Four school districts closed this week due to illness

By: Jordan Vilines Email
By: Jordan Vilines Email

For the second week in a row, an Eastern Kentucky School District has cancelled classes because of the flu.

Martin County is one of at least four school systems that will be shut down the rest of the week due to sickness.

Around 800 students in the Martin County School District were absent from school Tuesday -- despite the school district cancelling classes last week because of illness.

“I think that we were probably a little optimistic in trying to come back so soon. It was bad last week but we thought the worst would be behind us,” said District Technology Coordinator Roscoe Mullins.

Attendance is usually around 94% but last week, attendance rates dropped to 80%.

This week they dropped again to 70%.

“We have dealt with health and medical issues before but not to this degree,” said Martin County Schools Superintendent Mark Blackburn.

The superintendent says it is difficult for teachers to teach and students to learn when hundreds of kids call in sick.

“You have to consider just how ineffective teaching can be when absenteeism is so high. What can the teachers really do with so many students out? Hopefully this is the best solution for everybody,” said Mullins.

Local health officials say it's still not too late to get a flu shot.

Martin County Schools will be back on the regular schedule on Tuesday.

The school will be closed Monday for Martin Luther King Day.

Johnson, Magoffin and Perry County Schools are also closed the rest of the week due to illness.

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