MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Concern over the flu is rampant at one elementary school where nearly half the kids were home sick Friday.

The principal at Alice Smith Elementary School in Hopkins sent a note to parents, warning them of the high number of students out sick. Now some parents are concerned about sending their kids back to class.

The Aydt kids stayed home sick all week with the flu — runny noses, sore throats, sneezing and coughing.

“I just don’t want to get sick again and I don’t want to get anyone else sick,” Izzy Aydt said.

Their mother now hesitates thinking about sending them back to Alice Smith.

“I’m worried that there could be another strain that they could pick up and we miss more time and that they just get run down again,” Jodi Aydt said.

She works at the school and has seen the illness firsthand. Early in the week, 11 percent of students were out sick. By Friday, the number had risen to 49 percent, or roughly 250 students.

“That they all seem to have the same symptoms — the runny nose, the cough, extremely tired, loss of appetite — there’s still kids coming back to school maybe not 100 percent better,” Jodi Aydt said.

The school has cancelled field trips and a dance to minimize the spread, and every night the building is being scrubbed down. Educators hope the long President’s Day weekend will do the trick.

Jodi Aydt plans to play it safe with her kids.

“I just feel that more parents, including myself, need to take the time to just let them rest completely,” she said.

The Minnesota Department of Health does not recommend closing a school to prevent the spread of the flu. An instance where it would close is if too many teachers are out sick and the school is unable to staff it.


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