Valley Head School in Dekalb County said it’s excusing all absences for Thursday, October 4th and Friday, October 5th.
Assistant Superintendent Brian Thomas said they made the decision after Valley Head School experienced 104 absences on Wednesday. They announced the excused absence policy on Facebook Wednesday night and on Thursday, more than half of the school's nearly 470 students were reported absent.
Valley Head School reported 23 absences on Monday and 29 absences on Tuesday.
Thomas said sick students were presenting with virus-like symptoms like vomiting and low-grade fever when they were assessed by the school nurse. He said the illness was not particular to a specific grade.
School officials spent Thursday morning reaching out to physicians in the area to help determine what illness these students may have. Local doctors along with the Alabama Department of Public Health are examining samples to determine what illness they may be dealing with.
They hope to have a more conclusive assessment by Saturday.
After talking with medical professionals DeKalb County Schools officials determined that they did not have to close Valley Head School on Friday, but they will assess the situation throughout the day. The school was already set to be closed for the first half of next week for their scheduled fall break.
Thomas told WAAY 31 that some local doctors did report seeing some students from Collinsville High School and Geraldine High School, but not in numbers anywhere close to Valley Head School.
School officials started more proactive cleaning to work to cut down on the number of students who may get sick. They will conduct a deep sanitation when students are not in the school.