As we continue working to return stronger to in-person learning this school year, the availability of vaccines for our teachers and staff is a key factor in our ability to do so safely. With cases beginning to trend downward, the availability of vaccines is our greatest signal of hope as we prepare to return to classrooms.
Surprise Vaccination Availability (Limited)
In a surprise call from Shelby County Mayor Harris' team this evening, we learned of a limited availability of vaccination doses that, according to the Shelby County Health Department, must be distributed tomorrow or risk being discarded. While this was highly unexpected and very last-minute, our team has worked feverishly over the past three hours to seize the chance of implementing our vaccination strategy on behalf of teachers.
We are aware that tomorrow's weather forecast poses some incredible challenges for travel. However, out of an abundance of concern for SCS educators, Superintendent Dr. Joris M. Ray has directed District leaders to make a good faith effort to vaccinate, on a first-come-first-served basis, elementary school teachers and support staff who previously indicated interest and completed the COVID-19 vaccination interest survey.
As announced last Friday, all teachers and support staff will return in person to buildings on February 22; however, teachers in grades Pre-K - 5 will be welcoming students back on March 1. Therefore, we have prioritized them for this very limited opportunity. Teachers and support staff in this group will receive a separate email with specific details about tomorrow’s opportunity.
Our Commitment to You
We appreciate everyone who completed the District's vaccination interest survey in January. This information is extremely helpful as the Health Department continues to assess the total need of teachers and employees across all school districts in Shelby County. While the Health Department has committed to prioritizing educators and education employees in the local distribution of vaccines, a definitive timetable has not been established yet. However, we know you have questions, so we want to provide as many facts as we possibly can at this time.