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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

West Collierville Middle School will close Thursday & Friday after hundreds call out sick

Parents are voicing concern after the flu virus kept hundreds of West Collierville Middle School home because of illness Tuesday.

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – UPDATE 1/29/2020 – Collierville School leaders say West Collierville Middle School will close for the remainder of the week due to flu and flu-like illnesses in the school. All students and staff are asked to remain home January 30th and 31st.

All other schools and offices with Collierville Schools will beopen Thursday and Friday.

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1/28/2020 – Parents are voicing concern after the flu virus kept hundreds of West Collierville Middle School home because of illness Tuesday.

Officials say about a quarter of the students at West Collierville Middle were absent Tuesday, but they say they have no plans to cancel classes Wednesday.

One parent says she wants more communication from faculty.

“It seems like it’s hit the eighth grade worse than it has any other grade at West Collierville Middle,” commented Lindsay Carpenter.

Carpenter’s 7th grader was one of the 325 students out Tuesday. He’s experienced flu-symptoms and was sent home.

Collierville Schools Chief of Staff Jeff Jones says 1,285 children attend the school and the typical absentee is around 50 kids per day. He estimates 250 to 275 of Tuesday’s absentees are due to the flu or flu-like symptoms.

“We’ve had lots of conversations with friends where they’ve walked into their homeroom today and out of a class of of 25 there were 5 kids,” said Carpenter.

According to Jones, the Shelby County Health Department advised against closing, saying it’s not an accurate way of containing illness.

  • Instead they advise:
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Send students with a runny nose, cough or fever home.
  • Take an early dose of antiviral medication.
  • Last, students should refrain from returning to school until they are fever-free, with no medication, for 24 hours.

Carpenter wants a more detailed plan of action from the school district.

“We just want more communication as to what their plan would be,” said Carpenter. “If they know they’re know they’re going to have 50% of their teachers out are we still going to hold school. That way parents can be prepared.”

Collierville Schools says they would consider the school closure only if there’s a faculty shortage. They believe the district substitute pool is adequate to cover absences.