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Health

Springfield Public Schools Dismiss Delaware Elementary Until Monday

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/springfiel_5365.mp3

With already 229 confirmed flu cases in Greene County since August 31, the flu season is here. On Tuesday, Springfield Public Schools dismissed students at one of its elementary schools for the rest of the week due to the flu. KSMU’s Matt Evans has more.

At Delaware Elementary, 30% of the student population has been absent the past three days due to flu-like symptoms. That, coupled with the high number of medically fragile students at Delaware Elementary, prompted Springfield Public School officials to dismiss classes at the school until Monday. Teresa Bledsoe is community relations manager for Springfield Public Schools.“A decision was made in consultation with the Springfield Greene County Health Department that we should dismiss classes there for the remainder of this week.”Bledsoe says Delaware Elementary, a school that has a high population of special education students, is the first school in the district to close because of the flu.“This is something that we haven’t done in the past.”The students and faculty at Delaware Elementary will return to class on Monday after the school has been sanitized by the custodians. Bledsoe says she doesn’t know if any more schools will have to be closed because of the flu this year, but she does realize it's a possibility.“We are having absentee rates higher earlier in the flu season than we have had in the past.” Springfield Public School officials say they haven't yet decided if the days will need to be made up. For KSMU News, I’m Matt Evans.