Local school district continues to monitor attendance after nearly 100 confirmed illness absences

Out of the 440 students in the building, school officials say 128 were reported absent on Tuesday.

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 10:57 PM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 11:41 PM

PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Tuesday made for a busy day for the Southwest Parke Community School Corporation.

"We had a number of absences reported at Riverton Parke High School," said Supt. Dr. Phil Harrison.

Out of the 440 students in the building, Harrison says 128 were reported absent on Tuesday. Of those absences, 98 were confirmed illnesses.

"Our magic number is 88," Harrison said, "and when we have more than 88 students absent, then we have to do the mandatory reporting."

Harrison says administration contacted officials with the Indiana Department of Education and the local Department of Health, as required. 

Parents were notified of the situation by telephone on Tuesday. The message, regarding the school's flu policy, can be found on Riverton Parke's Facebook Page.

In the statement, it mentioned that the school corporation contacted both departments. After reviewing data, both departments determined a closure of the school was not needed, but extra cleaning efforts were recommended.

"We clean door knobs, we clean common surfaces, we clean restrooms extremely well," said Harrison, "Anything a student might touch or interact with on a given day."

Beyond the cleaning, Harrison says they are continuing to monitor absences and will report them as necessary. 

In the meantime, school officials are asking parents to keep sick children at home. 

If your child is sent home from school with a fever, school officials say they are required to stay home the next day. The child must also be fever free, without the use of medication, for 24 hours before returning.

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