Before re-opening Paterson schools, superintendent Eileen Shafer on Wednesday suggested she wants all teachers and staff inoculated against Covid-19.
Shafer said the district is working with St. Joseph’s University Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health to vaccinate employees. Her team has been circulating a form to get teachers and staff to sign up to get their vaccines.
Shafer said 1,146 employees opted to get vaccinated. She said a list of 500 employees was sent to St. Joseph’s and another 185 to Hackensack Meridian. She said the district’s plan to vaccinate all teachers and staff was put into action on March 3.
“We’re continuing to remind our folks to sign up,” said Shafer. She will need thousands more to sign up before she can get to her goal.
The district has almost 4,000 employees, according to payroll records. She also wants staff of all contracted early childhood learning centers vaccinated as well.
Shafer pointed out some teachers and staff have already received their shots on their own.
Employees will receive their shots either at the Meadowlands mega site or at the Hani Awadallah School, said Shafer.
“I’m happy to say people are taking advantage of it,” said Shafer. After teachers and staff are vaccinated, she wants substitute teachers to get the shot as well.
Shafer said vaccination will begin on Thursday.
“That is our first step to a return to our buildings,” said Rosie Grant, executive director for the Paterson Education Fund, an advocacy.
Grant welcomed Shafer’s plan to get all teachers and staff vaccinated.
Shafer will determine whether Paterson schools will re-open in May on April 14. She will make a recommendation to the Board of Education which will ultimately decide whether schools reopen.
Paterson schools have been remote since March 2020.
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