Vaccine arrives for Ark City teachers, Wichita district ready for opportunity
ARKANSAS CITY/ WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - After a year filled with continued pivots to the learning environment and style, school staff is prioritized as part of Kansas’ Phase 2 of COVID-19 vaccinations. A vaccine is arriving for teachers in the Arkansas City school district, where the latest quick pivot is a welcome one.
On Wednesday, Arkansas City Public Schools vaccinated its first 100 staff members.
“Anyone that had other existing conditions, we bumped them up to the front of the list, and then we worked our way down from oldest employees and working toward youngest employees,” Pfannenstiel said.
USD 470 Director of Business Operations Will Pfannenstiel said the district has been working with the City-Cowley County Health Department and learned last Friday that the moment was arriving. The preparation leading up to Wednesday started weeks ago.
“It was really a joint effort with the (City-Cowley County) Health Department, and even they didn’t really know when we would for sure get a set date. So in, the beginning, we had things in place to be able to move quickly and set up our facilities for the vaccinations. We did that all at our Avery Family Learning Center here in Ark City,” said Pfannenstiel. “We were able to create some cubicles for the shot, actual patient rooms, and then run a check-in in conjunction with the health department.”
Health department nurses and Ark City Public Schools nurses and a nurse from Winfield Schools administered the vaccinations Wednesday.
He said, “They were able to go through our 100 people in just over an hour and a half this morning.”
He said the district is ready for more vaccination when another 150 doses are expected to arrive. Ark City Public Schools employs about 430 people.
“Next week, we’ll be at the 250 mark and then hopefully, just one additional week, we’ll be able to catch the rest of them,” Pfannenstiel said.
Wichita Public Schools also has plans in place for administering the shot to its staff. On Wednesday, the state’s largest district said it’s been ready to go for two weeks.
“We just like everybody else knew that we had to be ready. We’ve got all the stations set up. We’ve got nurses on call, standby, ready to go,” said USD 259 Director of Safety and Environmental Services Terri Moses. “It is very much a wait and see game in terms of when actual delivery will take place.”
The district has converted part of the administrative center into a vaccination site and working with Sedgwick County Health Department and KDHE.
“Nurses have worked hard to get all the paperwork, all the background (to) meet all the requirements,” said USD 259 Director of Safety and Environmental Services Terri Moses.
Wichita Public Schools has a prioritized distribution plan in place, starting with staff 65 and older with medical conditions and working its way down.
“We sent out a survey to all of our staff earlier this year so that we were able to garner who was interested and then also ask those questions about age and medical status,” Moses said.
The main hope with the vaccines: “That we’ll get to a point where there’s a little bit of normalcy,” Moses said.
Pfannenstiel adding, “It means it the step in being able to hopefully get back into regular, sustainable. onsite schools.”
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