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Classes Cancelled In Shenandoah Valley

SHENANDOAH — Officials at a school in Schuylkill County say there were so many teachers and other staff who called in sick that classes had to be cancelled on Friday.

It was a difficult decision for the school superintendent.

For most of the morning, Shenandoah Valley school employees fielded questions from concerned parents. Classes were suddenly cancelled for 1,100 students.

Nicole Matsuk, a parent, said the move was confusing.

“We were all concerned, all the parents were calling we were calling everybody. I thought an epidemic with the whole school getting shut down. I didn’t know what was going on honestly.”

Matsuk’s son Andrew Kilkenny had the day off.

“They should have instead of making us go to school and making us walk home they should have gotten the call before we had to leave,”  Kilkenny said.

The classrooms were empty because 20 percent of the teachers were out.  Most called in sick.

That included the district’s two nurses.

Superintendent Stanley Rakowsky said they are the only ones that can hand out prescribed drugs to some students.

“Without having nurses, not only could we not give meds to the kids, but probably more problematic would be if an emergency would come up that would require trained medical assistance, that’s what put me over.”

That’s why Superintendent Rakowsky sprang into action. He used a computer which calls and informs parents and school board members what is going on in the district.

“My decision was not based on any emergency situation that occurred. The decision was a precautionary one,” Rakowsky explained.

School officials say they’re not sure how they will make up the day in the school calendar but they stress that graduation day will not be affected.

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