Teachers face tough decisions as Omicron sends attendance rates plummeting

An empty desk in a classroom
(Image credit: smolaw11/iStock)

Since classes resumed earlier this month, U.S. schools have seen abnormally low attendance rates as the Omicron variant infects or spooks huge numbers of students, staff, and parents, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

According to the Journal, attendance rates in New York City are down from over 91 percent before the pandemic to less than 70 percent since classes resumed at the beginning of 2022. Boston Public Schools have seen similar drop-offs in attendance. In Chicago, the rate of absenteeism stood at about 15 percent before winter break, but around a third of students stayed home on the first day of the new semester.

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