Ohio’s teachers and school employees are in the next group that will get the coronavirus vaccine starting February 1. And superintendents are signing pledges that they will return to either hybrid or in-person learning on March 1 as a condition of their workers getting the vaccine.
Superintendents from Ohio’s more than 600 districts will all sign the forms, said Kevin Miller with the Buckeye Association of School Administrators. He said they're "very, very happy across the board" with Gov. Mike DeWine's decision to move school employees into the upcoming group, with the goal of getting kids back into schools as soon as possible.
During the week of February 1st, we will begin to vaccinate our school personnel. This week we are sending forms to be signed by superintendents - we are asking them to agree to go back to full in-person or hybrid learning by March 1st. That is a condition of getting the vaccine.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) January 7, 2021
And Miller said he doesn’t feel the March 1 condition is forcing anyone’s hand.
“I think this will work for the districts that feel that they're very close to coming back in person or hybrid or already are," Miller said. "And for those that feel like they've got maybe more ground work to do before they bring the kids back in, they're just not going to fret over that March 1st deadline.”
Miller said there’s flexibility if the vaccine rollout isn’t going smoothly, and he said schools can still offer all-remote learning.
"What we've been told is, listen, there won't be the in-person police out there to see if you're starting March 1," Miller said. "Some districts might need, you know, another couple of weeks before they can give their kids the opportunity to come back. And the message that we've gotten is that will be OK.”
Details on where school personnel would get vaccines are still being worked out.