Moulton Elementary, Moulton Middle and Speake Elementary schools reopened Monday after closings were announced last week due to flu outbreaks. 

Lawrence County Superintendent Jon Bret Smith announced the closings of the two Moulton schools on Tuesday, Feb. 5 after 61 flu cases were confirmed among the two schools. 

Moulton Elementary and Moulton Middle schools had reported that 36 percent of each school’s students were counted absent before the school closures were announced last week, according to Head School Nurse Sherry McWhorter.

She said Moulton Elementary reported total absenteeism of 12 percent as of Tuesday, Feb. 12, and Moulton Middle reported total absenteeism of eight percent.

“Speake closed Thursday and Friday,” she said. “We are still seeing the flu. It’s not going to go away in a week, but numbers are improving.”

McWhorter said Speake had reported total absenteeism at 17 percent as of Tuesday, which was slightly better than the 25 percent that was reported last week. She said she believes Speake’s numbers are lagging because the school closed later in the week than the Moulton schools, but she expects to see Speake’s absenteeism continue to decline as well. 

She said each school disinfected their facilities thoroughly during the days of closure.

“We are continuing to monitor absenteeism and flu reports on a daily basis,” she said. “I encourage parents to follow the school guidelines concerning absences due to illness and flu cases.”

Smith posted additional guidelines to Facebook last week. “If your doctor has only excused your child for two or three days due to the flu, please call your school to have the days extended to five,” he stated. “Please do your part and keep sick children at home for five days.”


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