The teachers of U.S They are teaching in semi-empty classrooms in which up to half of the students are absent because they have been exposed to COVID-19 or because their families keep them at home to avoid contagion.
These widespread absences have only exacerbated the difficulties for students to stay on track in their studies for another school year affected by the pandemic.
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In the nation’s largest district, attendance is so low that New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday reversed his pledge to keep kids in schools, saying he would consider authorizing it to be go back to teaching some form virtually.
“This is really affecting learning. If one day you have three children in your class and you are supposed to be 12, you have to go back to teaching everything two weeks later, when those children return ”, said Tabatha Rosproy, a teacher from Olathe, Kansas, and America’s Teacher of the Year in 2020.
Some of the nation’s largest school systems report absentee rates of 20% or slightly more, and certain campuses have much higher percentages of absent students.
Clark County schools in Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, typically have 90% attendance, but that number has dropped to 83%. In Seattle, attendance has averaged 81% since returning from winter break. Los Angeles public schools reported the absence of nearly 30% of the district’s more than 600,000 students on Tuesday — the first day of school after vacation.
In New York, roughly 76% of the city’s nearly 1 million public school students were in class on Wednesday, with some schools reporting that more than half of their students had been absent.
Adnan Bhuiyan, 17, has been one of seven or eight students present in classes that normally have a total of 30 students at the Bronx Latin School. Much of the first week after the holidays was spent on free periods, wondering why he was there.
Students who have been given COVID-19 diagnostic tests to take home have used them and tested positive at school, he said, and many are nervous about being exposed.
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