Vernon, TX (TNN) - Vernon ISD maintenance crews cleaned and fumigated all the district’s schools after a flu and strep throat outbreak closed them down on Friday.
It is the third North Texas Texoma school district to close due to widespread illness this year.
Superintendent Jeff Byrd said more than 100 students and dozens of teachers called out Thursday. Byrd said just two campuses alone would have needed at least 30 substitute teachers.
“We predicted we would have more staff out today with fewer substitutes available," Byrd said.
“We had up to 13 staff out yesterday," Blaise Boswell Vernon Middle School Principal said. "We were two substitute teachers short. We were going into today possibly going even shorter.”
In order to prevent another outbreak, the maintenance crews fumigated the schools with hydro peroxide sprays purchased last year, when the district closed for the same reason.
Last year, the district used a cleaning company from Lubbock to clean its schools.
“We used Germblast," Byrd said. "They did a phenomenal job but by the time we paid for them to travel, the cost of three or four of their employees to be here one, two or three days at a hotel room while they spray everything is just astronomical. It was literally three-quarters of a teacher’s salary.”
Byrd said that was the reason the district purchased its own equipment and disinfectants.
“We are hoping that it is just as good but from a financial standpoint we can spray the district five to 10 times ourselves,” Byrd said.
This is the second time the district has used the sprays in the last month. Byrd said the long term plans are to use the spray more often such as in the middle of the fall semester, between Christmas and Spring Break as well as at the end of the school year.
Byrd said he expects classes to be back in session on Monday.