Crothersville closes school today because of illness



Students and staff at Crothersville Community Schools will have today off, not because of winter weather, but due to extensive student and staff illness.

Adam Robinson, principal of the junior-senior high school, said he had nearly 35 students out Wednesday and the elementary school had around 60 students out.

Plus, seven staff members called in sick Thursday morning, and a couple others went home because they weren’t feeling well. Elementary Principal Drew Markel is among those who are sick.

After Robinson talked to Markel and Superintendent Terry Goodin, they decided it was best to cancel classes today. School will resume its normal schedule Monday.

“Hopefully, we’re hitting the peak of it,” Robinson said of the number of absences because of illness. “Our custodians are going to come in and disinfect every nook and cranny. Hopefully Monday when we get back, we’ll be over the hump. This is a rare occurrence, and we’re just looking out for the best interest of our students and trying to stop any other sicknesses from going on.”

Tonight’s junior varsity and varsity boys basketball games at home against Lanesville are still on as scheduled.

Robinson said the most prevalent illness is the flu, primarily Type B. According to, there are three types of flu viruses: A, B and C. Types A and B cause the annual influenza epidemics that have up to 20% of the population sniffling, aching, coughing and running high fevers. Type C also causes flu; however, the symptoms are much less severe.

Type B flu may cause a less severe reaction than Type A, but occasionally, Type B can still be extremely harmful, according to the website. Type B viruses are not classified by subtype and do not cause pandemics.

“We’re starting to see strep throat kind of come back, as well,” Robinson said of the schools’ recent absences.

Once a school goes above 20% absences, it has to be reported to the Indiana Department of Education, Robinson said.

“I’m not at 20%. It’s close. I’m like at 17 to 18%,” he said. “I do know that Mr. Markel has been reporting to the Department of Education that he’s over 20%.”

When staff members call in sick, administrators have to find substitutes. Robinson said some of the substitutes haven’t been able to work because they are sick, too.

“We’re running into a situation where you have so many classes, can you get them covered?” he said.

Fortunately, he was able to find enough substitutes to cover for the absences in recent days.

Since starting at Crothersville in 2005, Robinson said he doesn’t remember a time when school had to be canceled because of illness.

“We’re being hit hard, not only from the student aspect, but from the staff aspect, too,” he said. “The sickness is hitting Crothersville pretty good.”

Today will be made up with an eLearning day, but that date hasn’t been announced.

“Fortunately, we’ve had a very mild winter, and we have a plethora of days,” Robinson said. “This will be an easy schedule and an easy makeup.”

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