Illness closes Suffolk Christian Academy three days in a row

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Suffolk Christian Academy was closed Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday after students and staff called out sick.

Headmaster Tamra VanDorn told 10 On Your Side that several students went to the office with fevers and had to be sent home Monday. In total, about 40 kids were going to be out sick on Tuesday, so VanDorn canceled school for both Tuesday and Wednesday, due to school policy.

“We do have strict policies and if a student does have a fever or is sick on their tummy, they cannot come back to school until 24 hours of their last episode,” she told 10 On Your Side.

VanDorn says there isn’t one specific illness going around. Some kids have flu-like symptoms, but others aren’t contagious — they stayed home with sinus infections, ear infections, or exhaustion a nagging cough. However, with a school of just 214 kids and 40 staff, a few little things can cause a full shutdown.

“It was a perfect little storm of different situations,” VanDorn said.

By Wednesday afternoon, VanDorn was hoping to reopen for Thursday’s classes but she said 12 staff members called out sick, and two had planned days off. She could not find qualified replacements for that many employees, and had to close again.

“I did have to cancel because I wanted to have proper supervision and safety in place and have the right people with the right credentials in each area of the school,” she said.

VanDorn said rooms on campus would be disinfected. School is set to be open on Friday.