March 7, 2007
Sneezes and sniffles are common this time of year, and at Stony Point Elementary School, there were numerous empty desks on Wednesday.
The school's principal said that a good number of his 240-student roster were out sick.
The number climbed into double-digit territory at the school. While the staff said that more than a few students are absent, it is not unusual to have several kids out of class for an illness.
"We had 20, 21, or even 30. The highest, I think, was 35 out of 240 students that were gone in one day," said David Cushman, principal at Stony Point Elementary School.
Those numbers total almost 15% of the roster at Stony Point. The high percentage of kids being out sick is a spike at the school.
"For whatever reason, that is March 1st must have been the magic day, because I think we had the most children absent that day," said Cushman.
The calls to report an absence continued to ring in several days following March 1st. Libby Perdue, the school nurse, said that the kids are coming down with everything from stomach aches to headaches. She said the symptoms do not surprise her.
"We usually see a rise at some point during the winter months, and every now and then, we have an increase later in the year than normal. This is later in the year," said Perdue.
Principal Cushman said that for now, academics are not affected by the number of sick days used by students. However, children who miss class for more than three days are likely to be affected.
The Parent Teacher Organization for the school informed parents about the recent spike in illnesses and offered tips on keeping their children healthier.
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