ARIZONA NEWS

Student absences rise in Phoenix-area school districts after winter break

Jan 10, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 9:46 am

PHOENIX — Students who returned to school from winter break last week may have noticed a lot of empty desks.

That’s because several school districts across the Phoenix metro area saw higher than normal student absentee rates.

The Cartwright Elementary School District in Phoenix reported about 20% of students were absent as classes resumed Monday.

That percentage dropped to about 15% on Tuesday and Wednesday and increased to 17% on Thursday. There’s no school on Fridays.

The absentee rates for teachers and staff were also up, but the district said it was covering classrooms adequately.

Veronica Sanchez, the district’s public relations director, told KTAR News 92.3 FM the absences were mostly due to COVID-19 illness.

She also stressed the district follows CDC guidelines and has rapid tests available for both students and staff.

“Safety is a big priority as our area is still experiencing high transmission,” she said in a statement. “Our mask mandate is still in place and parents are supportive of it and thrilled to have their children back in class.”

The Tempe Elementary School District reported 17% of students were absent when classes resumed Monday. It dropped to 11% on Tuesday and 12% on Wednesday and Thursday.

The district noted the figures are comprehensive and not COVID-related.

The Madison School District saw student absences double one each of its campuses on the first day back from winter break, compared to numbers in early December. An average of 12% of students were absent last Monday. This is compared to an average of 6% of students being absent at the beginning of December.

The Kyrene School District reported slightly lower numbers — between 10% and 12% of students were absent every day last week.

This comes as the highly-contagious omicron variant continues to fuel a rise in COVID-19 cases throughout Arizona.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Cronkite News File Photo/Hope O’Brien)...
Morgan Fischer | Cronkite News

Arizona near bottom of K-12 student spending list for 2020, Census says

Arizona was again among the worst states in the nation for per pupil spending on K-12 education in 2020, and advocates aren't surprised.
9 hours ago
Marnee Spierer (Cancer Treatment Centers of America Photo)...
Taylor Kinnerup

Valley oncologist opts for double mastectomy to avoid family history of cancer

May is National Women's Health Month and one Valley oncologist opted for a double mastectomy as a way to minimize her risk of breast cancer and take control of her health.
9 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Taylor Tasler

Arizona schools chief Hoffman concerned about staffing next fall amid teacher shortage

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said Monday she’s worried there won’t be enough teachers for next school year amid a shortage.
9 hours ago
(City of Glendale Rendering)...
Balin Overstolz-McNair

New resort in Glendale’s Westgate area won’t be issue for water supply, city says

A new water resort coming to the Westgate area in Glendale won't be an issue for water supply as it will use less than the current agricultural land it is being built on, the city said.
9 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix-area weather expected to take leap to 106 degrees this week

Just in time for Heat Awareness Week, the mercury is climbing in metro Phoenix and could reach 106 degrees late in the week, weather watchers said.
9 hours ago
(Arizona Humane Society Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona Humane Society rescues pig and chihuahua duo named Timon and Pumbaa

The Arizona Humane Society has rescued an unlikely pair of best buddies that won't be separated any time soon.
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Christina O’Haver

Stroke month: Experts call attention to stroke prevention

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
(Twitter photo / Coco5)...
Coco5

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
Student absences rise in Phoenix-area school districts after winter break