Sickness shutters Canistota School District

Sickness shutters Canistota School District
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:28 PM CST
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CANISTOTA, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As a variety of illnesses ran rampant through the Canistota School District during the week, administrators were forced to close down for the next five days.

“It was a sad decision that I had to make yesterday. I was disappointed but I felt it was the best thing to do for our staff, our students, and our families,” Sonja Ortman said, the superintendent for Canistota.

On Wednesday, 23% of the student body and staff were out with a variety of illnesses including COVID, influenza, and strep throat.

“I do have faith in the community that they will take it seriously because we really want to be in business, we want to be giving students the quality instruction that we’re supposed to be giving,” Ortman said.

“We don’t want to see COVID keep spreading around. If this is going to go away, everybody needs to be mindful,” Rochele Mcclung said, a parent of a freshman at Canistota.

With students and staff out of the building, deep cleaning is being done with a special 360 machine before everyone returns on Tuesday.

Sickness shutters Canistota School District
Sickness shutters Canistota School District(Cordell Wright)

“Everything is getting completely sanitized. There will not be a piece of bacteria or virus on any surface or even in the air,” Ortman said.

The school is not switching to online learning in the meantime.

“We really do make decisions based on our students’ well-being and trying to keep them safe is our number one goal, and also trying to provide them with the most engaging curriculum is our second goal of course,” Ortman said.

The school district has also been providing free at-home COVID tests to students provided by the state Department of Education.

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