Some Nebraska Schools Are Canceling Classes Because of Rising Omicron Cases

Jan. 18, 2022, 6:51 p.m. ·

Teacher in mask points to an iPad, student in mask is holding the iPad
Millard Public School students will learn remotely on Jan. 28, Jan. 31, and Feb. 11 because of rising Omicron cases. (Photo courtesy of Millard Public Schools via Facebook)

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Schools all over the state are reacting to the Omicron surge. Some districts chose to close schools on some days or switch to remote learning.

More than 180 staff members at Millard Public Schools were absent last Thursday. The Omaha-area district sent a message to families that they’ve decided students will learn remotely on Jan. 28, Jan. 31, and Feb. 11 in hopes to ease the pressure on staff. The district said they don’t have enough substitute teachers to cover classes.

Grand Island Public Schools also don’t have enough substitute teachers. Superintendent Tawana Grover said more custodians and cafeteria workers are out too.

“We're seeing the number of absences just skyrocket in ways that we've never seen before throughout this pandemic,” said Grover.

On Monday, the district announced it will switch to a four-day school week for the next month. The Fridays will be used for staff to catch up on lesson planning.

About 15 to 20 staff members at Beatrice Public Schools are out due to illness. Superintendent Jason Alexander said they’ve been asking teachers to cover multiple classes at a time for the past two months.

“Which is not ideal,” he said. “We're to a point now where we've asked teachers to do that [cover classes] enough. And we have enough teachers gone that we can't continue to cover like that.”

The district will cancel Thursday and Friday classes this week. Alexander said they will come back on Monday to see how they can adapt to the rising Omicron cases.