LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Little Rock School District will be closed Monday and Tuesday due to higher than normal numbers of absent students and staff with the flu.
A spokesperson for the district sent out a notice Sunday evening.
The AMI will not be used for Monday and Tuesday, school administrators say those days will have to be made up.
Administrators have been monitoring both student and staff absentee rates over the past several weeks.
The absentee rate ballooned Sunday afternoon, according to the release from the district.
As of 5:00 p.m. Sunday, LRSD says more than 250 staff members had called in sick.
The school district says maintenance staff will provide additional cleaning at school sites over the next two days.
Here is the full message from LRSD:
As you may be aware some schools in the Little Rock School District have experienced higher than normal absenteeism at the student and staff levels due to the flu season. Because we are concerned about how the flu is impacting our community, we have been monitoring both student and staff absentee rates over the past several weeks. On Friday, February 7, 2020, we had to release students early at Geyer Springs Early Childhood Center as a result of not having enough staff to meet required student-staff ratios. Last week, we also closed two elementary schools for two days after reports of high percentages of students being sick.
Today, February 9th, we have received an inordinate amount of calls by staff reporting that they are sick. The number of calls that we received by 5 p.m. totaled more than 250 staff members out. This nearly doubles the number of staff who called in on similar days during the previous week.
Due to these high numbers, we will take what we believe to be the necessary steps to create the safest option for the health and well-being of both our students and staff and will close schools Monday and Tuesday, February 10-11, 2020. We are so sorry to make this announcement at this late hour, but the staff absentee rate has ballooned this afternoon.
We will not be able to use Alternate Method of Instruction (AMI) days over the next two days of school being cancelled. We will have to make up those missed days. AMI days may only be used for inclement weather, a power outage, or some other unscheduled event. The decision of how we make up those days will be determined at a later time. Possible make-up days could be accomplished using Saturdays, Spring Break or the end of the school year.
We hope that students, staff and parents are able to utilize these next two days to get rest and recover. We will use our maintenance staff to provide additional cleaning at school sites. Parents, please remember:
If your child has a fever to take him or her to the doctor
It’s not too late to get a flu shot
Fluids, rest and proper nutrition are essential
Encourage frequent hand-washing
We apologize for this inconvenience and look forward to our students and staff returning to school healthy and ready to finish the school year strong!
Thank you and have a good evening.”