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Securing a Vaccination Plan to Benefit Our Schools

Once implemented, the plan will support students’ access to uninterrupted in-person instruction and mitigate the impacts of learning loss due to staff quarantines and related building closures.
 
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of weeks of diligent work among coalition leaders,” said AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel. “That work was rooted in the shared belief that inoculating school staff against this awful virus would take a ‘union-driven solution.’ The governor and his staff deserve credit for not just being receptive to our proposals, but for accepting them and moving forward with concrete steps,” added Hochadel.
 
Coalition leaders last week shared their plan with Lamont Administration officials and called for establishing parallel, school-based vaccination clinics in local and regional districts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends minimizing barriers to access and supports administering vaccines at or near workplaces as an optimal strategy.
 
Click here for the latest CDC guidelines for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) vaccinations. 
 
“Vaccinating school staff is a vital part of keeping students and their families from being exposed,” said Mary Yordon, who taught French at Ponus Ridge Middle School in Norwalk. “Transmission in schools remains a concern — especially in districts unable to follow our coalition’s 13 principles for healthy and safe in-person learning. This plan, once implemented, will go a long way toward minimizing the risk,” added Yordon, AFT Connecticut’s vice president for PreK-12 teachers.
 
The latest CDC science-based guidance calls for states to prioritize school staff after healthcare workers and long-term-care facility residents in order to make schools safer. It confirms that schools need effective measures in place to keep students, educators and staff safe for in-person learning. 
 
Click here for recent reporting on our efforts to vaccinate school staff.
 
The BOE Unions Coalition’s goal is aligned with Gov. Lamont’s pledge to complete vaccination of all Connecticut school employees during the month of March.
 
“We never suggested anyone ‘jump the line,'” said Shellye Davis, a paraeduator at Moylan Expeditionary Learning Academy in Hartford. “We called for an efficient plan grounded in science and safety protocols to keep school buildings open. We applaud the governor for prioritizing in-person learning for all students. At the same time, we urge him to keep other essential workers in the 1-b category, too,” added Davis, our state federation’s vice president for paraprofessionals and school-related personnel (PSRP).
 
The latest CDC science-based guidance calls for states to prioritize school staff after healthcare workers and long-term-care facility residents in order to make schools safer. It confirms that schools need effective measures in place to keep students, educators and staff safe for in-person learning. 
 
Click here for the CDC’s February 12 operational strategy for K-12 schools.
 
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