Omicron Variant Wreaks Havoc on Students and Classes


Wyatt Krauss

The student union during 2nd period on Monday, January 10. Vice Principal Tori Ha overseeing multiple classes spread out in the building.

Wyatt Krauss, Reporter, Photographer, Editor

For just about everyone, the past two years have been filled with nothing but uncertainty. What comes next? In late November 2021, the Omicron Variant was discovered by Harvard University, since then, many have felt the deja vu of March 2020. The highly contagious mutation of Covid-19 has spread across the world, and has begun to create challenges for the Livermore school district and community. Granada is surely feeling the effects of this, tens of students are testing positive for the virus each day, while many more are being sent home due to close proximity exposures. Read more to see the numbers, how this has affected student life and what our GHS administrators and district office are doing to assess the situation.

Although Coronavirus never fully went away, it seemed for a period we were moving in the right direction. Resuming in-person learning brought a set of new challenges, but this new surge could potentially change things. With teachers out left and right, Granada must make do with our available resources; with a district wide substitute shortage, we’re spread even thinner. Along with generous teachers, vice principals and administration are having to set aside their regular commitments to ensure students without teachers can be supervised.

When asked about the current staff shortage, Vice Principal Mr. Conover stated, “Our district, like many districts, has a shortage of substitute teachers right now.  Granada is fortunate enough to have teachers willing to cover classes that we can not get substitutes for. The Granada administration has been covering classes that we can not get coverage for.”

LVJUSD is required to publish Covid-19 numbers, however, specific circumstances must be met for our district to do so. According to the district home website, they must report “all confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff and students who test positive for COVID-19 and are physically present at district schools and facilities during their infectious period for COVID-19.” Further, LVJUSD will not report “Cases that occur during school holidays, travel or other circumstances where the COVID-19 case was not present at a school or district facility during the infectious period.”

Additionally, community cases among individuals or groups using a district facility when students and staff are not present (such as use of a play structure over a weekend) are not reported. On January 5th, 10 Covid positive students and/or staff were sent home at GHS alone, with another 11 on Friday the 7th and an additional 35 on Monday the 10th. (Source: LVJUSD Covid Dashboard) With nearly 200 cases throughout the district just last week, we are beginning to question how long this surge will continue to affect our students and staff.

Enough with the numbers, how is this affecting students in real time?

We interviewed GHS Junior and art student Katie Levine. Without being able to access basic art supplies like paint, brushes and colored pencils, her art class is cooped up in the student union being supervised by vice principals. “I wish [the administration] came at this a bit better, it’s not like a history class where we can do our work remotely, we need tools and supplies,” Levine says.

However, she does understand the point of view of the administrators though, “I know the administration is trying to be helpful and efficient but it’s very difficult for us students.” Katie wanted to make clear this is no way an attack on our administration, but a statement that projects the truth of dire need here. Levine and her 25+ art classmates work on alternative tasks and wait out in the student union until this is resolved. This is not the only case, classrooms of all subjects are forced to combine in the little theater and student union due to a shortage of staff.

So, what now?

The Granada high school administration is doing everything they can to keep students in school. Vice Principal Conover stated, “We are following our district guidelines to ensure the safety of our students and staff. We will continue to cover classes to the best of our ability, in order to keep students in school.” He then adds, the LVJUSD office and school board are  “supportive of our school.” They want to make sure all students have a productive and safe learning environment. Our district takes recommendations from the California Department of Public Health. As per GHS admin, please see this link for more Covid protocol and contingency plans from the district office. (