board of Education on Monday night, York noted the low rate of attendance which prompted the two-day closing of schools. She also noted she had been in contact with various people in the medical profession who had helped determine that it would be better to cancel classes at this period of time.

As far as the fifth month of attendance, which ended January 2, overall attendance district-wide was down only slightly, from 92.87 percent for the same month last year to 92.78 for the fifth month this year.

The school with the highest ADA (average daily attendance) for the month was Clinton County Middle School (93.35) and the school that won the trophy for the most improved ADA for the fifth month was the Early Childhood Center, whose attendance during the month was 93.25 percent.

For the year as a whole, attendance is still up over a year ago and enrollment of students remains up by 12 students (1,735) through the end of the fifth month of classes.