While the district is not mandating teachers share proof of vaccination, it was able to collect the data by offering AISD employees a $250 one-time bonus in October for sharing their proof of vaccination with the district. The program aimed to encourage more teachers to get the shot.
Of 10,874 total AISD employees, as of Oct. 25, 8,845 signed up for the $250 bonus, which required that employees had either proof that the employee had received a single Johnson & Johnson shot or or both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines by Oct. 15.
More than 4,200 employees also signed up for the district’s COVID Sick Leave Co-op. The co-op allowed vaccinated employees to contribute eight hours of their own leave to the program in exchange for the option to use up to five “COVID leave” days of full payment if needed to take care of a family member sick with COVID-19 or for their own recovery.
When the district announced the incentive programs Aug. 24, an AISD news release said the goal of the programs was “to have a multilayered approach to making campuses as safe as possible.”
The district was also one of several in the state to mandate masks against an order from Gov. Greg Abbott.
Overall, AISD as of Oct. 26 has recorded 1,092 COVID-19 cases among students since the start of school Aug. 17, amounting to about 1.5% of the 75,000-student population. Surrounding school districts recorded more cases in their first month of school than AISD did in more than two months.