ARIZONA NEWS

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

Jan 10, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 9:46 am
(Joe Burbank/AP)...
(Joe Burbank/AP)

(Joe Burbank/AP)

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.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Jim Cross

Arizona’s nation-leading home prices should slow down in 2023, economist says

Even though Arizona has topped the nation in home prices for 30 straight months, there are signs of relief, a Valley economist said.
11 hours ago
Empty shelves were found at a Kroger grocery store on March 13, 2020, in Grosse Ile, Michigan. Some...
KTAR.com

Arizona’s COVID-19 pandemic began with single case 2 years ago Wednesday

Two years ago Wednesday, Arizona reported its first confirmed case of what is now known as COVID-19.
11 hours ago
A group of people from Haiti stand at a gap in the U.S.-Mexico border wall after having traveled fr...
Kevin Stone

Border Patrol union leader says morale ‘in the tank’ after trying year

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said agent morale is “in the tank” after a year in which the number of migrant encounters soared.
11 hours ago
(File Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)...
KTAR.com

Pop-up clinic in Phoenix on Saturday to have free COVID-19 tests, vaccines and protective gear

A pop-up clinic in Phoenix on Saturday will have free COVID-19 tests and vaccines, as well as protective gear to help curb the spread of the virus.
11 hours ago
(Arizona Commerce Authority Rendering)...
KTAR.com

Air treatment system manufacturer to build new headquarters in metro Phoenix

Air treatment system manufacturing company XNRGY announced Monday it would be building a headquarters in metro Phoenix and create more than 900 jobs over time.
11 hours ago
Melani and Rob Walton with their Italian Greyhounds Lulu and Jazzy (Photo by Allison Jones)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona Humane Society gets $5 million gift from son of Walmart founder for new campus

The Arizona Humane Society has received a $5 million gift from the eldest son of the founder of Walmart for its new metro Phoenix campus.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

HVAC upkeep in Arizona saves money, keeps families prepared in the long run

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
ENVOQUE MD

Thyroid issues: Here are the warning signs and what to do

In a 100-person office in the United States, an estimated 12 co-workers, employees and loved ones, will likely develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. That’s because, according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will experience thyroid issues.
...
Arizona State University

Gain insights on next year’s trends at 58th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon

Employment is recovering from the severe contraction induced by the pandemic, but it is still way below levels at the start of 2020. Can it fully recover in the coming year?
Student absences rise in Phoenix-area school districts after winter break