Over the last week, Flat River Academy has closed 3 TIMES due to illness. These are some of the questions most frequently asked:
Q. Why did you close for illness?
A. There are a couple of reasons that we felt the need to close, but these were the most pressing issues: 1) Student absences - the number of students and staff that were sick amounted to over 25% of our school. With so many missing students, instruction was impaired. Teachers didn't want to cover too much material as many classes were missing up to half of their students. Making up work would be difficult for those students not in class. 2) To stop the spread of illness - Students were getting sick from other students that were contagious before they even knew they were sick. Many students were going home during the day after spending the morning with their peers. Closing school allowed time for symptoms to develop and the sick to get well without spreading it to others.
Q. What were people sick with?
A. Most were sick with the flu or had flu-like symptoms. Some were also out with a stomach virus.
Q. Does this happen often?
A. No. Flat River Academy has never been closed for illness before this school year.
Q. What is the policy for sick students at Flat River Academy?
A. We ask that you do not send your child to school if they have any of the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. Children should be free of these symptoms for 24 hours (without medication) before returning to school. The health department recommends that children should stay out of school for at least 2 days with the stomach bug and 4 days if they have been diagnosed with the flu.
Q. Do we have to make up days where school was closed due to illness?
A. No...at least not yet. Michigan will forgive 6 closure days. These are usually used for snow days, but they can be used for illness as well. Our 3 days closed for illness will count towards these days. However, that leaves us with just 3 more days that we can close before we have to start making up days.
Q. Why do you keep talking about 75% attendance?
A. Michigan requires that at least 75% of students be at school for the day to count towards the required 180 days of instructional days. Days where we have had less than 75% attendance did not count and therefore will need to be made-up.
Q. Does THIS happen often?
A. No, it has happened only 1 other time in the last 4 years.
Q. Can those days where we had less than 75% attendance be forgiven?
A. Unfortunately, no.
The decision to close school is always a tough one. There are so many things to consider. In the end, we felt the flu made the decision for us this time. We hope that you and your family are well. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to ask.