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Alpena schools closed again for illness

ALPENA — Alpena Public Schools is closed again today because of illness among its transportation staff.

Superintendent John VanWagoner said Monday the district is closed because it’s short transportation staff. He said two drivers were out sick Monday and were fine today to drive, but another two are out sick.

The district was closed Monday because of extreme sickness and the absence of multiple bus drivers and building staff.

The district also has a mechanic who would have substituted as a bus driver that called in sick. VanWagoner said that, if the district would have used its dispatcher as a driver, there wouldn’t have been anyone in the transportation office to answer the phone or be there if an emergency occurred.

VanWagoner hopes that school is back in session on Wednesday.

“We’re not there yet, but we’re closer,” he said. “We’re just taking it day by day.”

Doctors are saying that it’s a combination of respiratory infection and influenza, VanWagoner said.

VanWagoner said 70 staffers were out Friday, and he wasn’t sure how many would have been out Monday had there been school. APS employs about 800 people.

“We don’t know if we would have been short teachers,” he said.

Schools are allowed to cancel classes a certain number of days because of unforeseen circumstances. Typically, those cancellations are because of snow, but they also can be used for illness.

Rogers City Area Schools is back in session today after no school Friday and Monday because of the number of students who were sick.