New schedule is more than 1 week earlier than originally planned
January 14, 2021 -- Calling it “close to a miracle,” Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) employees will begin receiving vaccinations for COVID-19 at the end of next week, Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said.
Speaking at a virtual community forum sponsored by the NAACP and JCPS, Pollio said primary grade school staff would be the first to receive the vaccine at Broadbent Arena drive-through clinics, starting Jan. 22. By the first week in February, all school-based employees who requested the vaccine are expected to have received their first dose, with a booster to be administered 28 days later.
No date has been determined for in-person classes to resume, but the Jefferson County Board of Education is expected to vote in February on a return-to-school plan, Pollio added.
“The vaccine is the light at the end of the tunnel for us,” he said.
Pollio joined JCPS Health Services Director Dr. Eva Stone to provide updates on several JCPS issues, including COVID-19 response, back-to-school plans, and student choice options.
During the forum, Pollio also announced that the district would be receiving $178 million over three years in federal CARES Act funding – nearly five times as much as JCPS received from the aid package in the spring. The dollars will go toward funding student recovery efforts and racial equity initiatives.
“The need for our students is going to be higher than ever,” he said. “This funding will provide for that.”
- Pollio said it’s time for JCPS to invest in West Louisville, to give all students, regardless of where they live, the choice of where to go to school. “Either all students have the responsibility of diversifying our schools, or we give all students the opportunity to go (to school) close to home,” he said.
- When schools do re-open to classes, JCPS will need to provide more mental health professionals and counselors in highest-needs schools and wrap-around services so students feel safe to come back to school, Pollio said. We have to “understand the students who have struggled the most or lost the most through NTI, and put together a multi-year plan to mitigate that learning loss. This will not be a three-month process,” he said. The challenge will be to re-engage students and give them a sense of normalcy, he added. “As much as possible, we need to celebrate our students and let them know we care.”
- Also, masks will be required for all students unless they have a medical waiver on file. Desks will be spread out as much as possible, and schools will include signage about safety protocols and social distancing. Parents will be asked to check their child’s temperature before getting on a bus, and temperatures will be taken once they get to school, among other protocols.