Survey: Less Than Half Of District Teachers And Administrators Report Being Vaccinated Against Covid-19

Approximately 48 percent of the school district’s teachers, administrators and support staff have self-reported that they have been vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus, a district official said on August 20.

Of the 666 people who responded to a district survey – which was sent to 1,250 teachers, administrators and support staff – 604 of them reported being vaccinated against the virus, district spokeswoman Mary Clark said in an email.

The surveys can be returned through September 5, she wrote.

Clark wrote that the district will not require all staff to submit proof of vaccination, “we do reserve the right to request proof if needed.”

“For example, if a person was exposed to Covid-19, his/her vaccination status may play a role in whether they need to quarantine,” she wrote.

The surveys were distributed before published reports that Gov. Phil Murphy is expected to announce that the state will require all teachers to be vaccinated.

The district on August 19 also released information on how the coronavirus will affect certain aspects of the 2021-22 school year, which begins for students on September 9.

Called “The Road Forward,” the 27-page presentation gives information on key parts of the district’s new policy covering health and safety aspects of the 2021-22 school year. The district encouraged parents to read the presentation, and attend a virtual assembly set for 7 p.m. August 23.

Those who wish to attend the assembly can register by noon August 23 at this link.

As of now, students will attend full days, in-person. There will be no virtual learning. There will, however, be virtual teaching for students who are out of school, but that will not occur until after school hours, and will not be taught by that student’s teacher.

School hours are:

  • Franklin High School: 7:20 a.m. – 2:21 p.m.
  • Franklin Middle School: 7:20 a.m. – 2:26 p.m.
  • Conerly Road School, Franklin Park School and Hillcrest Elementary School: 8:50 a.m. – 3:10 p.m.
  • Early Childhood Development Center 9:45 a.m. – 1:50 p.m.
  • Claremont Elementary School, Elizabeth Avenue School, MacAfee Road School and Pine Grove Manor School: 9:30 a.m. – 3:50 p.m.

Breakfast and lunch will be served during the school day, but not all students may eat in the cafeterias, according to the policy. Other spaces, such as outdoors, will be used when applicable.

Athletics will be in-person, as will extracurricular activities.

Field trips will be limited, at least in the Fall.

The YMCA of Greater Somerset will offer Before and Aftercare at individual elementary schools.

If enough families express interest, the district will look into hosting vaccine clinics for students, the policy said.

Students, staff and school visitors will be required to wear face masks while indoors, except for certain circumstances, such as health needs. Students will also be required to wear masks while on buses and in school vans.The district will attempt to maintain social distancing during the school day, and all students will be kept in the same groups throughout the day, according to the policy.

Other aspects of the policy concern separation of students and staff who show symptoms of the virus, hand washing stations in classrooms, cleaning and disinfecting of school spaces, and contact tracing measures.

The Board of Education is expected to review the policy at its August 26 meeting, and take action on the policy at its September 23 meeting.

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