A grim display of an empty classroom in USA school due to new Covid-19 variant.

The Sudden Return of School Closures in the USA Due to Omicron Variant COVID-19

Omicron

The Omicron variant that took the educational world by storm in late 2021. The origin of school shutdowns in the USA.
The Omicron variant that took the educational world by storm in late 2021. The origin of school shutdowns in the USA. Image Source: (wp.com)

As we welcome 2022 and the second half of the academic year, things result in surprises. This week there will be a better understanding of the sudden return of school closures in the USA.

At the beginning of December 2021, a new Covid-19 variant was discovered. This unknown and deadly variant became officially recognized in South Africa. From there, they provided a global warning to nations about the tsunami of infections to come within time.

Moreover, South Africa’s notice aided others in preparation for embracing and enduring this mysterious and alarming variant of the disease. As far as we know, the Omicron variant of Covid-19 spreads three times quicker than its predecessors like Delta.

The effects are proven to be mild, yet still pose a large threat to global society. Furthermore, with the holiday season becoming observed, cases grow out of control and find their way to the USA.

From California to Maine, the country becomes overwhelmed with surging cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. In summary, this serves as the beginning phase of another restrictive period.

Beginning of the End

A grim display of an empty classroom in USA school due to new Covid-19 variant.
A grim display of an empty classroom in USA school due to new Covid-19 variant. Image Source: (foxlexington.com)

To begin, as the winter holidays conclude for students in the USA, the time comes to return to their studies. Surprisingly, sudden emergency announcements are distributed to families and students from education institutes calling for a halt of in-person learning.

Just as things begin to appear somewhat milder regarding Covid-19 cases, they find themselves restricted once again pursuing online platforms. As a result of these sudden closings in the USA, there also comes the shortages of staff.

Meaning that teachers and other personnel are becoming victims to the wave of the Omicron variant. Indeed, these events prove to be a difficult period to adjust to as many parents are struggling to make sudden adjustments.

To illustrate, in the first week of January 2022, three thousand two hundred and twenty-nine schools have halted physical operations. Although these numbers appear low compared to last year’s surges, this is just the beginning.

In turn, students’ patience, adaptability, and determination in the USA become challenged.

Surges of Covid Growing Amongst Youth

A child suffering from Covid-19 infection. One major initiation for schools shutting down in the USA.
A child suffering from Covid-19 infection. One major initiation for schools shutting down in the USA. Image Source: (eprimefeed.com)

Equally important, surges of the Omicron variant prove to be deadlier as young people catch the disease higher than before. This can also tie to another reason why the schools are deciding to shut down in the USA.

As time goes forward and we reach the second anniversary of Covid-19 debuting to the world, things do not change. In this new chapter of variants, youths are becoming afflicted mentally and physically.

For example, many state officials are hesitant to prolong closures because they believe that young ones belong in school. Without a doubt, this provides stimulation as interaction is endless but appears to become impossible with Omicron raging.

Moreover, this debatable topic becomes a subject for each school district to decide as cases vary from state. Nevertheless, this becomes a personal decision for the measures that are carried out by school officials.

In summary, rising cases of Covid-19 for Youth in the USA serve as the reason why school closures occur.

Online Learning Platforms

Visual example of online learning taking place in modern times as it becomes dominant in the USA.
Visual example of online learning taking place in modern times as it becomes dominant in the USA. Image Source: (icsc.com)

Next, as schools begin to close during the unsteady spread of Covid-19, online learning platforms become predominant. This tool has now become the main use, since computers and technology have provided great support for USA students.

More families are deciding to transition their children’s education to remote and non-traditional settings (Homeschooling). Moreover, the use of these sources proves to be useful for many as students receive the chance to work ahead.

Meaning that those in 9-12th grade levels earn the chance of graduating sooner than anticipated! On the other hand, college students are given extra time to complete other tasks in their lives.

Followed by saving money and not commuting to campus. These are several things students can benefit from when it comes to the sudden closures of schools.

In essence, there proves to be some light to admit the obscurity of the unknown for students in the USA.

At-Home Test

Covid-19 at home test that are becoming more commonplace as schools shutdown take place in the USA.
Covid-19 at home test that are becoming more commonplace as schools shutdown take place in the USA. Image Source: (homelandprepnews.com)

Furthermore, from some positive benefits present in students’ online learning platforms, comes another reason for the closures. Shortages of the Covid-19 test become scarcer as both small and large towns experience a rise in cases.

To illustrate, in New York, the daily record of Covid-19 cases reached four hundred and five thousand new people. In addition, hospitalizations reached a little over ninety-three thousand admissions.

Despite this alarming rate, the state of New York distributes free tests for students to perform at home. The key attitude many are adopting is becoming vigilant and agile to combat this variant.

Indeed, times are becoming trickier to adapt to as we are nearly two years into Covid-19, but we grow. To sum up, more students in various states of the USA are gaining easier access to health resources.

Effects of School Closures on Families

Illustration of parents staying at home with young children as they learn online due to School Closures.
Illustration of parents staying at home with young children as they learn online due to School Closures. Image Source: (theschoolrun.com)

Besides the growth of resources becoming available to students during recent events of closures, there comes the mark on families. For certain, the Covid-19 pandemic has evolved the face of the workplace for many adults in the USA.

As individual’s children are spending more time at home, there comes concern about work performance. Mainly aimed at grade school students, parents are at risk of not completing a task as distractions are evident.

On the other hand, circumstances where children study at home alone, provide further concern for families. This situation becomes difficult to adjust to suddenly because many families are making sacrifices to make ends meet.

Meaning that a distant family member or anyone else closes steps in to balance out the responsibility of childcare. Overall, not every effect can pose negative or challenging as some adults working through telecommuting typically do not become affected.

In all, the sudden effects of school closures in the USA range greatly.

Bonus effects on School Closures

Furthermore, households are coming to the point of overcoming sudden changes like school closures and having children restricted. These effects cause strain on many companies as most employed parents are forced to resign from their jobs.

Indeed, the current events of the great resignation have become another tie-in factor to the sudden shutdowns of schools in America. Likewise, young children’s learning process becomes unbalanced and more prone to falling behind academically.

Moreover, the fact of losing hands-on guidance, instruction, and interaction, things change once again with unexpected outlooks.

Evolution of Education in the USA

A young girl taking private study courses to further her education amidst school closures occurring in the USA.
A young girl taking private study courses to further her education amidst school closures occurring in the USA. Image Source: (crhammlaw.com)

The United States of America’s education system has become recognized for its strategic and flexible approach to instruction. From the “No Child Left Behind” act to CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam), the country finds access to success.

The Covid-19 pandemic that debuted nearly two years ago has provided one of the greatest challenges to adapt to. With this said, there are still ways to go when it comes to the evolution of education in the USA.

School shutdowns may be the new normal to evade further destruction and chaos, but the prevent for positive change persists. As mentioned before, online platforms and home study programs are experiencing a boom in popularity with families living with Covid-19.

Another outlet to the changing face of education in the country could come to private studies becoming acknowledged. This and independent studies have become popular as students can receive one-to-one interaction and receive the attention they need to succeed.

In summary, school shutdowns in the USA contribute to the ever-changing process of education.

Battle for Functioning

Illustration of two teachers co-teaching with combined classrooms to make up for loss of numbers and preventing shutdowns
Illustration of two teachers co-teaching with combined classrooms to make up for loss of numbers and preventing shutdowns. Image Source: (bloodhound.news)

Besides the wave of emotions and events plaguing schools in the USA, teachers and staff are working harder than ever. To illustrate, in Vermont, as the omicron variant ravages communities, schools are experiencing shortages of instructors.

These events have proved to be a handful for the remaining staff on campuses because they work harder. Meaning they take extra responsibility and effort to keep the schools open by covering colleagues’ responsibilities.

Without a doubt, these efforts have become much appreciated but most campuses continue to experience temporary shutdowns. While most schools are required to have at least half of their population present to function, many resort to this.

Typically, if there are not enough students present on campus, then this becomes the effect of having to shut down. In brief, there are many instructors and personnel in the education field doing what they can to keep afloat.

Covid-19 Measures in USA Schools

Example of school worker in the USA taking precaution by cleaning to prevent another shutdown.
Example of school worker in the USA taking precaution by cleaning to prevent another shutdown. Image Source: (yimg.com)

Furthermore, schools in the USA are also becoming adept at applying smart and proactive methods to avoid further delays. One example can be found in California where school districts in Oakland County are providing upgraded ventilation systems.

To add, there are also Covid-19 testing sites taking place before entering campus along with providing facial masks and sanitizers. The last measure taking place in Oakland, California is the campuses holding bi-weekly checkups and walk-throughs for assurance of control.

In other parts of the country like Maine, students are required to sit with plastic covers around their desks. Likewise, services in libraries also implement reduced service as certain books and study spaces require reservations in advance.

Moreover, most schools in the USA also reduce the person capacity in a room to avoid further outbreaks and shutdowns. Above all, amidst this transition and combat tactic to overcome the omicron variant of covid-19, further trouble brews among students.

Student Strikes and Walks

A young student in the USA participating in strikes for the safety of classmates as many suffer from possible school shutdowns.
A young student in the USA participating in strikes for the safety of classmates as many suffer from possible school shutdowns and restrictions. Image Source: (yimg.com)

As school districts in the USA are acting on what they can do to prevent further school shutdowns, students remain troubled. For example, in Chicago, at least five-hundred students rallied their school headquarters building to demand supplies for remote learning.

These actions are not only present in the state as it becomes witnessed in New York, California, and New Orléans. The reason for these events taking place derives from students not feeling safe and becoming overlooked despite obvious occurrences.

To illustrate, one student commented on how many of his classmates arrived at school sick and continued infecting others. Followed by classmates being gone for a month or longer and the school staff failing to communicate with families.

Another student illustrated “It feels like we are pawns”. Indeed, the lack of communication and proper care for students’ health sprouts to these events.

In short, many are now signing petitions to demand stricter safety measures that are followed thoroughly.

Further Student Issues

Next, comes the consequences occurring from these actions that continue to motivate students from taking a stand. As a result of young people not receiving the full attention to function in a healthy manner, many demand compromise.

Most are becoming pushed to abandon their institutions and pursue independent studies. Nevertheless, the situation has evolved into a heated debate rooting back to shaping the education for schools in the USA.

With school shutdowns becoming a new normal across the country, the battle for proper care, function, and learning continue. These events have captured the attention of most media outlets and the public who become enlightened to current events.

Overall, many students will take various routes to meet their ends as education becomes disrupted with shutdowns owned by Omicron.

Final thoughts on School Shutdowns in the USA

Students from the USA walking home after school as their institution shuts down.
Students from the USA walking home after school as their institution shuts down. Image Source: (pinimg.com)

Finally, school shutdowns in the USA have proven to serve as the greatest challenge for many in modern history. With students and families becoming overloaded with unnecessary burdens, stress, and danger, the face of education continues to develop.

For certain, these events shall pass and temporarily serve as a lesson for many to learn in all aspects. From the past, present, and future, there are always new things to learn and adapt to for survival.

Closures of educational institutes serve as a test for character development because growth ensures despite the physical restrictions in place. In close, these events serve as the beginning of a new chapter for many.

Significance of School Shutdowns in the USA

An illustrated hope of a brighter future for students amidst facing current school shutdowns in the USA.
An illustrated hope of a brighter future for students amidst facing current school shutdowns in the USA. A truly motivational element for present day generations of alumni. Image Source: (wp.com)

In conclusion, from online learning, getting ahead through independent studies, and strikes taking place by students, things progress. For so long, educational institutions have failed many generations of students by making a positive influence on learners’ lives.

In some way, the events of school shutdowns in the USA spread light amidst the clouds as awakenings occur. Regardless, there will always be challenges in all elements of life, but those lessons are prominent.

The USA and other countries’ education systems and students are strong and will overcome this current storm of uncertainty.

Works Cited:

Nearly 1,200 students in California threaten to stay home unless additional COVID-19 precautions implemented | TheHill

With more closures likely due to omicron, why VT schools can’t go fully remote again (yahoo.com)

Omicron and flu season combine to force school closures (idahoednews.org)

School Delays Spring Semester Amid Omicron Outbreak (yahoo.com)

 

 

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