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Schools expect vaccine in February

Clark County Public Schools could receive the Moderna coronavirus vaccine in early to mid-February, and Superintendent Paul Christy wants to make sure that every teacher and school district employee who wants it can get it.

Board Member Gordon Parido had asked Christy at the board meeting Monday how many staff and teachers had signed up to take the vaccine and whether it was available for certified staff only or for everyone.

Christy said he thinks it’s for everyone, but he’s waiting for clarification on part-time teachers and some others.

He didn’t directly answer the question about how many will take it, but he said that he thinks resistance to taking the vaccine is decreasing.

Christy said that by Dec. 30, the district will reserve enough of the vaccine so that every employee in the district, full-time or part-time, can receive it.

He said that as the delivery gets closer, employees will be surveyed to determine who doesn’t want to take the shots, and that number will be removed from the shipment before it’s delivered.

“I’m going about it a little differently,” he said. “I want to make sure everybody’s got the opportunity for it and nobody loses that opportunity.”

Christy said he thinks the vaccine will be the Moderna product, not the one made by Pfizer.

“I found out today Moderna is being delivered to this area, and I think that’s being delivered to Lexington and Morehead this week,” he said.

The superintendent said he hopes that by February, fear of the vaccine will subside and more people will be willing to take it.

Tens of thousands of people have taken both vaccines in clinical trials, and they are currently being administered to health care workers, nursing home residents and others at high risk.

SEEK funds reduced

During the virtual meeting Monday night, Aleisha Ellis, the school district’s finance director, mentioned that the state is reducing the district’s SEEK funding for 2021 from $16.7 million to $15.7 million, but will offset the loss by providing CARES Act funding from the state that will end Dec. 30.

“I don’t like it because they’re basically withholding SEEK funds and giving us federal money,” Christy said.

He said the district won’t lose any funding now, but he’s afraid it will “down the road.”

Support Educational Excellence in Kentucky, or SEEK, is the main source of funding for K-12 education from the state.

Organizational meeting

The Board of Education will have its organizational meeting of 2021 on the date of the first meeting of the year, Jan. 4, at 6:30 p.m.

Two new members, Brenda Considine and Megan Hendricks, who were recently sworn in by a judge, will be meeting with the board for the first time, and officers will be chosen.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at randy.patrick@bluegrassnewsmedia.com.

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