The school closed all of last week at the recommendation of the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, says Headmaster Bob Dawkins.
If the Academy didn’t hear back from DHEC, the school was OK to reopen today, Dawkins says.
“And we didn’t hear differently, so we’re here,” Dawkins says.
After some students were infected with the swine flu virus following a senior class trip to Cancun in mid-April, Dawkins says those students are back and better.
“As far as I know, they’re all well now,” Dawkins says. “I had a room full of seniors this morning.”
Statewide, Newberry County hosts the largest number of both confirmed and probable swine-flu cases with 15 and four respectively.
Next-door county Laurens has the next-highest total with one confirmed and three probable cases. Newberry and Laurens have the only confirmed cases statewide.
“The 16 people who have the virus are all associated in some way with a recent school trip to Mexico,” says Dr. Jerry Gibson, chief of DHEC’s Bureau of Disease Control.
The other South Carolina “probables” are in Greenville (2), Anderson (1), Fairfield (1) and Charleston (1), reports DHEC.
Nationwide, 35 states are reporting confirmed cases of swine flu, and the total number in the U.S. is 245.
As far as missed time, Dawkins says the Academy’s school state association requires 175 school days, but Dawkins always schedules 180 days.
But with five missed days last week and two missed “snow days,” the school will extend math and science instruction into elective time, cutting band, study hall and chorus.
“We’ve made those periods longer, so that by the end of the school year they will have gotten the necessary time in those classes,” says Dawkins.
The school didn’t want to schedule classes on a Saturday or postpone graduation, Dawkins says.
Dawkins and Academy teachers, who wanted to be in school mid-week last week, are glad to be back.
“They’re glad to be here and we’ve got work to do,” the headmaster said this morning.