The 2017-2018 flu season was so severe that around the country, entire school districts shut down. In Arkansas, one district shuttered its 10 schools when absenteeism quadrupled to 20%. In a Florida district, absenteeism reached 25%, and one-third of its 150 teachers called in sick. The Chicago suburbs, Montana mountain towns, Alabama cities, rural New York — all experienced school closures during the record-setting flu season.
But in the Caledonia-Mumford Central School District, near Rochester, New York, classrooms were full and humming.
“The flu season went on forever. It started early and ended later than usual, yet our student and staff attendance were better than the previous year,” recalls Bob Molisani, Caledonia-Mumford’s superintendent. “That was not common around here. Schools were closing due to sickness.”
It’s difficult to know why Caledonia-Mumford recorded stellar attendance during a dismal flu season, but Molisani points to one likely reason: the installation of WellAir air purification technology in all the district’s buildings.