CLEVELAND — On Feb. 11, the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) will start vaccinating the first of 12,000 Cleveland-area teachers as part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s plan to get students back in the classroom by March 1. That includes roughly 7,000 CMSD and staff from other schools.
Last week, CMSD CEO Eric Gordon introduced the district’s plan to use Max Hayes High School and East Technical High School as vaccination sites, using scheduling, social distancing, and an organized flow through the space to make sure that educators are safe while getting their vaccines.
Gordon and other school district leaders tell News 5 they’re working to meet DeWine’s goal of getting students back in classrooms by March 1, but they’re not going to go back to in-person instruction until they feel safe.
“The governor is expecting us to make our best faith effort and that’s what we need to do,” said Gordon. “Had the vaccines been available on January 16th when the Governor initially announced this, I think he had a reasonable expectation that six weeks later, we should fully be able to [return to in-person instruction,]” said Gordon.
Instead, Gordon says he’s hoping CMSD students will return to the classroom towards the end of March or early April.
DeWine’s office has told News 5 before that it’s been avoiding mass vaccination sites for the general public to avoid long waits and large groups where COVID-19 spread would be more likely. His office says large vaccination sites in schools are considered to be different because scheduling will prevent long lines of teachers waiting to be vaccinated, potentially spreading the virus.
Individual districts are handling vaccine registration and scheduling for their own staff.
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.