Information from WYSH Radio in Clinton
Note: This story was updated at 10:55 a.m. Feb. 8.
On Tuesday, Anderson County Director of Schools Tim Parrott announced that the system will be closed on Thursday, February 8, and Friday, February 9, because of widespread illness among students and staff members. One of those days will be made up on Monday, April 2, which had been scheduled to be an in-service day for teachers.
Asked after the announcement why schools would be open today (Wednesday, February 7) when officials already knew they would be out the following two days, Parrott in an email said “there is always a chance that both student and teacher attendance will improve (on Wednesday). The leadership team met and decided that it would be best to close school Thursday and Friday. This will give extra time for the students to get well and to clean and disinfect the schools.”
Professional development for this afternoon for all staff has also been canceled.
Parrott said that any other time, he would not have sent out the message about schools being closed Thursday and Friday until later this afternoon, but said he made the decision “to go ahead and let parents know tonight (Tuesday) so if their child was just getting over the flu or are just getting sick they would only be missing one more day” of instruction.
The school system will excuse all parent notes for students out sick today, but those notes must be turned in by next Tuesday, February 13.
Numerous teachers have been absent lately, and the school system said it has also had a hard time finding healthy substitute teachers to fill in.
Other area schools have closed as well, including Clinton and Lenoir City schools, and Campbell, Knox, Scott, Sevier, and Union counties.
WYSH Radio is an Oak Ridge Today news partner.