Sherwood elementary charter school closes after almost 150 students sick with flu

SHERWOOD, Ark. — A charter elementary school in Sherwood is closing its doors Thursday and Friday after dozens of kids are out with the flu.

Lisa Academy North in Sherwood is a school of about 680 students. 

On Wednesday, about 146 kids called in sick with the flu.

“We are slightly over 20 percent of our population currently out,” Elementary Principal Bethany Ratermann said.

Ratermann said the school will be closed Thursday and Friday. Instead, kids will have AMI days both days.

“That way all of our students are still leaning online,” she said.

This way, the school can be thoroughly sanitized. Crews will come in and use special equipment to clean.

“Underneath the desks, underneath the chairs, the legs of the chairs, so anywhere viruses that can be hiding, it’s going to be coating,” Ratermann said.

Natalie Stanton, the school nurse, had dozens of kids come into her office Wednesday with flu-like symptoms.

“Around fifty or so,” Stanton said.

Symptoms included stomachaches and headaches.

“Which you wouldn’t typically see with the flu, but that’s usually becoming the first indicator,” she said.

Most of them were sent home.

“I think this year, just with the particular strain everyone seems to be diagnosed with, I think it’s hitting everybody pretty hard,” Stanton said.

Another two schools in Northwest Arkansas are also closed for the next two days. School is back open Monday with hopefully more kids in the seats.

“So, we need to shut it down, get everything clean and make sure everyone is back and healthy,” Ratermann said.

Only the elementary school is closed. All other LISA Academy schools will be open in the next two days.

Doctors say it is still not too late to get a flu shot.

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