OPHS attendance below bronze

Attendance in schools below due to flu season

The months of January and February are peak flu and cold season according to the Ventura County Star. Schools, like Oak Park High School, have seen an increase in missed days due to the number of students home sick.

“It was a bad month with the germs and students just being sick,” Stew McGugan, Director of Student Support and School Safety, said.

In the month of January, Oak Park High School’s monthly attendance rate was 95.91 percent. This is two percent down from January 2018. In January 2018, Oak Park High School had “silver” ranked attendance. Now, high school attendance is below the “bronze” rank.

The attendance for the Oak Park Unified School District is broken down into four levels. Each is associated with a monthly bonus for each school — 99 percent attendance is platinum, 98 percent is gold, 97 percent is silver and 96 percent is bronze.

“The month of December was a good month for all of the schools and January and February have not been as good. It has just been a horrible season with students being sick,” McGugan said.

None of the schools in district received bonuses for attendance in the month of January. Medea Creek Middle School and Red Oak and Oak Hills Elementary had bronze level attendance, which does not earn money for the schools, and the rest of schools were below bronze.

“It is disappointing but understandable given the flu season we have had this year,” OPHS Assistant Principal Jason Meskis said.

The flu season in 2019 in Ventura County has accounted for five deaths and the season is expected to run through April.

“It runs its course in about two weeks. There’s nothing you can do about it,” Levin said in an interview with the Ventura County Star.

According to McGugan, this year has been positive for Oak Park High School in regards to overall attendance. The lowered attendance has been due to the deadly flu and cold season of 2019.
“It is a very busy time right now — our peak illness season,” Oak Park Pediatrics wrote to the Talon.