Area school superintendents are estimating that up to 75% of their staffs will want a coronavirus vaccine as it is offered to them over the next few weeks.
At Eastwood Local Schools, Superintendent Brent Welker estimates 75% of staff will want the vaccine right away, 12% will want it later, and there will be some who won’t take it at all.
Eastwood started the 2020-21 school year with the elementary attending four days a week and the remaining grades in hybrid.
Welker said there are a lot of moving parts to getting back to holding all classes in person, “and the vaccine is just one of them.”
At Lake Local Schools, of the 220 responses to a district survey, 65% of staff would take the vaccine, 15% would not and the remaining 20% is undecided, said Superintendent Jim Witt.
Otsego Local Schools had a 100% response rate from its staff of 224, said Superintendent Adam Koch. Roughly 75% saying they would take the vaccine now, 13% maybe later and 12% would decline.
Both Otsego and Lake have held classes five days a week from the start of the school year.
The survey window was still open at Elmwood Local Schools on Friday, but Superintendent Tony Borton said he was getting a return of 55% who would take the vaccine, another 25% maybe at a later date, which leaves around 20% who will decline.
At the Perrysburg Board of Education meeting last week, Superintendent Tom Hosler said the district is preparing for the vaccination of 750 employees. They plan to conduct a survey.
Northwood and North Baltimore had not collected district data as of late last week.
“I do not have enough data to estimate yet, but I certainly respect the decision of any staff member who prefers not to be vaccinated at this time,” said Northwood Superintendent Jason Kozina. “I do believe the vast majority will take advantage of this opportunity for vaccination.”
He added he does not have an issue with prioritizing the districts who are in-person as he believes the intent is to provide another layer of safety.
“I respect the decisions of every individual district as they monitor what is best for their own community, students and staff,” Kozina said.
As for returning to all in-person learning, Northwood – which started the school year using a hybrid model — will continue to maintain its protocols and monitor coronavirus numbers in the county and at the local level.
“There is certainly hope to attend more than the two days in-person hybrid model in the coming weeks and months,” Kozina said.
Gov. Mike DeWine has said that the goal is to have vaccinations for teachers done by March 1 with students back in class.