Gooding charter school temporarily closed due to widespread illness

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GOODING, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — North Valley Academy charter school in Gooding will be closed Thursday and Friday due to widespread illness in the student body.

"We were ranging anywhere from 12 percent gone up to 20 percent gone," said Jeff Klamm, school principal.

The K-12 school has just over 200 kids, and with such a large percentage sick he said it wasn't a great situation for learning.

"When you have six or seven students missing in a class you have lots of reteaching to do, it's not giving all the students the best opportunity to learn," he said.

The illness hasn't stayed with the students, with many of the teachers also catching whatever was going around and calling out sick.

"You only have so many subs," Klamm said. "So I was utilizing all of our subs and we figured it was time."

Klamm said he went to the school board and together they decided giving everyone the extra two days to rest was the best decision.

"We just want everybody to be in a classroom to be well," he said.

Klamm taught at North Valley for six years before taking over as principal and he said the decision isn't one the school makes often.

"In those seven years total we've never canceled for illness and I just, it was that time that we needed to," he said.

While the students are home the school is using the time to hire a cleaning crew.

"We're going to clean every classroom, clean all of our locker rooms, our hallways get everything sanitized,' Klamm said.

They also contacted the bus company and will have all the buses cleaned.

He said this will hopefully also remind students who are sick that they shouldn't come to school and spread those germs.

"I want those kids to get better before they infect other students,' Klamm said. "I just think that's important for everyone to know."

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