WASHINGTON — Students and staff at the Washington Elementary School got an extended Thanksgiving holiday when most of the teaching staff got sick, according to SAU 34 Superintendent Robert Hassett.
“It’s not a huge outbreak, but it’s certainly concerning,” he said.
Washington’s K through 5 elementary school, part of the Hillsboro-Deering district, has 45 students and six full-time employees, Hassett said. On Monday, four of those employees called out with flu-like symptoms, and 10 students were also absent with the illness, he said.
Hassett and the school board decided to close the school Monday, and see what Tuesday brought. When five of the teachers called out sick, two with confirmed cases of flu, Hassett said the board agreed to keep the school closed on Tuesday, essentially extending the Thanksgiving holiday.
Since the closure was announced for the second day, Hassett said he’s learned that more students may have become ill with flu-like symptoms.
The goal is to have everyone back and healthy when school opens again on Monday following the holiday, he said. In the meantime, the school will be cleaned and disinfected, he said.
“I have a lot of confidence in our immune system, and in our custodial staff,” he said.