Austin ISD: Teachers, staff to be in phase 2 of state COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Education

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District said district teachers and staff will be a part of phase two in the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

The announcement came from Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde during a Monday night board meeting.

“They know how important our teachers are to our schools… the lobbying we’ve done collectively—our voices were heard,” said Elizalde at the meeting.

Elizalde also said if Austin and Travis County were to enter Stage 5 of its COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines over winter break, Austin Public Health will recommend that all extracurricular activities be suspended. Schools could also potentially go back to 100% virtual instruction or stay closed for another week.

If campuses do close for another week, Elizalde said instructional time will need to be made up. This could mean either adding days to the end of the year, having school on Saturdays or canceling spring break.

The superintendent said right now, most parents want to add more days, according to a survey. Parents can fill out the survey no later than Thursday. You can access it online.

If the switch to remote learning happens in January, mass testing will be offered to students, staff and families, much like it was after Thanksgiving break.

Right now, there is one COVID-19 cluster at Anderson High School, which is related to a sports team, according to AISD. As of Monday night, the district reported 56 positive cases district-wide and 396 quarantined last week. You can find the district’s dashboard online.

Accommodation requests

Of the more than 1,200 requests submitted for the spring, 94 are pending and 75 have been approved, the district said at the meeting.

Employees are able to have phone calls with leaders about why their accommodation was denied or have leaders suggest turning in more paperwork so the request can be looked into further.

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