HAZEN, N.D. - Doctors are warning of a harsher flu season than last year, and some North Dakota school districts are already suffering. It may not be unusual for a larger district to have several students out sick on the same day. But in a smaller one like Beulah, having dozens out is a very big deal.
Eighty children missed school on Monday, and administrators suspect the reason is the flu. It can be difficult to keep schools germ free, but Andrew Horn tells us the Hazen district is clearing away germs by putting them in a fog.
All it takes is a little water, a packet of chemicals, a little spin with some UV light and Hazen schools maintenance director Todd Parker can help keep kids in school.
"So far we've had a lot less kids out of school than in the past,” said Parker.
Keeping the kids in school is more than an education issue- it's money according to Superintendent Ken Miller
"We're not going to get paid by the state if our kids aren't in school. So we took a look at this machine and we figured that the $4,000 cost would pay for itself in a short period of time,” said Miller.
And Miller says that machine is working. Fewer students are missing school.
"Right now we have 112 of our students that still have perfect attendance in our school district. That's 25 percent of our kids,” said Miller.
Parker knows that those numbers will go up and down. He's doing what he can to keep them down. Miller says 21 of the district's 446 students were out of school on Tuesday because of illness.