Ingram Elementary School image

Ingram Elementary School will reopen Thursday after a flu outbreak forced the closure of the school for two days.

Parents were notified Monday that the school would be closed Tuesday and deep-cleaned due to illnesses. Officials made the decision this afternoon to reopen Thursday to allow for further deep cleaning on Wednesday.

At the school on Monday, there were "excessive absences," some confirmed cases of flu and strep, and a number of children were sent home due to fever symptoms, said Ingram Elementary School Principal Donna Jenschke. Jenschke said she didn't have precise numbers of students ill or absent, but said there was no truth to the rumor that 180 students came down with the flu.

"That number is higher than anything I've heard," Jenschke said.

Students and staff confirmed to have fever symptoms are prohibited by policy from returning to campus until they are fever-free for 24 hours, she said. 

Jenschke indicated it's unusual for the school to close due to concerns over spreading illness. 

"We haven't had any closures in the three years that I've been here," Jenschke said.

It's customary to deep-clean the school over Christmas break, but this year it's continued every evening "because we've had more children coming back sick from Christmas," Jenschke said.

The deep cleaning includes applying Clorox disinfecting bleach to countertops, door handles, tables and other surfaces, as well as changing air filters throughout the school, she said.

"That's our biggest concern is the safety and health of our students, so if that means we have to close the doors to give them a deep clean and give our children time to get healthy again, we're going to do that," Jenschke said

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