(Rutherford County, TN) It’s been an important week for high schoolers throughout Rutherford County as students wrap up the semester with midterm exams. While Tennessee as a whole is one of eleven states with the highest ranking level of flu cases in the nation, the impact has not been as hard as expected in our local schools.
Nearby Coffee County had to close their school system this past month for at least a day, because the number of sick students had climbed to an unhealthy level. The same problem unfolded in Perry County, which is 75-miles southwest of Nashville. Thankfully, Rutherford County is not in the same predicament.
Locally, it looks as if the number of students that were unable to complete their midterm exams this week due to sickness, was not unusually high. Rutherford County Schools Communications Director James Evans told WGNS that 4% of students were absent on both Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday, that number climbed to a 5% absentee rate. Evans confirmed that 5% of students being absent from school is within their normal range.
Some of the illness being felt in the Rutherford County Schools include the flu, strep-throat and COVID. Keep in mind, not every flu or strep throat case is documented because some students don’t bring a note from the doctor when they return to the classroom. Evans confirmed when a student returns to school, “Parents can submit a medical note or use a parent note.”
Between November 1st and this week (Dec. 12 - 15th), 340 flu cases were reported within the county schools, 45 COVID cases were confirmed and 49 strep throat cases were reported.
If a student missed their midterm tests, there are makeup days that have already been scheduled. Evans told WGNS, “The schools work with the students to get these assessments made up, depending on the specific days they are absent.
Again, the absentee rate has been normal throughout the week of midterm testing this week. Evans said, “We usually run about 95% present daily.”
Friday is a 2-hour abbreviated day for county school students and teachers and the end of the 2nd nine week period. Murfreesboro City School students have a full school day Friday. Both Rutherford County and Murfreesboro City School Students will return from winter break and head back to class on Wednesday, January 4th.
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