One out of five Metro teachers and students were absent from school Monday, figures school officials are calling “disappointing.”
Monday, March 14, had originally been set aside as the first day of spring break, but the nine-member Metro Nashville Board of Education recently voted to turn it into a full school day to make up for lost time due to snow cancellations this winter. The idea was to squeeze one more school day before upcoming TCAP testing.
According to school officials, 1,185 out of 5,000-plus teachers were absent from school Monday, and 16,107 out of 78,000 students were absent.
“It’s pretty disappointing because obviously in a district with so many students on free-and-reduced lunch, plenty of our students aren’t going away for spring break,” Metro schools spokeswoman Meredith Libbey said.
“This is a disappointing level,” she said. “On the other hand, we had more than 60,000 students who had an additional day of instruction.”
Libbey said Metro school principals prior to Monday had been instructed to work with staff to make the most of a potential teacher shortage.
Anticipating the spike in teacher absences, Director of Schools Jesse Register Monday taught English at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet School.