RCHS Teachers and Staff Get Vaccinated

Dale+Rogers+is+receiving+his+second+dose+of+the+COVID+vaccine.++

Mrs. Schneider

Dale Rogers is receiving his second dose of the COVID vaccine.

Nimrah Khan , Staff Reporter

After several meetings between Dr. Mat Holton and several officials, the San Antonio Regional Hospital began administering vaccines to staff on February 3, granting teachers and students the option to safely return to school.

 

Beginning in the summer of 2020, the Chaffey Joint Union High School District started preparing the return of students to campus. Superintendent Dr. Mat Holton said in an interview that “the strong relationship we established with the CDPH [County Department of Public Health] during these discussions led to a commitment to work together to get the vaccines for our staff members as soon as they became available for educators.”

 

Dr. Holton explained that he reached out to the CEO of the San Antonio Regional Hospital (SARH) and “during a District-wide staff meeting on January 25th SARH Dr. Sara Khan, M.D. provided details on the COVID-19 vaccine and shared medical facts regarding its effects with our teachers and support staff.”

 

After meeting with Dr. Sara Khan, M.D., who eased the concerns of staff about the vaccine, Dr. Mat Holton was able to secure vaccines for CJUHSD staff. He said, “On February 2nd, I was able to email staff to inform them that the County authorized SARH to obtain vaccines for educators and appointments were then scheduled for our staff based on age. Over 500 of our staff members received their first dose of the vaccine on February 3rd, 4th, and 5th.”

 

Once COVID-19 vaccines were secured, school nurses from all over the district were authorized to administer the vaccines to staff. RCHS school nurse Nancy Davis said that “Our superintendent, Mat Holton, worked hard to make arrangements for our staff to receive the Covid-19 vaccine from San Antonio Regional Hospital.  In exchange, the CJUHSD school nurses staffed the clinic and administered the vaccine into the arms of our staff.”

 

Also, she said, “It feels wonderful to be a part of the process of eliminating the spread of Covid-19!  This was my chance to help hundreds of people simply by getting the vaccine into their arms.”

 

As students return to campus, a vaccinated staff helps ensure the safety of students. Mrs. Davis said the, “Covid-19 vaccine offers at least 94% protection from getting the disease within 2 weeks after getting your second dose. This allows teachers to get back into the classroom without fear of getting Covid-19 and taking it back to their families.”

 

Not only will the vaccine protect staff, but Mrs. Davis said, “it also helps to protect our students because prior to the vaccine their teacher could have had asymptomatic Covid-19, and inadvertently spread it throughout the classroom. Covid-19 vaccinations are another layer of protection that are being put in place at school along with mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing.”

 

While the vaccine was optional for staff, many teachers were motivated by the desire to return to normalcy. RCHS AP biology teacher Mr. Griffone said that his main reasons for getting the vaccine were, “first, self-preservation.  I don’t want to get deathly ill from this disease. Second, my daughters can’t get the vaccine yet, so I want to decrease the chances that I will bring it home to them.” He said “the vaccine wasn’t “fun”, but I am SO GLAD I took it.”

 

Mr. Griffone also said, “the more people who are exposed to the virus or the vaccine, the closer we get as a nation (and global population) to herd immunity”, and that, “the vaccine may be a small personal price to pay, but it has large dividends for the community.”

 

Moreover, Mr. Griffone shared his perspective as an AP biology teacher on the significance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, said, “vaccines allow for exposure and the build up of immunity WITHOUT possibly infecting others.  It is the CONTROLLED form of exposure and is safer for everyone.  This disease is serious.  It has caused over half a million deaths and millions of others will have long-term consequences from it.”

 

However, he added that “the whole community should be feeling more and more confident in the move back to normal teaching and learning.  This is a very positive step toward bringing the community back together.”

 

The COVID-19 vaccine is the next step back to normalcy. Teachers receiving the vaccine have opened the door of opportunity for students to return to campus safely.

 

As a final note, Dr. Mat Holton said “I am thankful that ALL CJUHSD staff have been given the opportunity to receive the vaccine and can now welcome students back to campus in a hybrid model.”

 

On Tuesday, April 13, students at Rancho Cucamonga High School started back in person for the first day of hybrid instruction.