By Bob Uphues
An outbreak of the flu among students at Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park has caused officials at the high school to dismiss students early on Monday and to cancel classes Tuesday and Wednesday.
The administration contacted parents by both email and automated phone message late Monday morning to alert them about the flu outbreak. According to one school official, students are exhibiting both respiratory flu and stomach flu symptoms.
"The flu bug has hit our school in record-breaking numbers," the email states. "A heavy volume of the student body is home sick today with many more fighting to be in class but actually not feeling well enough to stay."
According to Principal Deborah Tracy, about 25 percent of the student body was out with the flu Monday, with additional students going home sick during the morning. In addition, 10 adult staff members also were out sick Monday, she said.
Officials decided to cancel an all-school Mass this afternoon and send students home at 2 p.m. on Monday. Classes will resume on Thursday, Dec. 11.
"We feel it is necessary to present a plan that will hopefully allow everyone to get the rest and relief they need while we manage a more thorough disinfection of the school building," the email to parents states.
All after-school activities have been canceled, including a choir concert scheduled for Tuesday night. The choir concert will now be held on Thursday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m., prior to a band concert.
Sports practices also have been canceled for Monday and Tuesday, but may resume Wednesday if coaches feel their athletes are healthy.
In addition, an eighth-grade algebra honors class that meets in the mornings will be canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Officials believe that the semester exam schedule will not be affected by the class cancellations. Students are urged to keep informed about exam review via Edline and the Nazareth email system.