A Pennsylvania school district is moving to remote learning after dozens of students and staff fell ill this week.

The Charleroi Area School District is leveraging precedents set during the pandemic to address the recent flu outbreak.

Charleroi closed its elementary, middle, and high schools on Thursday. It shifted to virtual learning until Monday in hopes of slowing a flu outbreak that sent 81 elementary students to the nurse’s office on Wednesday.

More than 30 of those students went home, while some were hospitalized, KDKA reports.

“The turning point was when the elementary school nurse had called me yesterday and said she needed to see me immediately. That was approximately 10 a.m.” on Wednesday, Superintendent Ed Zelich told the news site.

“We just got our administrative team together and made a decision, and it was a tough decision,” he said. “But we know it was the right one to protect our students and staff.”

“When you get 80 students visiting the office and over 30 are going home prior to noon, we have an issue,” Zelich said, adding that the situation is the worst he’s witnessed in a decade with the district.

In addition to students, cooks and custodians also went home sick this week, KDKA reports.

Students in the Washington County district transitioned to virtual learning for Thursday and Friday, and Zelich said he doesn’t expect the situation to significantly impact student learning.

“We felt that 24 to 48 hours plus the weekend gave us nearly 72 hours,” he said. “I believe that at least to catch our breath, to protect our children, to protect our staff and take a look at it, but our goal is to be back on Monday.”

“We understand this change may cause inconvenience, but we are committed to providing a quality virtual learning experience,” Zelich wrote in a notice to parents, according to WPXI.

Many parents who commented on the notice on the district’s Facebook page expressed frustrations with both the temporary transition and school attendance policies they believe contributed to the outbreak.

“The school district needs to stop threatening parents with truancy charges for keeping our sick kids home, maybe then they wouldn’t be closing the school down because parents are forced to send their sick children to school,” Brittney Guyaux wrote. “Quit telling parents how to parent. We know what’s best for our children!”

“Hey a little more notice would’ve been great … less than 24 hours to say hey kids go remote stay home,” Jeffrey Nicholson added. “What a joke.”

Several parents complained that the transition to online learning was less than smooth.

“How do I get ahold of my son’s teacher?” Ashley Ziemba wrote. “He don’t even have anything on his computer to do attendance.”

“What if the child has a sub this week? There is no ‘live’ available, no Google meet options, no numbers for support,” Deena Marie added. “I’ve been trying since 10 a.m. and have gotten nowhere.”