UME Prep Academy in Duncanville will reopen Friday after closing its doors on Wednesday and Thursday due to a large number of students absent from illness.

After 20 percent of the school s 352 K-8 students missed class Monday, administrators made the call to cancel classes, said Brance Barker, the dean of business for the school.

We were concerned abou the health and well-being of our students, Barker said. With 1 out of 5 students absent, we decided to close the school the next day until the illness passed through.

If 15 percent of students would have to miss school due to bad weather, a school can call a bad weather day according to Texas Education Agency guidelines, Barker said. Since the number of sick students exceeded the minimum, adminstrators decided to close.

Administrators asked parents to keep their students at home if they weren't free from a fever for at least 24 hours. Many parents said their student would not be well enough to return so the adminsitrators decided to close the school.

The facility has been cleaned and disinfected.

Some parents did question why the school closed, but most appreciated the school s measures, Barker said.

This is the school s first year in exsitance and is in a new facility, Barker said. Classrooms are used for mulitple classes of varying ages rather than one grade level being contained to a certain area and students transition around the school often.

For some students this is their first time in a school setting, some of them their immune systems are trying to build up, Barker said.
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