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Vaccination Update from Superintendent

Vaccination Update from Superintendent
Posted on 01/22/2021
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Dear School Community,

Over the last 48 hours, I have been impressed with our school community’s assistance in helping decision makers at the state and federal levels understand the crisis that is occurring in public school districts across our region due to insufficient supplies of the vaccine. So, THANK YOU for your advocacy!!!!

Throughout the pandemic, I have observed and also been the recipient of strong advocacy in the areas of sports, instructional delivery, health precautions, and other related issues. In many cases strong voices tied to sound rationales have inspired change. Unfortunately, today I received information that our voices are not being heard. We continue to learn that more and more groups are being placed before educators. Simultaneously, doses of the vaccine continue to fall far short of demand. As a result, the Chester County Health Department communicated to county superintendents that mass vaccinations for the education community will not occur anytime soon. 

Meanwhile, educators and parents across our region are observing more and more students experience academic, social, and emotional difficulties. These difficulties have compounded after the Winter Break, and it is my strong belief that what was once a challenge has turned into a real crisis for our public school children. Without the vaccination, and as long as current health guidelines and precautions remain unchanged, full-time, in person learning will remain nothing more than a hope for the future, rather than the reality of a March return after educators would have received their second vaccinations as the original plan stipulates.

The health department has told us that vaccine supply has not increased for Pennsylvania and that the state is still receiving the same limited supply as it was in the beginning of January. Even though supply is limited, even though county officials reassure us that Delaware County has received the fourth highest number of doses of any county in the state, and even though the amount of vaccine our county receives is closely aligned with the state average on a per capita basis, more and more groups continue to jump ahead of educators. We certainly do not begrudge anyone who is designated to receive the vaccination; however, we believe that folks outside of public education are failing to see the damage that is being done to our children.

As I stated, the Chester County Health Department and the DelCo Covid Task Force created an awesome plan to vaccinate educators, but it appears that without a huge change in supply, it will remain as it is now–just a plan. We need our students in school just as we need teachers to be safe against the ravages of the virus. We must continue to implore our leaders to prioritize educators with the existing doses just as we implore them to get Delaware County the supplies it desperately needs. 

Our children are in crisis and we need you to continue to advocate for them and the educators who want desperately to teach them!!!!

Sincerely,

Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent

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