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Eastern Kentucky school districts closed for illness

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Samantha Morrill
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At least two eastern Kentucky school districts are closed Monday and Tuesday for illness. Perry County Schools and Harlan Independent Schools extended the Thanksgiving break to allow students and staff time to recover from respiratory illnesses like the flu, RSV and COVID.

Harlan Independent Schools were also closed on Friday, taking three NTI days to cover the time away from the classroom. Superintendent Charles Morton said the flu season hit early.

“You have to respond when you have to respond and it feels like right now we have to respond and we’ll just make decisions later based on the impact of that. Historically looking, we rarely have ever used all ten of our NTI days. So, we’re hopeful. But we do recognize this is very early in the winter season,” said Morton.

Morton said the holiday is helping them avoid having to take additional NTI days.

“Clearly the Thanksgiving break comes at a really good time. So our hope and prayer is that all of our students, faculty and community will be healthy when they come back on Monday, the 28,” said Morton.

Morton explained that the attendance rate had fallen into the low 80 percent range. The superintendent added that it was becoming difficult to find substitute teachers to cover for staff who were out sick.

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Samantha is WEKU's All Things Considered Host and also reports on news of interest in the commonwealth. Sam is a graduate of Morehead State University and worked for MSU's Public Radio Station WMKY.
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