ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As of Monday, those in the 1B category are eligible to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, which includes police officers and teachers.
“I’m really thrilled to hear that 1B includes educators,” explained Aaron Bochniak, Schenectady City School District Interim Superintendent. “I know that a lot of our teachers and other staff are really excited to hear that too. It’s extremely important that teachers and other staff at our school district are vaccinated, just so that we can support kids coming into school each and every day.”
While the pandemic has been hard on everyone, it’s been especially difficult for schools. Withheld state aid caused the Schenectady City School District to lay off several staff members earlier this school year.
In Ballston Spa, the district this week will be teaching fully remote due to an increase of positive COVID-19 cases.
“Since Friday for example, we have had, I think, a total number of 14 positive cases. We have dozens of people in quarantine,” explained Ken Slentz, Ballston Spa’s Superintendent. “The numbers just continue to grow for us. That was really impacting our staffing ability. Transportation we had to make adjustments on that, that’s not slowing down yet. We are hoping that by the end of this week, we can notify parents that we will at least be able to have some of our schools back in session next week, but right now the numbers don’t look terribly promising.”
According to Superintendent Slentz, since learning will not be conducted in the school buildings this week, the Ballston Spa School District has offered to serve as a vaccination site for Saratoga County if need be. However, at this point it is unclear if that will be necessary.
“We have cafeterias that are easily accessible,” said Slentz. “All of this we have to keep in mind that once a vaccination clinic is run, we have to bring our team in to do a great deal of cleaning to get ready for next week hopefully when we are able to bring kids back, but we will see.”
He says a number of staff members in the Ballston Spa Central School District have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine, with only a handful in the 1B category actually receiving their first dose.
Wait times are expected as this state wide vaccine rollout continues.
“I know that there’s a lot of frontline workers also out there waiting to be vaccinated,” said Bochniak. “Teachers are just one of those groups of people who are those frontline workers. And we appreciate the things that everyone is doing on the frontline.”