Today is Thursday, July 20, 2017

County schools closed rest of week

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A dramatic peak in teacher absenteeism due to illness Monday, Feb. 13 has prompted Wilson County schools to close the rest of the week.

School's spokesperson Jennifer Johnson announced the lengthy closure at around 2 p.m. Monday.

She said school officials have monitored the absentee rates of students and staff since last week.

She said on Friday 90 percent of students attended school across the system, except for Lebanon High School.

"Very few teachers and staff had called in sick," she said. "However, today (Monday) 138 teachers called in sick with 26 classrooms without a teacher."

Schools Director Dr. Donna Wright wants the illnesses to run their course.

"Obviously, we don't close school for almost an entire week, unless the situation is very serious," Dr. Wright said. "The last thing we want is for this to spread to even more students and staff. Hopefully these four days off, plus the weekend, and the holiday on Monday will give everyone time to recuperate and come back well."

However, all Kid's Club are open, and sports will continue as usual.

The District 9-AAA basketball tournament at Lebanon High's Campbell Brandon Gymnasium will go on as planned with competition starting Wednesday, Feb. 15 with two games. In addition, Monday was the first official day of practice for spring sports.

Wright noted 12-month staff members with the system are not affected by this closure. They are to report "in accordance with their regular schedule."

Valentine's Day parties are rescheduled for next week.

Some sanitation will take place during the closure.

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