Granite School District Begins Vaccinations For Teachers, Staff
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Teachers and staff within the Granite School District began receiving the COVID vaccine Friday morning.
Hunter Junior High School was one of three clinics the district held during its distance learning day.
The clinic took place inside the school gymnasium, and the district started with the employees in the highest age bracket.
“I’m excited! Really excited for this opportunity!” said Paulette McMillan, who has worked in education for 30 years – including as a principal.
Her excitement was also met with emotion as she held back tears while talking to KSL.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for it,” she said.
Within the Granite School District, McMillan is among the first to roll up their sleeves, but it is a welcome poke.
“Because it’s hope,” she said. “It brings us hope, and hope for the future, and hope we keep kids in school, and hope that our lives can move on.”
In total, Granite officials hope all 9,000 employees will get the vaccine. On Friday, though, it was just the first round of doses. Officials are expecting 2,300 more doses between the district office and Churchill Middle school
“While this does not change our protocols day to day, this provides an extra security blanket for many of our employees,” said Ben Horsley, Granite School District communications director. “(It’s) clear we need to provide in person instruction for our students. Last spring, we had roughly 40% of our students – over 25,000 students – not engaging in distance learning.”
Horsley said that number is down to 4% because the district now offers an in-person component. That, along with the vaccine, has teachers feeling very optimistic and grateful.
“I’m just completely impressed by the science and how quickly we got the vaccine in the first place,” said Matthew Parola, who teaches social studies at Hunter Junior High School.
The clinics will be each Friday until everyone who wants the vaccine has received it.
District officials said roughly 20% – 30% of employees haven’t shown interest.
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