Bad roads forced Warren County Schools to close Thursday. Bad health will keep them closed Friday.
Citing health concerns and hoping to slow the spread of illness, Director of Schools Bobby Cox said schools would be closed Friday and reopen on Monday.
“We are closing for illness based on medical advice,” said Cox.
He noted the absentee rate at Bobby Ray Elementary is severe with 138 students missing school Tuesday and 127 out Wednesday. He said that puts the absentee rate at Bobby Ray around 25 percent.
Cox said the threshold for closing schools system-wide is usually an absentee rate around 10 percent and Warren County was not quite at that mark on Wednesday. But school officials thought it might be wise to utilize a four-day weekend in hopes of halting the spread of contagious illnesses like the flu.
“White County absenteeism is at 18 percent and they’re closed till Tuesday,” said Cox. “Right now with us getting close to 10 percent we decided to see what we could do.”
The decision to close due to illness Friday comes after deteriorating road conditions were to blame for schools closing Thursday. Cox says he was up early Thursday monitoring road conditions.
“I was up at 3 a.m. talking to bus drivers, the bus supervisor and also talking to 911,” said Cox. “At that time, there was ice on the road and many drivers didn’t feel comfortable running their routes.”
Closing due to illness can count as a bad-weather day. Thursday and Friday are the first bad-weather days used by the school system this year. Eight bad-weather days remain.