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Illness closes school

February 12, 2005|by Richard F. Belisle & Julie E. Greene

Grace Academy didn't have classes Friday because many students and teachers were sick with either the flu or a stomach virus, School Administrator Lynn Wakefield said.

On Thursday, more than 50 Grace Academy students and four or five elementary school teachers either were out sick or went home sick, Wakefield said.

School officials were having difficulty finding enough substitute teachers, he said.

Parents were notified Thursday night that classes would be canceled, he said. Wakefield said classes will resume Monday.

Students were out sick throughout the week, so teachers were repeating lesson plans, Wakefield said.

"If not for staff members, (we) probably could have continued on," Wakefield said. "But when you don't have staff members taking care of the children, what can you do?"

The illness apparently lasts 24 hours, said Wakefield, who went home sick on Thursday.

The 13321 Cearfoss Pike school has 363 students in preschool through 12th grade, he said.

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Despite the cancellation of classes, the school's home basketball games went on as scheduled on Friday, which was Parent Appreciation Night. Grace hosted Broadfording Christian Academy, which also has been dealing with a rash of illnesses since Christmas.

"We haven't had it en masse like they do at Grace Academy," said Rick Burkett, principal at Broadfording. "My daughter is in the fifth grade and there hasn't been a full class in three weeks. It's the same in other grades."

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