Bay District Schools reportedly sees slight increase in absences in January

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay District Schools used a Teacher Planning Day to try to prevent the spread of the flu virus Wednesday.

Students were already scheduled to have the day off, so schools used the day to clean commonly-used surfaces including tables and keyboards.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend closing schools to deep clean during a flu outbreak.

We visited Deer Point Elementary, where a team was cleaning classrooms and halls while students had the day off.

"So we took the advantage of our students being off for our teacher's PLC day and we have employees that came in today specifically for the purpose of disinfecting the campus," said Ilea Faircloth, Assistant Administrator at Deer Point Elementary School.

A statement from Bay District Schools' Director of Communications on behalf of the Superintendent reads, "Just like other school districts across the state and across the nation, we are feeling the impact of the current flu season. We’ve been tracking our attendance and do notice a slight increase in absences this January compared to other Januarys but nothing that is alarming … typically our attendance district-wide in January averages around 91 percent and we’re slightly lower this month at just over 88%. We do know that we have children, and adults, who are dealing with the flu and we wish them a speedy recovery. We’re in regular contact with the Florida Department of Health Department and work closely with them to ensure we’re making the best decisions possible for our students. While other districts make the decisions that are in their best interests, we’ve continued to rely on the guidance we received that closing schools for the purposes of influenza outbreak control is generally not effective. We were glad to be able to take advantage of an already-scheduled PLC day today to do some additional disinfecting of commonly-used surfaces at our schools. We hope these extra steps, and the support of our parents in keeping sick children at home, will help Bay County get through this flu season as soon as possible. We appreciate all of the donations of wipes and cleaning supplies and those who have offered to help. Our faculty, staff and administrators have gone above and beyond to do what they can and we sincerely appreciate each and every one of them. We truly live in an amazing community of supportive parents and we wish a speedy recovery to anyone who is currently under the weather."

She said, according to data from the district, the average daily attendance January in Bay District Schools public schools are as follows:

-January 2018: 88.24487179
-January 2017: 91.80307692
-January 2016: 91.5237931
-January 2015: 91.21052632