The flu hasn’t gotten the best of Union R-XI this year, according to Superintendent Steve Weinhold.
While attendance has been fluctuating throughout the district, most of the schools have held a healthy attendance, Weinhold said.
The addition of custodians and an ongoing focus on sanitation throughout each school has helped to keep flu cases from spreading and growing out of control.
Assistant Superintendent Mike Mabe said sickness has been seesawing and had been before the winter break. He said, while cases are rising currently, the slow rate is thanks to the custodial crews at each building.
“We had a little bit of sickness right before the holiday break,” Mabe said. “But over the break we added a few people to our custodial staff so we have some extra hands to go in and disinfect and deep clean our schools before we came back.”
Weinhold added that since school has been back in session, flu cases have been on the rise. That matches local numbers, according to the county health department, the total cases reported this season has already surpassed 2,200.
At Central Elementary, Principal Leslie Lause said attendance has been down, but the school still hasn’t dipped below 90 percent attendance. She said that’s in part because the teachers, as well as the custodians, have been doing their part.
“We’ve been hit off and on but it’s been fluctuating,” Lause said. “Our attendance isn’t phenomenal but we haven’t dropped below 90 percent.”
Lause said the lowest day for attendance was Monday, Feb. 5, when 90.1 percent of students were at school.
We’re trying to keep our kids coming and keep them healthy,” Lause said.
For now, Weinhold said custodians are working diligently to disinfect the schools to make sure kids aren’t getting sick. Lause said even teachers in her building are disinfecting desks when students leave the classroom in an effort to keep the flu from spreading.
“Our custodians continue to clean like they normally do and a bit more,” Weinhold said. “We’ve had pretty good attendance for the months of January and February, knock on wood.”