Cold, flu shutter classes at Texas Panhandle schools
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This year's virulent cold and flu season has closed down certain Texas Panhandle schools.

Childress Elementary School students will be out of school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – Jan. 29-31 – due to continued illness spreading through the school, according to an announcement posted Friday afternoon by the Childress Independent School District.

Though each case isn't confirmed as influenza, overall illness has caused a spike in absenteeism at the elementary school, Superintendent Rick Teran said.

Elementary school teachers and staff will continue to report to work during those days. Students will return on Thursday, Feb. 1.

The closure only affects Childress Elementary School. Attendance rates remain high at the junior high and high schools, and normal operations will continue at both campuses during those days.

Childress ISD enacted precautions for this flu season including sanitizing classrooms, buildings, buses and other district facilities, and canceling after-school elementary activities.

Also in the Panhandle, Hedley ISD canceled its classes on Monday (Jan. 29), due to a wave of absences due to illness. The missed day will be made up on May 11, according to the Clarendon Enterprise.

As of last week, Newsweek reported that influenza-induced school closures were reported at more than 70 schools across 12 states including Texas and Oklahoma.

Sporadic school closures attributed to influenza have occurred across Texas during this season. Another High Plains school district, Paducah Independent School District, experienced illness-related closure earlier in January.



Mike Smith is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. Contact him at, on Twitter at @newsmithm and on Facebook.

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