CATSKILL — Data released from Catskill Central School District on Tuesday showed that 40 staff members do not wish to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
The majority of staff has been vaccinated or are awaiting vaccines, with 195 members fully vaccinated, 20 who have received their first dose and 81 who want to be vaccinated.
“I am pleased with the district’s staff vaccination rate,” Superintendent Ronel Cook said Wednesday. “Our staff is committed to providing students with a high-quality education in a safe and secure learning environment. This is evident by the percentage of staff who either took the vaccine or are in the process of receiving it.”
Cook hopes all students will be able to return to in-person instruction in the fall.
“Our goal is to return all students safely back to school in-person in September,” Cook said. “Nevertheless, we realize that some parents may feel uneasy with sending their children back to school in September. A remote option will be available. The district is developing specific criteria for students to qualify for full remote instruction. For example, medical documentation will be one of the items listed as the part of the criteria.”
Catskill has reported 30 positive cases, according to the state’s report card.
Cairo-Durham is not collecting vaccination information from staff, Superintendent Michael Wetherbee said.
“We are not collecting official staff vaccination data,” Wetherbee said.
In terms of learning plan options for the fall, Wetherbee said this will be decided at the state level.
“It is way too early to know what the New York state Education Department guidelines will be for the fall and what the district will be offering,” he said.
The district has reported 39 positive cases, according to the state’s report card.
Greenville has reported 35 cases, Hunter-Tannersville has reported 14 and Windham-Ashland-Jewett has reported 11.
Coxsackie-Athens has reported the most cases among Greene County schools, with 45.
About 6,500 Greene County residents are fully vaccinated, according to the state’s vaccine tracker.
Chatham Superintendent Salvatore DeAngelo said across all three school buildings about 86.6% of faculty and staff have been vaccinated, that average comes from 85% have been vaccinated at the high school, 87% at the elementary school and 88% at the middle school, there are about 240 staff in the district.
DeAngelo said New York State allows for four hours of leave so people are able to get the vaccine.
“Prior to that, we had provided an opportunity for a small amount of administrative leave to encourage our teachers to get vaccinated because we felt that was the fastest path forward,” DeAngelo said.
The district collaborated with Walgreens and held a vaccination clinic at the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School on March 13. More than 100 staff members from Chatham were vaccinated along with 80 staff members from other Columbia County school districts.
“Most of the staff who wanted to seek out a vaccine is probably close to being complete,” DeAngelo said.
He said having more teachers and staff vaccinated has been beneficial because it eases anxiety about the virus for people who have received it. He said having teachers vaccinated also helps if a teacher is potentially exposed to someone who is positive. They will not necessarily need to quarantine if they have had the virus, which will reduce the need to switch to remote learning.
Taconic Hills Superintendent Neil Howard said the district has been encouraging staff to get vaccinated but at this time there are no mandates in the state requiring people to get vaccinated.
Of 316 full-time and part-time people employed by the district, he said 198, or 62.6% of the staff, has received the vaccination. The majority of district employees who have said they intend to get vaccinated has been vaccinated.
At New Lebanon, the majority of faculty and staff have been vaccinated, said Superintendent Andrew Kourt. He said at least 85% of faculty and staff have reported they have received both doses of the vaccination.
Kourt said staff is not required to report that information to the district.
In the Hudson City School District, Superintendent Maria Lagana Suttmeier reported 205 faculty and staff members are fully vaccinated. She said there are many people who are receiving their second dose of the vaccine Wednesday so the number will be higher when the latest vaccines are reported.