Flu Could Affect FCAT Testing

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The weekend is here, and for many students in Leon County that means: rest up for next week’s FCAT.

“This test to me means passing or not. It is very important for our school and how it looks upon our school," said 10th grader Michelle Browning.

School officials have been preparing for months, but now in the days before administrators are concerned because many students are out with the flu.

“It just concerns us when we’re running at 15 percent absentee rate. That means we have an 85 percent attendance rate and that’s not good, especially if that continues next week," said the executive director of secondary schools, Merry Ortega.

Dr. Ruth Hobbs who works with health and nursing services for the schools encourages parents and students to take it easy.

“Make sure their children get plenty of rest, eat well, observe those hygiene measures, washing hands and just try to be at school bright and early Monday morning.”

Unlike others, Leon High School Principal Rocky Hanna says fortunately the flu hasn’t hit his school too hard, but for the students there who do have the bug, he says go ahead and take the time needed to get well.

“If they’re sick we’d rather have them miss Monday, get some rest, get well, get some vitamins or antibiotics in them and get them here by the end of the week and we can do a makeup then."

In order for a school to be eligible for an "A" grade, the school must have 95 percent of their students in attendance on test day. If students end up staying home sick, there are a few scheduled make-up days.