Staffing, attendance, behavior: 7 big issues facing schools this year

Staffing, attendance, behavior: 7 big issues facing schools this year

After surviving two school years “completely veiled in the pandemic,” teacher Kathryn Vaughn says this year is off to a different start.

Her stress levels are down. COVID protocols are relaxed. Teachers are feeling hopeful.
“It feels a little lighter this year,” said Vaughn, who teaches elementary school art in Tennessee. “It really feels like we’re just kind of back to business as usual.”

Many students and educators are returning to classrooms this fall with a sense of cautious optimism. But there are still many open questions after last year’s staffing shortages, student absences, and mental health and behavioral challenges interfered with academic recovery efforts.

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