Nisley closed today; many students out because of illness

Nisley Elementary School will be closed today and will reopen Monday because of a 35 percent to 40 percent absenteeism rate among the school’s students this week.

School District 51 and the Mesa County Health Department decided to close the school because a large number of students were staying home because of flu-like symptoms or were found to be ill when they visited the school nurse’s office. Local parties conferred with the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment before deciding to close the building.

Nisley Elementary students were sent home with a letter Wednesday explaining the closure and advising parents how best to take care of a child with the flu. The letter also asks parents not to send children to school when they are sick.

The school will be disinfected and cleaned during the four days off. On Monday, school officials will screen students to see if they have a temperature or appear to be ill.

School District 51 spokesman Jeff Kirtland said other schools in the district have experienced high absenteeism rates because of the flu, but not to the degree of Nisley.

The school was scheduled to be closed to students Friday for a teacher work day. The teacher work day has been cancelled.

Nisley Elementary, 543 28 3/4 Road in Grand Junction, serves the area between North Avenue and Patterson Road from 28 1/4 Road to parts just east of 29 1/2 Road and between 28 1/2 and 29 roads from Patterson north to the Bookcliffs.

Schools in Fairplay, Pueblo and La Junta closed earlier this week because several students showed flu-like symptoms. Nearly 200 schools nationwide have experienced closures since the start of the 2009-10 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.


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