ROGERSVILLE — Due to widespread flu cases, Hawkins County Schools will shut down Monday and Tuesday — just as the smaller Rogersville City School system did at the end of last week.
The 650 students of RCS return to classes Monday after having last Thursday and Friday off due to massive illness that decreased attendance to 87 percent.
On Monday and Tuesday all 17 Hawkins County Schools and their 7,718 students will be off as a result of district-wide attendance dipping below 90 percent on Friday.
Hawkins County Schools Director Charlotte Britton said Sunday officials had been closely monitoring attendance all month, and although some individual schools’ attendance had dropped below 90 percent in previous days, the entire county didn’t drop below 90 percent until Friday.
We’ve been monitoring attendance since Jan. 31 and we’ve been staying above 90 percent all during that time,” Britton said. “On Friday our attendance dipped below 90 percent with a district average of 88.6 percent. There were nine of our 17 schools Friday that were below 90 percent attendance, and the lowest was Keplar Elementary with 79.6 percent.
“We decided that with the large numbers of illness related absences it would be best to give students a long weekend with a couple of extra days for the flu to run its course.”
Other schools below the mark Friday were Bulls Gap, Cherokee, McPheeters Bend, Mooresburg, Joseph Rogers, Surgoinsville Elementary, Surgoinsville Middle, and Volunteer.
Britton said custodians district-wide have taken precautions throughout the flu season by washing surfaces with disinfectant. Students have received instruction on proper hand washing and the importance of keeping germs away.
Britton said the schools will “definitely be sanitized” with disinfectant again Monday and Tuesday while students are away.