The continued surge in COVID-19 cases amid the surge of the omicron variant has caused schools across the United States to amend plans for students to return to in-person instruction after winter break.
Approximately 3,713 K-12 schools across the United States will be closed for in-person instruction this week, with some switching to virtual schooling. Some of the school districts will be closed for part of this week to give time for the post-winter break transmission rates to die down, and others will remain closed throughout the whole week.
In some areas, like Atlanta, students did not return to virtual instruction on Monday, with the school district announcing it would switch to virtual once all students had access to laptops.
One of the major reasons for school opening disruptions is staffing shortages. Since December and earlier, schools across the country have struggled with a lack of teachers, custodians, support staff and bus drivers due to COVID-19.
Even substitute teachers are in short supply, as Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer last week signed legislation allowing non-teacher school staff to substitute when teachers are out.
Nicole Capsello, president of the Syracuse Teachers Association, told NBC the staffing shortage is affecting students. “The longer kids are out of school, the harder it is for them to acclimate when they come back in,” Capsello said. “They just want kids to come to school. They just want school to be normal, and it’s not happening right now.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ABC NEWS
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