McDade ISD closes schools due to flu outbreak

With school canceled, it was strangely quiet on the McDade ISD campus Thursday morning. Doors were opened only for work crews after superintendent Barbara Marchbanks decided drastic measures were needed to combat a flu outbreak.

"Snow day with Clorox is a good way to put it,” said Marchbanks.

McDade ISD has an enrollment of 377 students with 66 employees.

About 14% of the students are sick.

The hardest hit;  kids in Pre-K and Kindergarten, both with a little more than 30% out.

Students started getting sick earlier this week, according to Marchbanks. "Last week we had a few cases, but then Monday a few more, then Tuesday-Wednesday, yesterday, it hit us hard."

District employees will scrub down the entire complex for two full days.

First thing Thursday morning, buckets rolled in. Floors were mopped down, as well as every wall. Even the kitchen got a deep cleaning. "We're even doing ceilings and changing AC Filters too.,” said Operations director Terry Johnson.

The cleaning teams are confident the classrooms will be ready when the students return Monday. 

"We're not taking any chances,” said Johnson who believes the rooms will be 99.9% germ free. To improve the odds that the flu bug will be gone, every surface was also sprayed down with a disinfectant. 

The middle school basketball team was scheduled to have a game Thursday night here in this gym, but that game is canceled. The varsity team was scheduled to play here Friday night, that game will be played, but at the other school.

Bus No.11 will take the team to the game Friday.

It will be the first in the fleet to go through a wipe down. "When the bus gets back we are going to clean that bus again. It will be clean before it leaves and when it gets back,” said Johnson.

As a precaution every room cleaned Thursday will also go through a second cleaning on Friday. By treating each day like a snow day, the school district will not have to extend the school year.