Many Garden State parents are wondering why their child's teacher has been absent from school so much this spring.

Flickr user: KnittyMarie

It turns out there are several reasons why.

"There's a lot going on this year. Besides the usual 100 hours of teacher training every five years, schools have to train staff on the new bullying laws, as well as the new teacher evaluation laws," says New Jersey School Boards Association spokesman Mike Yaple.

He says, in addition, many schools have had their calendars upended because of Superstorm Sandy.

"You simply just can't order staff to continue to come to training programs on their own time, so there are many things that need to be negotiated."

Yaple adds despite this being a very unusual year, schools are juggling their schedules, and everyone is working together to make sure classes are covered, and students get the instruction they need.