Sunnyvale ISD cancels all classes after flu outbreak

A flu outbreak is prompting Sunnyvale ISD to cancel all classes for two days.

Sunnyvale ISD Superintendent Doug Williams announced the district would be canceling all classes and afterschool activities on Tuesday, Dec. 12 and Wednesday, Dec. 13. The superintendent says they made the decision after a number of students and faculty members complained about flu-like symptoms.

With students away Monday afternoon, a days-long deep scrub began inside Sunnyvale Elementary.

District workers are trying to wipe out any signs of the flu. It’s been so rampant across Sunnyvale ISD schools, the district decided to cancel classes.

School officials say Sunnyvale Elementary, Sunnyvale Middle School and Sunnyvale High School have all seen confirmed cases of the flu.

Williams says district leaders first starting discussing the closures last Friday. Last week, they saw an uptick in absences. On Friday, about 10 percent of elementary students were out. And it didn't get any better over the weekend.

“[Monday], we had 85 out. So we crossed a threshold. I think we had over 12 percent absent today,” the superintended said. “More than anything, this is a student safety issue.”

While it's worst in the elementary schools, sisters Maggie and Gracie Dixon have seen it in middle and high school, too.

“There's people coughing, people constantly getting up to get tissues. It's just gross,” Gracie said.

“One of my good guy friends had been sick for a week with the flu, and he just came back,” said Maggie.

The closure means activities, like a girls’ basketball game and the middle and high schools' winter band concert scheduled for Tuesday, are also canceled.

Parents her happy the district decided to play it safe, but a last minute change isn't always easy.

“It is going to be difficult for me because I do work,” said parent Linu Mathew. “But for kids, I think it's going to be a good idea.”

The district says its confident that after a deep clean it will be ready for classes to restart on Thursday. They hope to have everything back to normal next week in time for final exams.