Smart decision to close Alcona schools for two days

Class lessons in Northeast Michigan schools always face extra challenges with winter weather, but when you combine the weather with illness, it can make for a powerful one-two punch.

Students in Alcona Community Schools found that out this week after many of them came down with either influenza “A” or strep throat.

Upon a recommendation from officials with District Health Department No. 2 and Alcona Health Center, Superintendent Shawn Thornton canceled classes Feb. 13 and 14. While no disruption is ideal, this one hopefully allowed students and staff to recuperate at home and gave school officials a chance to sanitize the schools and buses.

Health officials said when people congregate in close proximity to each other, like in schools, germs and illness spread more easily.

Thornton said on Feb. 10, the Friday before the two days were scheduled off, the district had 119 to 131 students and/or staff off. Alcona serves 708 students in K-12 grades.

While students relaxed during the two days off this week, they did so knowing that school now is going to be extended at the end of the year. The two illness days, combined with snow days so far this winter, mean as of today students will need to make up one extra day at the end of the year.

Decisions to cancel school never are easy but in this instance, we believe Thornton made a good call.