VALLEY, Ala. (WRBL) — Valley High School will transition to a virtual learning environment on Wednesday, Oct. 5, and Thursday, Oct. 6, according to the Chambers County School District (CCSD).

The CCSD came to this decision due to an outbreak of cold and flu viruses that led to an increase of student absences late last week.

On Sept. 29, 75 students and four staff members were absent. The next day, on Sept. 30, 158 students and seven staff members were absent.

The following week on Oct. 3, 150 students and five staff members were absent. On Oct. 4, 163 students and two staff members were absent.

The CCSD released the following statement on the outbreaks.

“Since it is always our desire to focus on the health and safety of our students and staff, we are announcing plans today to transition to virtual learning for both Wednesday and Thursday, October 5th and 6th at Valley High School. It is our hope that this brief transition to a virtual learning model at VHS will give us the opportunity to see the virus subside at the high school with the forty-eight hour break from campus. The two virtual learning days will allow us a break from face-to-face instruction to reduce the spread of the virus on our campus. Mrs. Groover, our testing director will reschedule the ACT WorkKeys for our 12th graders later this month.

Of course we in the CCSD are committed to traditional in-person instruction as the best medium for maximizing achievement levels for all of our students across Chambers County. We have considered all options to help reduce the recent surge of illnesses among both students and staff at VHS in order to quell the spread of cold and flu in our high school student body.”

The Chambers County School District

The CCSD went on to list their next steps in preventing further illness.

  • Promoting hand hygiene for both students and staff. (This would include stocking all hand sanitizer stations with adequate supplies and ensuring that stations are in the lunchroom and other vital areas for students to use).
  • School nurses will be collecting information on confirmed cases of flu for both students and staff.
  • Share reminders with both staff and students on flu-symptom recognition to reduce spread.
  • Symptoms include fever + 100, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Encouraging ill students to remain at home to ensure they are symptom free before returning to school.
  • Custodial staff will ensure that restrooms are stocked with soap with paper towels or working hand dryers.
  • Custodial staff and faculty will be supplied with wipes or disinfectant to ensure that frequently touched surfaces are being sanitized to reduce transmission.
  • Custodial staff will be encouraged to utilize disinfectant foggers in classrooms after dismissal to provide extra protection for sanitizing classrooms to prevent the spread of transmission.

Along with this, CCSD is partnering with Health Heroes (HNH Immunizations Inc.) to offer free flue vaccines on Tuesday, Oct. 11. Parents will be sent forms to authorize their child’s participation.