Whitley County school children returned to classes again Monday following a week’s absence due to illness across the district that had dropped the attendance rate down to 85 percent district wide late last month.
Superintendent Lonnie Anderson said that the attendance rate was back up to 88.75 percent Monday and was about 88 percent Tuesday. If the attendance rate will allow, Anderson said the district plans to continue having classes the rest of the week.
"We had hoped it would be 100 percent but, of course, that didn’t happen," Anderson said. "We are disappointed that some of the children still aren’t feeling well. At this point we will continue to have school and ride this thing out the best we can."
He said officials are hoping the percentage will increase as the week goes on, but said that is hard to predict.
Officials are hoping to get to next week’s scheduled fall break, which will give students a whole week to recover from illness in addition to two weekends.
"We are hoping that by the time fall break is over that the H1N1 flu vaccine will be available, and that our students, staff and members of the community will take full advantage of the opportunity to get inoculated," Anderson said.
School officials said that they went to great lengths last week to disinfect the schools while students were out.
In addition to making hand sanitizer available in every room, Whitley County High School Principal Alan Sweet said the janitorial staff was thoroughly cleaning the school using cleaners at full strength and letting them air dry.
Nearly every surface students touch or might touch have been doused with cleaning supplies, and all those surfaces have been gone back over.
"We want to make sure there are no germs in here that might bother the kids," Sweet said. "After this week, we will come back to the school and do the same thing sanitizing the school."