Gilbert Public Schools secures vaccination distribution event for staff, Higley USD

Shane McCord
Gilbert Public Schools Superintendent Shane McCord discusses at the GPS governing board meeting Jan. 26 the vaccination point of distribution that GPS will hold in partnership with Higley USD, Queen Creek USD and other entities. (Screen shot from YouTube)

Gilbert Public Schools Superintendent Shane McCord discusses at the GPS governing board meeting Jan. 26 the vaccination point of distribution that GPS will hold in partnership with Higley USD, Queen Creek USD and other entities. (Screen shot from YouTube)

Gilbert Public Schools has secured a closed COVID-19 vaccination point of distribution, or POD, that will serve district employees and those from the Higley and Queen Creek school districts.

Also served will be staff from charter and private schools and child care facilities in GPS’ footprint, Superintendent Shane McCord told the governing board at its Jan. 26 meeting.

The POD will be at Highland High School from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 13-14. Links for signup will be sent to staff Feb. 5. Albertsons/Safeway Pharmacy will work the POD.

McCord said a followup POD will be held in March for second doses of the vaccine.

Board Member Lori Wood expressed thanks that teachers are able to get the vaccine.


“I’m thankful they can have it and they have those opportunities, that they’ve made it available to our teachers knowing how important it is for students and teachers to be in school,” she said.

Board Member Reed Carr credited Health Services Director Jennefer Frost for her efforts to secure the POD for the district and its neighbors.

Wood and McCord noted that the city of Mesa and Mesa Public Schools has a POD going on that workers from GPS schools located in Mesa have been allowed to utilize for receiving vaccinations.

The board heard that news just after a review of the state and county benchmarks that all show high risk of community transmission at present, with most benchmarks still trending upward.

However, the board did not revise its previous decision from Jan. 4 to end its hybrid learning mode Jan. 29 and return to in-person instruction starting Feb. 1.

Board President Charles Santa Cruz did read a personal statement that expressed concern about returning to in-person instruction next week.

“My assessment of the data and the information at this point in time leads me to conclude that this action is premature,” he said.

Santa Cruz acknowledged that the data is conflicting and can lead people to draw different conclusions, and he said he would embrace a correct answer if there was one. He also said he would respect the board vote from Jan. 4.

The board received 91 online comments for the record that were overwhelmingly wanting to wait more before returning to in-person instruction. Three of the five people who appeared in person to speak to the board also wanted to wait.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


MOST RECENT

HD South
Denise Lopez appointed HD South chief

Denise Lopez replaces Kayla Kolar, who left in 2020 to become the executive director of House of Refuge, as HD South's president and CEO.

Western Canal
Gilbert officials wanted to avoid land acquisitions along Western Canal, staff tells residents

When Gilbert staff first addressed the problem of a deteriorating sewer along the Western Canal, they hoped to avoid using eminent domain to acquire land to fix the problem, staff told residents Feb. 25.

Arizona tourism statistics
State’s tourism struggle greater than Gilbert’s

The tourism industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 statewide, including locally in Gilbert.

Gilbert Public Safety Training Facility
Gilbert opens $85M training facility for growing police, fire forces

Gilbert is ready to open its Public Safety Training Facility under budget and ahead of schedule, officials said, allowing public safety forces to conduct expanded training in town.

Kirk Nelson, Nelson backyard
Residents hoping to save yards prepare to meet with Gilbert Town Council

Neighbors along the Western Canal path between Gilbert and Lindsey roads are hoping a meeting with Gilbert Town Council members can save them from losing their backyards to the town

Higley USD district office
Higley USD high school graduations will head back to campuses

Higley USD is planning for live high school graduations in May, but they will not be held at Arizona State University’s Wells Fargo Arena as they were pre-COVID-19.

The Meeple's Board Game Cafe
The Meeple's Cafe selling its games ahead of closing

The establishment combined food with board game play.

Maricopa County’s election equipment and software passed all tests performed by two independent firms hired to conduct the forensic audit, according to reports by two federally certified Voting System Testing Laboratories. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Maricopa County forensic audit of November election finds no issues with equipment, software

Maricopa County’s election equipment and software passed all tests performed by two independent firms hired to conduct the forensic audit.

Lori Wood
Gilbert Public Schools to start earlier, extend breaks beginning in 2022-23 school year

Final calendars await some modifications before approval, but Gilbert Public Schools will start its school year in July when the calendars take effect.

Farmer Boys
Farmer Boys set to open March 1 at Gilbert's City Gate

The 40-year-old California-based chain purchases its ingredients from local farms and purveyors when possible.

Germann Road is being improved to major arterial standards between Mustang Road and Val Vista Drive. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Left turns off limits from Lindsay to Germann through March 31 in Gilbert

The restriction is part of road work on Germann Road in which the road will be improved to major arterial roadway standards.

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
Number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Arizona falls below 1,400

Here is what you need to know about hospitalization numbers in Arizona because of COVID-19 cases.