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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For the second Friday in a row, Jefferson County Public Schools faced a significant number of teacher absences. 

A district spokeswoman said there were 703 teacher absences, which is 200 more than average and about 75 more than last Friday, which was Good Friday.

The district was unable to find replacements for 85 of those absent teachers. In those situations, principals can have other certified staff in the building to cover the absences, or have teachers rotate through during their planning periods.

Today was originally scheduled as a day off in JCPS, but the district used it as one of five bad weather makeup days. In addition, it's the last day before Spring Break.

JCPS has approximately 6,000 teachers. On average about 500 are absent each day.

One school that did not have any teacher absences Friday was Carrithers Middle School, which tweeted "We love our teachers at CMS! 100% teacher attendance the day before spring break!"

Brent McKim, president of the Jefferson County Teachers Association, told WDRB News that some teachers may have scheduled Friday as one of their three personal days off, but adds that the district only allows a certain percentage of teachers off on any particular day.

"Even though there is a large number of teachers absent today, it doesn’t mean that they are using their leave inappropriately," he said.

However, McKim added that JCTA encourages "all of our members to use their sick leave days appropriately."

"The inappropriate use of sick days can result in significant consequences, including termination," he said.

In addition to teachers, JCPS says 130 bus drivers were also out today, but no routes were left uncovered. On average, about 120 are absent each day for a variety of reasons.

As of 2 p.m., JCPS officials were still gathering the number of student absences for the day.


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