The Clifton Independent School District announced Tuesday it would close schools the rest of the week, Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, due to the large number of students who called out sick.

The district could not give an exact number of students absent, but the superintendent said approximately 18-percent of students were absent on Tuesday.

Classes were scheduled to resume on Monday, Feb. 5.

Clifton ISD consists of an elementary, middle and high school, serving approximately 1,000 students.

Clifton ISD is the latest district in Texas to cancel classes this flu season.

The district sent out the following letter:


Due to health concerns and increased student absences, all Clifton ISD campuses will be closed Wednesday, January 31-Sunday, Feb. 4. Classes will resume on Monday, Feb. 5.

Basketball games and Seussical practice are still scheduled for today, Tuesday, January 30. The Clifton Crazies will not be performing at tonight’s game.

Beginning Wednesday, January 31, ALL athletic events, practices and competitions have been canceled. Practices and games will resume as scheduled on Monday, February 5, Seussical practice will be canceled for the remainder of the work.

No outside groups should be on any CISD campuses for the remainder of the week. This includes Little Dribblers practices and/or games as well as open gym. The Clifton Crazies will not be practicing on Sunday.

We hope this will allow all Students, Faculty and Staff a time to recover from all the illness that has inundated CISD.

Channel 6 spoke to Clifton ISD parents who said they were glad the district was taking necessary steps to stop spread of the illness.

"I'm glad to see them take this step," Kay Patterson said. "I've heard of so many deaths and so many infections."

Clifton Middle School parent Alfonso Villa added, "We need to take care of our kids."

The latest numbers show 897 total cases of Flu A (H3N2) this flu season in Bell County.

During the week of Jan. 20, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District said there were 533 cases of the same strain of flu.

"We're not out of the woods, yet," Waco-McLennan County Public Health spokeswoman Kelly Craine said. "There's still plenty of flu virus around, still plenty of opportunities to get sick."

Flu season is expected to run through February, possibly into early March.