Wichita Public Schools to start vaccinating teachers Saturday

Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 2:19 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita Public Schools said it will begin vaccinating teachers against COVID-19 on Saturday.

The district said it has received its first supply of vaccines and will begin the first round at the Wichita Public Schools’ Alvin Morris Administrative Center. The prioritization plan for employees will follow Phase 2 of Governor Kelly’s vaccination plan.

The district said employees who responded to the survey will be considered for vaccination through the AMAC site. A prioritization plan will determine how to quickly distribute the vaccine once each shipment arrives. The distribution plan is as follows:

  • Employees 65 and older with medical conditions. Medical professionals will rank order based on health conditions reported on the staff survey.
  • Employees 65 and older without medical conditions based on the time stamp on the survey response.
  • Nurses, therapists, psychologists, social workers, OT/PT, SLP and audiologists, with nurses prioritized, then others based on the survey time stamp.
  • Employees with severe and other medical risk conditions. Medical professionals will rank order based on health conditions reported on the staff survey.
  • Staff that work directly with students in certain categories/locations. Based on time stamp of survey response for those who work with pre-k students, categorical students and PBIS; and staff who work at Levy, Greiffenstein, Wells, Bryant, Little, Dunlap Transition Campus at Chisholm and Sowers.
  • All other staff who expressed desire to receive the vaccine based on the time stamp on the staff survey.

USD 259 Director of Safety and Environmental Services Terri Moses explained the considerations in determining the order.

“Do they have one-on-one contact with students who may not be able to wear a mask? Are they employees who have more physical contact with students rather than folks who say, work in an environment and have the ability to really control their social distancing?” she said.

The district said staff from multiple buildings will be selected for vaccination on a given day, rather than vaccinating all staff at one building on the same day and risking impact based on vaccine reaction. Ahead of the distribution effort, USD 259 conducted a survey with its approximate 9,000 staff members. More than half said they would be interested in getting the vaccine.

John Marshall Middle School Teacher Jose Lopez said he is among those who are glad to see vaccinations available for the state’s largest school district.

“Ideally, we wish we could’ve all been vaccinated before we opened the school, but I think it’s fantastic because we’re getting one step closer to getting everything, not going to be back to normal, but at least having the kids there present and everything that makes us feel better,” Lopez said.

He said even though he is not among those in the district who will get the shot first, he will be ready to get vaccinated when it’s his turn.

“At the end of the day, we have to take care of each other,” Lopez said. “If this is one thing to help us, an extra layer of protection, then, for sure.”

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