Absentee rate creeps up, but not enough to close Hardin County Schools

FEB. 17– Wayne County Schools closed today because of an outbreak of illness, and some parents are questioning why Hardin County Schools remained open.
It primarily comes down to numbers.
“First, Wayne County schools closed because they had a large number of teachers out, and they had issues getting enough substitute teachers to fill in,” said Hardin County Director of Schools Michael Davis.
“It’s not set in stone, but (all the district directors) talk and we all pretty much look for 15 percent of students out before closing. Wayne County was 11.7 percent, but closed because they couldn’t get substitutes for all the teachers out,” he said.
Davis noted that many children depend on the schools being open to have basic necessities such as two meals a day and steady heat during the winter, and the director said he takes those issues into consideration.
“We’ve had sickness in Hardin County, but it’s been between about 8 and 10 percent, and has fallen in the last week. Today the absentee rate picked up a bit to 11.5 percent, but not all those students are out sick – many are out because parents want to get a jump on the long holiday weekend with travel and whatnot,” he added.

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