It’s hard to say that school was back in full swing last week. When classes resumed following winter break, somewhere between 10% to 20% of students in each of my classes were absent, roughly mirroring the amount of teachers who were also absent.
For students and teachers alike, many, though not all of the absences were related to the surge of the omicron variant. Some had either contracted or been exposed to Covid-19 and thus had to quarantine. Others who traveled for the holidays were left stranded when their flights were canceled due to airline staffing shortages – shortages caused by Covid.
The abundance of absences renewed the debate about how schools should operate. Should we march on with in-person learning, move to distance learning again or return to the blended model where students alternate between coming to school and staying home?
Each has advantages and disadvantages…