The three local school districts are joining the rising number of campuses across the state requesting priority access to the vaccine. The RRISD letter sent to the governor’s office stated the Texas Association of School Boards and the Texas School Alliance are both requesting the state to include school personnel in the next tier of frontline workers.
RRISD acting Superintendent Daniel Presley and board President Amy Weir sent the letter to Abbott on Dec. 15, stating they hope to protect the district's 7,000 employees and 50,000 students.
The RRISD letter goes on to say front-line medical workers and the older population are the top priority but that the school officials hope for Texas teachers to be considered in the next wave of vaccine distribution.
PISD stated in its letter that schools “have not been immune” to the effects of the pandemic. Despite only 45% of PfISD students opting for in-person learning, COVID-19 cases continue to rise, disrupting programs.
“Without healthy staff, we cannot hold school. Without healthy students, we cannot thrive at what we do best – teach. Simply put: the less illness, fewer quarantines, less reliance on substitute teachers, less disruption of instruction, the better morale is on our campuses,” the PfISD letter said.
Todd Robinson, the HISD director of communication and community relations, confirmed by phone the district has also sent to Abbott a letter requesting priority access to the vaccination for school personnel. The HISD resolution was passed and adopted on Dec. 17.
All three districts stressed the importance of protecting students and staff in the hopes for campuses to return to a normal.
“If doses are available for Texas teachers in the initial group or in the second phase it would be a great asset in keeping the teachers in Texas schools actively engaged in teaching for the coming months,” the RRISD letter said.