The information below was sent to P-H-M families on Friday, March 26, 2021.
Dear P-H-M Families,
In the District’s ongoing efforts to provide opportunities for P-H-M staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, we worked with Meijer to provide a vaccination clinic on March 8 for the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.
1,170 people were vaccinated, including staff from P-H-M and neighboring school districts, as well as some community members. This included over 700 P-H-M staff, representing about half of our entire workforce.
Meijer is returning next Monday, March 29, to administer the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine to staff and community members who were vaccinated at our clinic three weeks ago.
As part of our weekly meeting with the St. Joseph County Department of Health, it was shared with us that we should expect 15-30% of P-H-M employees to experience mild to adverse effects after receiving the second shot.
We know that other area school districts had to call eLearning days after their staff members experienced some side effects following the second dose of the Moderna vaccine. If 15-30% of P-H-M staff members called in sick for Tuesday, March 30, we would not be able to transport, feed or teach our students.
Based on this information, we are calling an eLearning Day for grades K-12th grade for next Tuesday, March 30. This day will be an eLearning day (just like what is called due to weather), NOT a virtual learning day. Teachers will not be teaching live on Tuesday. Head Start, PreK (Early Learning Academy and PennPALS), and Young Adult programs are all canceled for March 30. However, eLearning lessons will be provided for Early Learning Academy, PennPALS, and Young Adult programs.
The regular eLearning Day responsibilities of teachers will be in place next Tuesday. If a teacher is not sick, he/she will be online and responsive to student questions and to offer additional support and clarification as needed throughout the school day. If a teacher is taking a sick day on Tuesday, they will notify students and families through email and other normal modes of class communication and will not be available online that day. The classroom teachers will give specifics and assignment due dates of the eLearning lessons.
We know that this is a disruption and an inconvenience for our families at a time when we are trying to return all students to 100% in-person learning. Having nearly half of our workforce fully vaccinated through our Meijer clinic coupled with the state opening up vaccine eligibility to people 16 and older will ultimately help school districts return to near normal, pre-pandemic operations of educating students. We hope that parents, guardians, and families will also personally consider getting vaccinated to help our greater community, state and country. Thank you for being valued partners.
Dr. Jerry Thacker