Longwood school closes for deep cleaning because of flu outbreak

In letter to parents, Sweetwater Episcopal Academy cites ‘increasing number of flu cases’

LONGWOOD, Fla. – Sweetwater Episcopal Academy in Longwood closed its doors for two days while crews conducted a deep cleaning on campus.

According to a statement from school officials, the closure came this week after an increase in the number of students reported absent from Friday to Monday. Administrators did not list a possible reason for the absences, but in a letter to parents obtained by News 6, the school cited an “increasing number of flu cases.”

“Sweetwater Episcopal Academy values our children and their health and well-being above all things. We have seen an increase in the number of students absent today from Friday. Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to be proactive and close the school for a professional deep cleaning on Tuesday and Wednesday,” a statement released to the media said.

In the letter to parents, the school cited the flu as the reason for the deep cleaning.

"Note to parents:

"As we all know flu season is hitting Central Florida pretty hard this year. It is always our priority to keep our SEA community healthy and safe. Due to the increasing number of flu cases at the school, we have decided to take proactive measures to keep everyone healthy. We will be closing school on Tuesday, January 28 and Wednesday, January 29* to perform an intensive deep cleaning of the school and air out all the classrooms. We also need our parents to be vigilant and considerate, if your child is feeling lethargic, complaining of headaches, coughing, sneezing or running a low-grade fever, please keep them home. As our school policy indicates.

"Policy: Under the Attendance/Absences section of the student handbook:

"A student may not attend school if he/she has a fever or contagious illness. Students who exhibit fever or vomiting may not return to class for 24 hours after the fever has ended and without the aid of fever reducing medication. A student may return to school after 24 hours of starting an antibiotic with most common bacterial infections. Parents must notify the teacher when a child is absent. If your child is absent for 3 days in a row, a doctor’s note is required and is to be given to your homeroom teacher.

"*Due to the two day closure, the 100 day of school for K4 & K will be rescheduled, as will the Teacher Parent Conference day. Teachers will reach out to parents individually to reschedule parent conference times.

“Working together and being considerate of each other will ensure that our community remains healthy during this flu season.”

The academy, which teaches kindergarten through eighth grade, was scheduled to reopen Thursday.

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