BALDWIN -- Baldwin Community Schools were closed Tuesday and Wednesday for deep cleaning after the school district was faced with many student and staff illnesses over the past week.

According to Baldwin Superintendent Rick Heitmeyer, the school district's attendance rate had dropped to 82% Friday with no hopes of improving.

"I was hopeful over the weekend that people would recover," he said, adding that the student attendance rate typically is above 90%.

However, after about eight students were sent home Monday, a decision was made to close the schools for two days to allow students to recover.

"It's not something we wanted to do, but we decided it would be for the best," Heitmeyer said. "Our numbers weren't improving."

While the schools were closed, Heitmeyer said a cleaning crew would be coming through to clean door handles, drinking fountains and other surfaces that frequently come in contact with germs.

"We decided we just need to shower the building really well," Heitmeyer said.

During this two-day cleaning period, all after school activities were canceled to keep staff and students out of the building while schools were thoroughly cleaned.

Heitmeyer said while he is hopeful the two-day break will allow sick staff and students enough time to recover, those who are ill should stay home to prevent the spreading of germs.

Classes and after school activities will resume as usual today.