Teachers to start COVID-19 shots March 8

by Robin Kemp

Some Clayton County Public School students could be back in the classroom as early as April 12, says Superintendent Dr. Morcease Beasley.

First, all district level employees, school staff for grades pre-K through 5 will return to their buildings on March 22, Beasley said.

Monday, March 22 and Tuesday, March 23 will be asynchronous learning days while staff trains.

On Wednesday, March 24, teachers will provide synchronous (live) instruction online.

On Thursday, March 25, students will again have asynchronous learning while teachers develop lessons.

On Friday, March 26, staff will have professional learning and collaborative planning.

From March 29 through April 1, virtual instruction will come from teachers’ regular buildings, where faculty and staff also will hold meetings and collaborative planning.

Teachers will work independently in their classrooms on April 1 and 2.

Then, from April 12 to April 22, students in pre-kindergarten through grade 5, as well as students in low-incidence, self-contained, and special education classrooms in grades 6 through 12 will begin a hybrid schedule–some days in school, some days doing distance learning. Students will be in one of two groups. Group A will be in the classroom some days and Group B will be in the classroom on other days. Parents should check Infinite Campus for specific information from their children’s schools.

On April 26 and through the end of this school year, Beasley said, all students in pre-kindergarten through 5 will be back in the classroom five days per week.

To make this happen smoothly, Beasley says he needs some help from the parents of all students in pre-K though 5 and from parents of special education students in grades 6 through 12.

He says those parents must fill out a survey in the Pre-K to 5 parent portal on Infinite Campus for each of their students before midnight, March 10. This is so CCPS will know exactly how many kids to expect. If a parent does not fill out the survey, CCPS will assume the parent’s student(s) will be back in school for face-to-face learning, Beasley said. The survey is open as of press time.

For parents who will keep their students at home, Beasley said, teachers in the classroom will do what is called “simultaneous” instruction. That means the kids at home will attend class on their computers and the kids in the classroom also will use their computers.

As far as health precautions for students going back to their classrooms, Beasley said parents do not have to worry about sending masks with their kids because the schools will provide them. Other health precautions include:

  • temperature checks at the schoolhouse door
  • desk shields
  • hand sanitizer stations throughout the building
  • deep-cleaning “strike teams” as needed

Beasley said principals will send parents details about dropoff, pickup, and meals. He also thanked Clorox for partnering with CCPS for deep cleaning as necessary.

In addition, CCPS will begin vaccinating teachers on March 8. School nurses are training with the Clayton County Health District and will be vaccinating about 100 to 150 people per day.

“We are so very thankful that the governor approved teachers to be vaccinated,” Beasley said. “Very grateful. Very grateful.”

Watch the full announcement:

YouTube video

Other key takeaways:

  • End of Grade (EOG) and End of Course (EOC) testing will happen.
    • April 28-May 21: Elementary, middle school students
    • April 19-April 30: High schoolers, some 8th graders
  • CCPS and Clayton County Emergency Management signed an agreement to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to teachers.
    • Teachers can look for a vaccine signup e-mail by the end of day on Wednesday, March 3
    • Teachers cannot be forced to get the shot but Beasley encourages everyone who can to get “as close to 100 percent” vaccinated as possible
    • School nurses have been in training and observation with Clayton County Health District employees
    • North Jonesboro Center has been “refurbished to comply with secure vaccination” requirements
    • Teachers’ clinic hours will be:
      • MWF 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
      • Tu-Th 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
      • Sat 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., with a drive-through clinic the first Saturday that vaccine is available
      • plus 2 Saturdays in April and 2 Saturdays in May
    • Teachers should check their e-mail for details
  • Graduation ceremonies will happen for the Class of 2021
    • Each grad gets 4 tickets for the outdoor ceremony
    • Graduations will happen at Southern Crescent, Tara, and Twelve Oaks Stadiums
    • Graduations will happen on Wednesday, May 26 and Thursday, May 27
  • Spring Break will be April 5-9
  • Parents should look for an e-mail about Summer Learning Opportunities and apply by Thursday, March 4
    • K-11 STEM (June 2-11)
    • Kinder Camp (June 7-18)
    • Summer Enrichment Academy (K-8) – (June 15-25)
    • Advanced Learning for All (July 5-12 and July 19-25)
    • Student Voice/Choice K-12 (now for the week of March 8)

Beasley told students, “Do not stress out over these tests. All you are expected to do is to show up and to do your very best.” He reminded students that life is full of tests of different kinds, and that all they needed to do was to be there and to do their best.

“Do not stress out over these tests,” he repeated. “Do not stress out over these tests.”

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