ATLANTA, Mich. — Flu season is wreaking havoc on several Northeast Michigan schools, and it’s forcing Atlanta schools to closed for the rest of the week. As required by the state, in order to be counted as an official school day, at least 75 percent of students must be present.
Superintendent of Atlanta schools, Carl Seiter says the number of absent students started to rise last week. “Last week, Tuesday, we began at 16 percent. Wednesday was 17 percent. Thursday was 21 percent and I made the decision to close last Friday, thinking that the long weekend would take care of my issue.”
When class resumed on Monday, attendance showed that up to 35 percent of students were absent. Then, Seiter decided to close the schools for the whole week. The state allows schools a total of six days that can be taken off due to unforeseen circumstances including situations like this, and snow days. This flu outbreak is causing Atlanta schools to use all of these allotted days.
Seiter said the outbreak was a like a perfect storm. “With this bug, they are contagious for a much longer period of time. We’ve got influenza A, influenza B, we’ve had strep cases reported, and that perfect storm hit us and it just got worse and worse,” he said.
Seiter is hoping his students will be healthy for this Wednesday because it’s a student count day, a day when present students are tallied so the state can get an understanding on how much financial support the school needs.
Rogers City schools will also be closed this Friday and Monday due to sickness.