FIFE LAKE — A flare-up of illnesses running through the student body and staff at Forest Area Community Schools will shutter the district for the next two days.

Forest Area Superintendent Josh Rothwell alerted parents and families Wednesday afternoon that school is canceled Thursday and Friday because of illness.

Rothwell said it is not in the best interest of students and teachers to continue school.

“We’re running about 80 percent, right now, of students in attendance,” Rothwell said. “To make matters worse, I have a huge number of staff members that are really struggling to get through the day today and yesterday. I’ve got a few that are here because we just don’t have any subs.”

Rothwell said he believes it is the flu along with sore throats and heavy coughs that are keeping people out. Five teachers were out Wednesday, and Rothwell said there were another six to eight teachers and support staff who were in attendance but not feeling well.

“It’s a whole conglomeration of stuff,” he said.

Operating at 80 percent or less doesn’t lend itself to effective instruction, Rothwell said. Almost a quarter of the elementary school students are currently out sick.

All home events as well as SAT prep for students, which was scheduled for Saturday, have been canceled. The middle school spelling bee is rescheduled to Feb. 11.

Rothwell said the plan is to reopen Monday for classes.

“Cleaning crew is going to be working the next two days and through the weekend to get everything situated here and let people get on the mend,” Rothwell said.

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