ENDWELL, NY – The Maine-Endwell School District is doing its best to get as many of its students, staff and community members vaccinated ahead of what is still an uncertain start to the new school year.
The district held vaccination clinics at the high school and Maine Memorial Elementary today.
The clinics were open to anyone with photo ID.
People could choose between the 2 shot Pfizer vaccine, which is authorized for those 12 and older, or the single dose Johnson and Johnson.
Superintendent Jason Van Fossen says he doesn’t have hard data on what percentage of students, faculty and staff have received the vaccine, but voluntary information indicates that more than three-quarters of teachers have gotten the shot.
Van Fossen was hopeful that vaccines would allow the schools to return to a more normal pre-pandemic operating status.
But with a lack of guidance from the state, Van Fossen fears that start the school year with the same set of restrictions that they had in June.
“It’s frustrating when we’ve spent 16 months now going through a pandemic, learning what works, learning what doesn’t, gathering feedback, listening to students, listening to parents, trying to follow the science, listening to all of the information and putting it all on the table. Trying to put forward a program or plan that makes everyone happy, and I think unfortunately at this point, we’re not going to be able to do that,” he said.
Van Fossen says it’s difficult to please those who want more stringent restrictions as well as those who want the restrictions, especially the mask mandate, removed.
The state’s Education Commissioner released a letter on Thursday expressing her own frustration regarding a lack of guidance from the Department of Health and the Governor’s office as to what sort of requirements will be put on schools when they open in just five weeks.
Maine-Endwell plans another round of vaccination clinics on Monday August 23rd.
They will be from 1 to 3 at the high school and 4 to 6 at Maine Memorial.
If you’d like to pre-register, you can do so at http://ME.STIER.org although walk-ins are welcome.