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Niskayuna's Birchwood school to close Friday due to high level of illness

Niskayuna's Birchwood school to close Friday due to high level of illness

Districts reports 'many confirmed cases of the flu'
Niskayuna's Birchwood school to close Friday due to high level of illness
Photographer: Gazette File Photo

Birchwood Elementary School in Niskayuna will be closed Friday because of a significant number of student illnesses, Niskayuna school district officials announced Thursday.

A note sent to parents and posted on the school district website said the school had a large number of absences this week, including "many confirmed cases of the flu."

"We recognize that this is an inconvenience, but our primary concern is the health and wellness of all students and staff," Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. wrote in the note.

Tangorra said the school closure would give custodial staff a chance to thoroughly clean the building and eliminate germs. He said he hoped a long weekend would help stem the spread of illness and that the district planned to open the school Monday. 

The note also urged parents to keep sick students home for at least 24 hours after the fever has gone. 

The district's other buildings were scheduled to open Friday. 

"We understand that this unplanned closure is not ideal, but feel it is necessary for the health of students and staff," Tangorra wrote.

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