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LRSD Provides Update on 2-Day Closure Related to the Flu
The Little Rock School District (LRSD) announced Sunday that due to high absentee rates among students and staff that the District will be closed Monday-Tuesday, February 10-11, 2020. During the closure, LRSD will use this time to do additional cleaning to prevent the further spreading of the flu.
The primary goal of LRSD is to create and maintain an educational environment that is safe, healthy and conducive to learning. Accordingly, the District considered the health and wellbeing of students and staff in making the decision to close. Early sick leave request data on Sunday indicated that LRSD would not have enough staff to safely provide classroom instruction. As the sick leave requests to the District's attendance tracking system escalated throughout Sunday afternoon, combined with the known flu outbreak in the LRSD community, administration made a decision in the best interest of students and staff.
It is hoped that teachers would never abuse sick leave and that the letter sent out by the Little Rock Education Association would not be used as justification to disrupt the learning environment. The decision to close combined every data point that was available to LRSD. It was important to the District to make a decision of this magnitude as quickly as possible so parents would have adequate time to make appropriate plans.
In response to questions regarding the use of Alternate Method of Instruction (AMI) days, implementing LRSD's approved plan for AMI days requires the ability of staff to support student instruction virtually. However, because of the number of staff who called in sick and high student absences, it would be insensitive to expect effective educational engagement under these circumstances. LRSD is working to determine the best option for making up the days, which could occur during Spring break, on Saturdays or at the end of the school year.
The LRSD administration hopes that students, staff and parents are able to utilize these next two days to get rest and recover. In addition to using LRSD's maintenance staff to provide "deep cleaning" at school sites, crews from SSC have been brought in to disinfect campuses. Parents, please remember:
- If your child has a fever to take him or her to the doctor
- It's not too late to get a flu shot
- Fluids, rest and proper nutrition are essential
- Encourage frequent hand-washing
The Little Rock School District apologizes for this inconvenience and looks forward to students and staff returning to school healthy and ready to finish the school year strong!