Teacher absences mounted amid pandemic


The Crusader staff

The Omicron variant created an increased need for substitutes.

Naomi Lin '24, Staff Reporter

Upon the arrival of 2022 and the new spring semester, as Omicron cases increased drastically, so did the number of teachers at Riordan taking sick leaves. With the new strain of COVID-19 coinciding with arising flu cases, countless teachers across the country were out sick. 

According to Principal Tim Reardon, “There were so many different reasons some people were in close contact. Some people were sick, and then some people were caring for people who were sick, so they didn’t want to bring it home.” 

Science Department Chair Julia Stricker-Balistreri shared her experience with battling COVID saying, “I also know that getting what I got was so bad like I don’t really remember the week I took off school. I was just kinda laying there and hoping I had enough energy to do something.” 

With the reduction of teachers in classrooms came the decrease in assignments. Students who had absent instructors noticed themselves slacking off; however, they eventually reverted to their regular and stable routines once their instructors returned. 

Declan Lavin ’24 described, “The workload got a lot lighter. Now that teachers are back I have more projects to do, but when they were out, it was just little assignments”

Although there is no predicting what will happen in the future regarding this pandemic, new guidelines are being implemented, and the existing policies are progressively becoming more strict, thus ensuring the health and safety of everyone. 

Principal Reardon advised that teachers, “can double mask and stay six feet away from the kids all day long–they can put themselves in that position.” 

Stricker-Balistreri added her personal COVID-19 guideline preference saying, “The one I want to implement a lot more is probably just kind of keeping the windows open especially.” 

For now, Reardon said, We’ll take other measures if we have to, but I think staying open is our primary concern right now.”