Flu season hits hard in second semester


Haidyn McKenzie

Art teacher Amanda Beller chats with senior Mallory Sailer in room E113 during eighth period on Thursday. Beller wore a mask during her classes this week as a precaution against the flu.

A substantial number of students and staff were marked absent last week due to the flu or flu-like symptoms.

We had more students out last week than normal, and usually it creates some challenges both for staff and students,” principal Chris Mayfield said.

Two hundred and thirty-five students were marked absent or missing class with a parent or doctor’s note on Friday, Feb. 1. By comparison, only 120 were marked absent for the same reasons on Friday, Jan. 11.

There were also about 10-15 teachers out per day. Getting substitutes in place for each teacher proved to be a challenge.

“Since I handle all the subs, I just have a process where I always look ahead of schedule and fill them in,” administrative assistant Natalie Buster said. “Thankfully our teachers step up and help by subbing for other classes, which really helped with getting everything going last week.”

Students returning to school after recovering are faced with the challenge of making up all the work they missed. Freshman Elise Frauenheim missed three school days.

“Everything has been really stressful,” Frauenheim said. “I’ve been working out schedules with my teachers and going in at different times for taking tests. I don’t have enough time because I’m handling regular school and all the makeup work that I’ve missed so it’s just not going well.”

The school has attempted to prevent the spreading of the infection by thoroughly cleaning areas of the school.

“We’ve had different locker rooms and a couple other areas receive extra cleanings over the past few weeks,” nurse Amy Dresser said. “So we’re doing everything we can. The student body needs to do what they can, which is just common courtesy and following easy simple steps.”

As students continue to be marked absent due to illness, Dresser recommends that students wash their hands thoroughly and stay home if diagnosed.