DPS cancels school Thursday, Friday

Seventh-grade+students+fill+the+hallways+as+Duncan+Middle+School+dismisses+for+the+day.+Students+will+be+out+Thursday+and+Friday+because+of+an+increase+in+illnesses.

Charly Heath

Seventh-grade students fill the hallways as Duncan Middle School dismisses for the day. Students will be out Thursday and Friday because of an increase in illnesses.

By Finley Davis and Emily Hallford

Because of COVID-19, the flu and other sicknesses, Duncan Public Schools is canceling school for the next two days.

A total of 166 students were out today, and 21 staff members were out. Yesterday, 128 students were out for various reasons, ranging from illness to COVID exposure to an Academic Team meet.

In 2018, Duncan Middle School canceled classes on a Friday because of a high number of flu cases. In fact, the day before 150 students were absent.

But this time around, things have been more widespread across the school district.

“At this time, it’s what’s best because of all the sicknesses and everything going around,” Assistant Principal Christy Glasscock said. “The custodians will have time to clean the school, and everyone can have time to rest.”

The two days off will lead into Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is also a day off for students and teachers. The custodial staff were originally supposed to work Monday, but it’s unknown whether they will still be expected to be there.

Thursday and Friday will be days off for students and teachers, and no one will be allowed in the school buildings. Additionally, all school activities, including the upcoming wrestling tournament this weekend, have been canceled through next week.

On Tuesday, Lawton Public Schools made its announcement about moving to distance learning because an increase in sickness throughout its district. Other school districts across the state have made similar moves of either moving to distance learning or canceling classes for the next few days.

Assistant Principal Tim Hightower said he hopes the two additional days off school will be enough to give students and teachers a chance to recuperate and improve attendance numbers.

“I think kids need to be in school, but there are so many kids and staff out so it’s for the best,” Hightower said. “Hopefully, we will be back to full capacity whenever we come back to school on Tuesday.”

This story was originally published on Demon Direct on January 12, 2022.