HOLLISTER, Mo. — It’s flu season — and our neighbors in Arkansas are getting hit hard. 

Last month, school officials in some Arkansas districts made the decision to shut down for a couple of days in order to keep the virus from spreading.

“We’re able to see students at the very onset of flu symptoms,” said Dr. Sean Woods, Assistant Superintendent for Hollister Public Schools. 

The district has partnered with Jordan Valley Health Clinic, located on the school grounds. 

“We’re able to get them in…let them see a doctor. Get them treated very quickly,” Dr. Woods said.

That equates to fewer absences.

“The time between when a child is diagnosed with something and when a child is able to receive medication, that gap has been shortened. So, we’re able to make sure they get the treatment, said Dr. Woods, “They’re not missing school for doctor’s appointments. Our parents aren’t missing work for doctor’s appointments… and they’re able to spend more time in class.”

Teachers and other staff at the school are also allowed to take advantage of the on site health clinic — which has a Telmedicine Doctor and a Nurse Practioner on staff. Students also have supervised bathroom breaks to make sure hand washing takes place — and just in case those hands are not properly cleaned, virus killing disinfectants are used around the school. 

“We hit those high traffic areas.. like our door handles, our water fountains. Things that kids are going to come into contact with frequently,” said Dr. Woods.

With Grades K through 5, each classroom is flu fighting ready — equipped with a sink, soap and hand sanitizer.”  

Just in case a student must take a sick day, or two, Dr. Woods says the school has their back. 

“It doesn’t matter if they’re at home, or they’re at school, or if we need to spend extra time after school with students…we’re going to make sure they get everything they need in a timely manner,” Dr. Woods said.

Dr. Woods also said so far this season, they have a more than 90-percent attendance rate.