Bella Glastra van Loon
With several vaccines found and distribution starting, hope for returning back to in-person class has risen. Since March of 2020, teachers have had to adapt and find new ways to connect with students and provide the materials needed to learn. The comprehensive distance learning concept-commonly referred to as CDL- has been in effect since September and allows for slow transition to in-person classes once requirements are met.
But with this new hope for return, concerns for the health of students, families, and especially teachers has risen too. As teachers and staff will be exposed to more people, the importance of giving them the vaccine is high, and should be met before students can return.
Oregon has put educators and K-12 staff higher on the list for receiving the vaccine, and the Wilsonville-West Linn staff and bus drivers have a plan in action to become vaccinated. Considering the vaccination center at the Oregon Convention Center will administer approximately 2,000 vaccines per day, it will take several weeks for all educators to be vaccinated; thus the demand to start administering is great.
Vaccines will be provided in a sequence of four waves to specific employee groups. The first wave includes but is not limited to elementary school teachers for Pre-K to 1st grade and support staff, specialists, administration at elementary schools, bus drivers, custodians, and nutrition service employees.
The second wave includes teachers and support staff of second through fifth grades. And the progression continues down each wave, to the last wave, which includes teachers and support staff of 9th grade-12th grade students, as well as substitute teachers, athletic coaches or other staff based at a district or educational facility.
While vaccinating staff is a huge step forward towards normality and heading back to in-person teaching, masks and other precautions must still be used. But with this progression, hope to be back in the classroom has risen and hopefully will push Oregon closer to pre-COVID life.