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Harnett County Schools Superintendent Releases Statement Regarding Educator COVID-19 Vaccinations

Harnett County Schools Superintendent Releases Statement Regarding Educator COVID-19 Vaccinations

January 5, 2021

There is little debate that Harnett County's students need to be back into our schools on a full-time basis. Each day that passes, learning gaps are widening. The typical summer learning loss is minimal compared to what we will see by the time this pandemic is over. To turn the clock of lost instructional time back, our educators and support staff need to receive the COVID-19 vaccine immediately. Our students and their families have become Yo-Yos as they have entered and exited face-to-face learning in our school buildings. The increasing positivity rate and decreasing number of ICU beds locally and regionally do not statistically affect our students. Still, these numbers impact the lives of parents, grandparents, loved ones, older adults, and our staff members. The closing of schools for in-person attendance is to protect our adults and vulnerable populations that are most at risk of contracting this virus. Our educators and those who support learning must be vaccinated now or immediately after the healthcare and public safety workforce. 

 

I am so proud to see how Harnett County has progressed in remote instruction since this past March, but there is no replacement for going to school. Our students grow academically and socially in classrooms with our teachers, instructional assistants, and their peers together in a classroom community. Every day in our schools, we witness a wide range of success stories. Our youngest students gain fundamental reading skills while, at the same time, a high school student prepares to graduate with a fulfilling job opportunity. A well-trained and qualified teacher brings these stories to life. We need these professionals to be healthy, protected, and present.

 

I appreciate the work being done by our state leaders as it pertains to vaccinations, but I believe the pace should increase to reopen our schools' doors. Please join me in supporting an increased vaccination priority for our state's education professionals. While we will not require staff vaccinations, we must offer them immediately so that we may turn the corner as we close in on a year of this pandemic. Remote learning is not a new normal. It is merely a tool that we use when needed. Let's ensure that going back-to-school doesn't become old school.

 

Dr. Aaron L. Fleming, Superintendent

 

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