BRANCH COUNTY — Dozens of schools across west Michigan have closed over the last two weeks due to illness, including Bronson Community Schools on Jan. 26 and Waldron Learning Center, Dorothy Legg and Pathways to Independence — schools within the Branch Intermediate School District — Wednesday and today.

During a shut-down for illness, the district’s janitorial services kick their cleaning into high gear, sanitizing individual rooms, hallways, bathrooms and more to rid the buildings of viruses.

How to determine a shut-down

If attendance dips below 75 percent for any given school day, the district cannot count it as an instructional day.

“We look at the percentage of students and staff absences,” BISD Superintendent Joseph Lopez said. “After discussing it with Darrin Adair (director of special education), it didn’t make sense to keep the school open. We need to let students and staff heal.”

Lopez said he hopes students can return Friday.