CASMAN Academy closes due to illness

CASMAN Academy will remain closed until Monday due to a breakout of flu among the staff and students.

CASMAN Academy will remain closed until Monday due to a breakout of flu among the staff and students.

MANISTEE — Due to a large portion of students and staff members being out of school with flu-like symptoms, CASMAN Academy director Shelly VanVoorst said the school would be closed until Monday.

Van Voorst said the illness began taking its toll on Monday, but held off making a decision because classes were cancelled on Tuesday due to the snow. However, after attendance continued to fall on Wednesday she decided they had to take action.

“A lot of kids were feeling kind of iffy on Monday and  I thought maybe the snow day would help, but right now 40 percent of the student body and 50 percent of the teachers are out ill,” said VanVoorst. “So it seems to be not fixing itself and it is getting worse. The symptoms are nausea, headache and feeling tired.”

School districts must have at least 75 percent of their students in attendance to qualify for their state funding. VanVoorst said after talking over the situation with the District No. 10 Health Department and Manistee ISD superintendent Jeff Jennette, the decision was made to shut down until Monday because the students are probably not going to be better from the virus by Thursday or Friday.

“Friday is one of our flex Fridays where attendance is not required, so we made the decision to close,” said VanVoorst. “The health department said it sounded like some kind of virus, so we thought it would be best to let everyone stay home and get over it.”

VanVoorst said that the next several days will be spent sanitizing the building before the students return.

“I plan on contacting our janitor to make sure everything gets cleaned,” she said. “Our hope is that if we take these days off to let everyone get healthy we will be back in school on Monday.”

VanVoorst said it has been close to 10 years since the last time CASMAN has had to temporarily shut its doors due to illness.

“You hear about a few pockets of illness here and there with families, but I didn’t realize it was going to be this bad,” she said. “We have a small school and staff and this illness has really snowballed through here. I only have four teachers on staff and when two of them go down that is half of it.”

No other school districts in the county were reporting higher than usual incidences of illness or the flu.

 

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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