More than 230 students absent from Wrightsboro Elementary

More than 200 students were not in class at Wrightsboro Elementary on Tuesday, according to a New Hanover County Schools spokesperson.
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 1:52 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2022 at 6:19 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - More than 200 students were not in class at Wrightsboro Elementary on Tuesday, according to a New Hanover County Schools spokesperson.

A total of 231 students were absent from the school on Tuesday. The school reported 193 absences Monday, and 89 students were out last Friday. There also were 35 staff members absent Monday.

According to the N.C. School Report Card, the school had 469 students enrolled for the 2021-22 school year.

“Several factors go into attendance, so there is no way of knowing if all of these are out due to illness,” a school system spokesperson said. “These numbers are only for students marked absent for illness/injury, doctor appointments, or unexcused.”

While the exact reason for each of these absences is unclear, New Hanover County Assistant Health Director Carla Turner says the county has seen viruses including the flu, COVID-19, and RSV spread through schools and other parts of the county in recent weeks.

“Our school nurses keep track of what’s happened in the schools. And so, if a classroom or a grade level or whatever has started seeing a significant or an increased more than the normal number of students out, they’ll work with the school nurse and we will start making phone calls. We’ll get a list of everybody who is absent and we’ll start making phone calls and kind of see what’s going on,” Turner said.

As these viruses spread through the community, health officials stress the importance of staying cautious during the winter months.

“In things like doorknobs and things that have lots of hands-on all the time, you need to wipe those down a little more frequently, just because those viruses can live a little while on, you know, inanimate objects,” said Turner. “So, if somebody is sneezing on their hand, and then they go out the door, and then I come back and go out the door and then I scratch my eye. I may have just, you know, exposed myself to something.”

The New Hanover County Pandemic Operations Center offers COVID-19 vaccines. To view a list of appointment times, click here.