Despite fears of a long and harsh flu season, few area schools are reporting higher than normal student absences.
Stephenville ISD Superintendent Dr. Darrell Floyd said the district had 341 students absent on Friday. On Thursday, 318 out of 3,566 district students were out. The district normally averages a 94 to 95 percent daily attendance.
“Yes, we do have increased absences but not enough to warrant the closure of campuses,” Floyd said.
However, student absences in districts across the county aren’t all attributed to influenza.
“We’ve got a little bit higher than normal out,” said Dublin ISD Superintendent Shaun Barnett. “We’ve maintained above a 90 percent average daily attendance. Most of our absences are not flu related.”
Barnett was attending a conference and unable to quote specific numbers, but the district has approximately 1,223 students.
Lingleville ISD Superintendent Dennis Hughes said absences spiked on Monday with 14 out of 225 students out. Usually, LISD only sees four or five children out at a time.
Hughes said most of those students were reporting the stomach bug, not the flu.
Huckabay Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Floyd said while the district has not seen an increase in student absences, they are monitoring classes daily.
Bluff Dale ISD reported no spikes or increases in student absences and neither did Morgan Mill ISD.
“We’ve had a bug or two going around but so far we’ve been lucky,” said Morgan Mill Superintendent Dean Edwards. “We have four absent today (Friday) out of 100.”
Stephenville Christian School, a private campus in Erath County, was reportedly closed Friday due to student illness. Attempts to reach school officials by phone were unsuccessful and messages were not returned at press time.