Monterey High School classes canceled because of flu

Published 12:43 am Friday, January 12, 2018


VIDALIA — Classes for students at Monterey High School are canceled today after more than 20 percent of students reportedly contracted the flu or had flu-like symptoms.

Of the 450 students enrolled in Monterey High School, Concordia Parish School District Superintendent Whest Shirley said approximately 90 students were absent or sent home Thursday with what appeared to be flu symptoms. The number absent was approximately one-fifth of the student body.

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Shirley said his office had polled all the schools in the district around Wednesday and that the wave of flu seems to be contained to Monterey.

“It’s nonexistent except for Monterey,” Shirley said.

Teachers and staff, Shirley said, do not seem to be affected and are expected to be at work today.

“It’s only the students,” Shirley said. “Teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers, they all seem to be fine.”

The timing of the outbreak, Shirley said, will hopefully help students get well sooner without cancelling more class days.

“Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. day, and Tuesday is a teacher development day,” Shirley said. “So these kids will have about five days to get well, hopefully.”

Though no set policy exists for when to cancel school in the case of multiple illnesses, Shirley said a rule of thumb the district uses is to cancel class for the safety of other students at a 18 to 20 percent infection rate.

“Nothing is set in policy,” Shirley said. “But this is a safety measure.”