As of Thursday, March 11, educators and school workers became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Recently, many IACS staff members received the first dose of the vaccine.
“There was constant communication from the school nurse,” Travis Johnson, a social studies teacher, said. He added that Gayle Nutile-Pimm, the school nurse, would follow up with emails whenever she received news regarding vaccinations. Teachers also mentioned that vaccines became available before the state March 11 date through pharmaceutical retailer CVS.
Johnson, who was able to get a vaccine through CVS, was pleasantly surprised with his experience. “I was hesitant at first because I had only previously gotten shots at the doctors’ office,” he said. “They were professional, and I was monitored for fifteen minutes after the shot was administered by a nurse.”
English teacher Lise Brody was able to receive the vaccine when it was made available to educators by the state. She said, “I was really really tired, but had no headache or fever. I didn’t function well for a couple days.”
IACS plans to open 5-day in-person learning on April 26th. While that is the case, families can still choose whether or not to stay remote.
“I’m looking forward to students interacting with each other. Hopefully, it will be easier to run lessons in-person than jumping between online and in-classroom,” Johnson said about the future change. “I am a little nervous and concerned about safety, but I think the school has been doing a good job so far. I’m excited to have students back.”
On the other hand, Brody is less enthusiastic about the return to school. “I’m looking forward to being back at IACS in the fall, hoping students won’t have to be 6 feet apart,” she said. “I will be coming back on the 26th and am looking forward to seeing students in school, but I’m afraid it will be the same nightmare as before. It still is not safe for students. Students still have to worry about bringing the virus back home to vulnerable family members.”
“Teaching is not standing in front of people in rows. That’s not what teaching is to me.”Lise Brody, English Teacher
She continued, “I’m not looking forward to being in a classroom with desks facing forward while I’m in front of the room and half of class is on zoom. I want students to be able to talk to each other and think together. I want to be able to work one on one with students and not have to shout from 6 feet away; I want to be able to look over their shoulder and see what they’re doing. Teaching is not standing in front of people in rows. That’s not what teaching is to me.”
On Monday, April 19, the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available to the public, a week before schools are expected to be in-person.