Area schools are dealing with an above-average number of students out sick and while none have opted to close, administrators are urging parents to stay vigilant and make sure more students aren’t exposed.
As of last week, about 300 Ardmore City Schools students are out sick. ACS superintendent Kim Holland said that makes for roughly 10 percent of the district’s student body. Holland said while those numbers are unusual, they aren’t cause to shut down just yet.  
“We may do it,” Holland said. “But we’d have to be at a much higher percentage to do that and we haven’t been hit that hard.”
Holland said 70 students at Ardmore High School and about 17 percent of Will Rogers Elementary School’s student body is out sick as well.
“The numbers are high and we’ve got more kids out than normal,” Holland said. “It’s a difficult strain to deal with this year.”
Holland said the school has been sending newsletters to parents, outlining information about the flu.
“You kind of depend on parents,” Holland said. “We can tell kids to wash their hands and stay away from sick individuals, but they need to keep sick kids at home.”
Dickson Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Colclasure said the district is dealing with “quite a few” absences, mostly at the elementary level. Colclasure said 11 absent elementary students out of 40 were confirmed flu cases, but students are also coming down with other illnesses.
“At this point we’re kind of right below the number where we’d consider (closing),” Colclasure said.
Dickson was forced to cancel classes temporarily last year after an unusually high number of students came down with the flu and other illnesses. This year, the school offered flu shots on the campus in an effort to fight the disease.
“It’s not helped like we thought it would,” Colclasure said. “We’ll have to see what happens over the next few days.”
Colclasure said along with the 40 absent elementary students, there are roughly 30 students out sick at each Dickson school except the high school, which has not been hit as hard.
Smaller schools are being affected as well. Oak Hall Episcopal School Headmaster Ken Willy said with 128 students, six of which are currently out sick, the school is taking precautions and urging parents to stay vigilant.
“We don’t do perfect attendance, so if your child is sick, please keep them home,” Willy said. “We get that there is some imposition, but the best place for a sick child is in their own home, in their own bed.”