Arizona School Officials Hopeful COVID-19 Vaccine Will Help Put Pandemic In 'Rearview Mirror' | Fronteras

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Like many school districts, the Universidad de San Carlos was in the spring break when the state decided to close its school buildings due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March last year. This means that it has been almost a year since the area on the San Carlos Apache Reservation began to teach remotely. However, Donna Manuelito, Assistant Director of Academic Excellence, said that this is not an easy task because some students are unable to access the Internet. The teachers worked very hard, and when Manurito sat in the virtual classroom, the challenge was obvious.

She said: "Sometimes I notice that the teacher is breaking up, otherwise they will lose the teacher, and then the teacher has to re-enter the Zoom room." 

As Arizona continues to experience high rates of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, school districts such as San Carlos hope that the vaccine will help them resume face-to-face learning as soon as possible. For areas where face-to-face training has begun, such as Globe Globe in Gila County, it is hoped that the vaccine will provide another layer of protection for employees.  

"There is no guarantee in this life. COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty, but we have many ways of thinking. Some of us who believe in this, I believe it can protect and be willing, and can slow down the spread", Globe Director Jerry Jennex said.

According to surveys conducted in some areas, many educators in Arizona appear to be willing to receive the vaccine. The San Carlos District provides professional development training on the types of vaccines and how they can reassure staff.

"It's part of them (professional development), and then finally conducted a survey and said that 60% of people plan to take it," Manullito said. 

Similar surveys by the Apache Junction Unified School District in Pinal County and Mesa Public Schools east of Phoenix show that 83% of Apache Junction employees and 76% of Mesa district employees have received or are receiving vaccines. Jennex said that 60% of its nearly 200 employees worldwide have received the first dose of vaccine. 

How often educators in Arizona get a vaccine depends on where they live. Some counties and San Carlos Apache Healthcare 

 Beginning in late December, as well as adults over 75 and protective service occupations (such as law enforcement) as part of Phase 1B.

Renevie Magboo, the dean of students and CTE director of the San Carlos District, said that she was hesitant to buy the vaccine at first, but eventually bought it for her son who is in good health. 

She said: "We are very fortunate that the San Carlos Apache Tribe, including educators, can get the vaccine immediately after the front liner." 

Estelle McIntosh, the sixth grade teacher of San Carlos at the San Carlos Apache residence, decided to buy the vaccine because she believed it would protect her family and the elderly in the community.  

Mackintosh said: "We have lost many elderly people in the community, so this may be one of the biggest reasons for my vaccinations." 

But in northwestern Arizona, 

, Also in stage 1B, it chooses to vaccinate the elderly and individuals in protective occupations, and then transfer it to educators. 

"Educators are obviously very important to Mojave County. However, we know that people over the age of 75 (of which we have a large population in Mojave County) are most likely to have a very, very serious response to COVID-19," the County spokesperson Roger Galloway (Roger Galloway) said. . 

Kingman educator Susan Collins (Susan Collins) is currently having face-to-face communication with students. She said that she understands the reasonableness of the county, but is still worried about the risks she faces at work because she has not yet been vaccinated. She also worried that she might expose her mother (over 75 years old, weakened immune system and relying on Collins' support) to the virus.  

She said: "I don't think I have taken into consideration the health and well-being of my family." "Again, the policymakers only want us to do things that are convenient for them, not necessarily the things that are most beneficial to teachers or students. ." 

However, even educators in counties and counties prioritize them. Anderson said that's the situation in Pinal County.  

"The appointment lasts until February 25th, unless you want to go midway in the evening, and most appointments can be held at the State Farm football stadium and the East Valley in Apache Junction. It takes an hour to get there, so this part of the work It becomes very difficult," she said. 

Some school districts, such as Mesa Public Schools, are addressing this problem by holding their own vaccination events in different school locations to facilitate the use of their 9,000 employees. 

Andi Fourlis, the head of Mesa, said: "Our primary goal is to provide it to those who want it as soon as possible, and to reduce the barriers to providing vaccines to them, and the location is very limited." 

However, even if all educators who wish to be vaccinated can be vaccinated, this does not mean the end of mitigation work, such as wearing masks and physical grooming at school. Regarding the San Carlos Unified, Manuelito said that this does not even mean that the 1,500 students in the area will immediately return to the classroom. But the school district will begin to allow educators to teach remotely from classrooms so that they can use a safe and reliable Internet connection.

Manuelito, who has received two CoVID vaccinations, hopes to keep his temporary office in his bedroom.

"Every morning, I have to bring the rolling table, I have to bring it into the bedroom, the chair, and the laptop. I can't wait to get back to normal and get everything ready for me," she said. 

At the same time, the Apache Junction School District is currently conducting remote teaching for all students and hopes to return to the classroom on March 22. The school district hopes this will give employees enough time to receive the first and second doses of vaccines. At that time, Anderson said that the school district is seeking to restore prom and graduation ceremonies for the elderly.

“We will do our best to give them a little bit of light at the end of this school year, but my real hope is that we enter the 2021-22 school year and the pandemic is in the rearview mirror,” she said. 

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