Hamilton County Schools has watched absences very closely as the flu bug has had a significant impact on the community. High rates of student absences began to be a problem before the Christmas holidays. The system has been able to continue to keep schools open due to the illnesses being concentrated into segments of the community instead of widespread across the system. This week, the number of staff and students out due to illness has spread to a larger percentage of the schools. As a result, Hamilton County Schools will close on Friday, and all childcare is also canceled for school-aged children.
“We have watched absence numbers very closely for the past few weeks and student safety has been our number one concern since the flu outbreak hit our community,” said Dr. Bryan Johnson, superintendent of Hamilton County Schools. “The absence numbers due to the illness of teachers and bus drivers combined is now significantly impacting our ability to open and operate the schools for children.”
The system worked diligently with ABM, the custodial provider for the system, to put in place extra cleaning and disinfecting strategies in schools across the district. Durham, the operator of the bus service, has also worked closely with system administration to disinfect buses in the fleet to transport children safely. Hamilton County Schools will continue to work with contractors to implement the most effective cleaning methods possible to provide a safe and comfortable learning environment for the school system’s staff and the children.
All sporting activities scheduled for Thursday and over the weekend will continue as scheduled.