Happy 1st Governing Board Meeting of the New Year!
There was lots of information covered but I am going to report on what I think is on everybody's mind: COVID and Distance Learning.
Our new school board consists of re-elected President Marissa Hernandez, Vice President Denice Garcia, Pedro Lopez, and newly elected Anna Lynn Abeytia (a former Cartwright student). Lydia Hernandez was not in attendance.
The COVID Task Force Committee chairs Patricia Lopez and Dr. Durden reported the work of the last task force meeting. Additionally, Dr. Maes shared a detailed report that included our current metrics (Cartwright continues to be in “Substantial Risk”), the vaccinations that are available through group 1B, and the opening of the Phx Union Vaccination POD. Dr. Maes also shared the side effects of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations. It was reported that 17% of Cartwright’s staff have signed up for vaccinations and that over 100 have received the 1st dose. I personally have had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. So far, my arm is sore and I am fatigued and I am looking forward to my 2nd dose.
We all know of staff who have taken or are planning on taking the vaccine as well as colleagues who cannot or will not partake. Anna asked an important question in regards to our student community. She questioned how the vaccine would affect our students as they are not in the age range for the two available vaccines. There were no specific answers as this is still something that is being discussed.
The Board voted to reexamine vaccinations and the metrics at the February 11th meeting. Even though the Board voted to continue with Distance Learning at the moment, it is important to have a plan ready for when we do return to in-person learning. This plan was shared by Patricia Lopez. Lopez was very clear that the plan is intended for “when it is deemed safe to return.”
A two (2) week notice will be given to staff which will be broken down as follows:
-Week 1: staff returns to work on site
-Week 2: ½ day with students (to include classroom set up)
-Week 3: families/staff will have decided if they will return to campus or continue distance learning
Personally, I am grateful for a district that continues to observe metrics and cares for the safety of staff, students, and community members. Thank you to colleagues who reminded me that getting the vaccination will keep the vaccinated person safe, however a vaccinated person can still carry COVID and infect others, so community spread is still a concern. As we look forward, keep sending your areas of concern and questions our way. We are taking them to the task force and are working on getting information out to you.
Mitchella Stevens, CEA President