Danville Schools closed Friday due to illness

Published 8:35 am Friday, February 9, 2018

Danville Independent Schools were closed today due to illness. The announcement was made Thursday, after Superintendent Keith Look said the district was at 87 percent attendance. This means, he said, “Eighty-seven of every 100 students are here,” Look said Thursday. 

This coupled with having several staff members out due to being ill themselves or taking care of their own ill children forced the system to close.

“That makes it harder to ensure we have the proper amount of staff to cover every school,” Look said.

Email newsletter signup

Most of those out are reporting flu and flu-like symptoms, he said. 

Look said they hope the day off, making the weekend one day longer, will give everyone a chance to “rest, recover and ward off germs so they are healthy when we return to school on Monday.”

In the meantime, the custodial staff will disinfect everything students come into contact with, such as desks, water fountains, door knobs and light switches, in addition to normal cleaning efforts.

On Thursday, the Danville High School had an attendance of 82.8 percent, the John W. Bate Middle School had an attendance of 94.5 percent, Jennie Rogers Elementary School had an attendance 83.8 percent, Mary G. Hogsett Elementary School had an attendance of 92.5 percent and Edna L. Toliver Elementary School had an attendance of 82.05 percent. 

Across town, the Boyle County Schools are holding at an average of 91.5 percent attendance, said Superintendent Mike LaFavers on Thursday.

“There were a couple of days in the 80. We haven’t had that (consistently),” he said. “Our normal is 95-96 percent. This week, we’ve been in the 91-92 range.”

LaFavers said they’ve had to contend with staff being out, too, either because they were sick or they were caring for a sick child. Out of the district’s five buildings, there were 24 staff absences; on average, out of 400 staff members, the district usually deals with 12 staff absences a day.

“Tomorrow, we have 14 classroom teachers who have requested a sub. That’s about three per school,” he said. “We’re keeping our eye on this thing.”

LaFavers said they were taking extra precautions to clean, too, throughout the day and when custodians were cleaning at night.

“If we have to call, we will … It’s something every community in Kentucky is dealing with,” LaFavers said.


The Cabinet for Health and Family Services lists these tips for preventing the spread of the flu:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 15-20 seconds or  use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs often are spread when a person touches an object contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

• Get an annual flu shot to help you develop antibodies to protect against influenza infection.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from contracting your illness.

• Stay home from work, school and errands if possible when you are sick. This will help prevent others from catching your illness.

• Remind children to practice healthy habits because germs spread easily at school and in child care settings, resulting in high rates of absenteeism among students and staff in our state’s schools.

Editor Ben Kleppinger contributed to this story.