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Talawanda teachers begin receiving second dose of vaccine

Around half of the teachers in the Talawanda School District (TSD), about 300 people, received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 25.

The Butler County Educational Service Center, which works with all public schools in the county, coordinated the administration of the vaccine for all 10 school districts in Butler County. 

Talawanda teachers received the first dose of the vaccine on Feb. 4. The schools were closed, but students were given work to take home.

“The Education Service Center figured out a plan with the superintendent to figure out the best way for teachers to receive the vaccine,” said Holli Morrish, director of communications and public relations for TSD. 

Morrish said the district had remote learning days on both Feb. 25, when the vaccinations took place, as well as Feb 26.

In August, Talawanda offered only remote learning. The schools reopened in September to students who wanted to take in-person classes.

In November, Morrish said many faculty members contracted or were exposed to COVID-19, forcing the middle and high school to turn back to remote learning. The elementary schools continued to stay open.

Face-to-face instruction resumed at the middle and high school on Jan. 18. 

About 80% of students opted to take classes in-person, Morrish said. The rest opted to take classes online because of health concerns for themselves or family members. 

Morrish said she was unsure which vaccine teachers were given. There was no mention of the vaccine brand in the confirmation email teachers received when they agreed to get vaccinated.

Even with the vaccine providing around 95% immunity, Morrish said district employees will continue COVID-19 protocols. 

“We all continue to wear masks, social distance and clean,” Morrish said. “I expect everything to be moving in a positive direction. Our numbers are down from a while ago.”

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Morrish does not anticipate a change in the way teachers or the general public are protecting themselves against COVID-19 over the next few months. 

She said the TSD will continue to monitor the progress of the vaccine and its success. 

“We are monitoring the situation closely to reopen in the fall, but we need to know it is safe to do so,” Morrish said. “We are going to be monitoring it closely and work with the local health officials, the Department of Education and follow the rules that Gov. [Mike] DeWine lays out.”