ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Students are back in their classrooms after holiday break and with the omicron variant surging, school districts are expecting disruptions to more than just their students.

Spectrum News reached out to several school districts in Tampa Bay to find out how many teachers missed school on the first day back for students.

What You Need To Know

  • Hillsborough County Schools reported 928 teacher absences on Tuesday. Officials are expecting 2,500 this week.

  • There were just 34 teachers out from COVID on the first day of school back in August. 

  • Other counties saw absences, but not nearly as many as Hillsborough County.

The largest Tampa Bay school district, Hillsborough, is seeing a spike in reported cases and quarantines in just two days.

Hillsborough school officials told us they had about 928 teacher call outs on Tuesday. That's out of the more than 14,000 teaching staff.

Officials also said they're already planning on 2,500 total teacher absences this week.

Not all are because of COVID-19.

Going back to the first week of classes in August, there were 34 teachers out with reported cases of COVID on the first day. That was in the middle of the delta variant surge.   

But officials say there's more to what’s happening than just the numbers.

During the delta surge, they said there was a time when 1,200 teachers called out in a day during that peak, and about 5,000 in a week.

Their message is that this can be disruptive and inconvenient, but also manageable.

In Pinellas County, they had planning day for teachers on Monday. On that day, there were 356 absences of instructional staff for a variety of reasons.

Of those, district officials said 150 were due to COVID.

Polk County reported 40 teachers out with COVID on Monday, resulting in an additional 16 quarantines.

The Hernando County dashboard shows 10 reported teacher cases on Monday and 19 on Tuesday.

Pasco County’s dashboard showed 43 staff cases on January 4th. 

Manatee and Citrus schools bring back students on Thursday.