The City of Jersey City will allocate all of their COVID-19 vaccines to teachers and other board of education staff next week in hopes of allowing the public schools to reopen for the final marking period of the year.
“We’ve been waiting for restrictions to be lifted so that we can inoculate teachers and meet the community’s call to get students back to in-person learning as quickly as possible, and now that we’ve reached that point, we’re prepared to dedicate the necessary resources to safely and swiftly reopen classrooms,” Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.
“Now that we are finally starting to get more doses, we can vaccinate more people, and we can expand our impact in order to help families and ultimately the broader community get back on their feet as fast as possible.”
The city is expected to receive 2,000 vaccine doses next week after receiving 1,500 last week, officials said.
This announcement follows Superintendent of Schools Franklin Walker’s weekly robocall to parents last night that indicated the public schools are planning to offer in-person learning again during the fourth marking period – which begins on April 22nd.
“Mayor Fulop reinforced his commitment to the Jersey City Public Schools’ safe reopening with his plan to dedicate thousands of vaccines to the teachers and support staff,” added Walker.
“Jersey City Public School employees will receive their vaccine at James J. Ferris High School and the Patricia Noonan Public School #26 starting the week of March 15, 2021. The vaccinations will provide confidence, an additional level of support, and safety for our entire school community.”
Several parents and students urged the district to reopen their schools, which hasn’t happened for about a year due to the pandemic, as soon as possible during the public portion of the February 25th board meeting.
Despite the criticisms, the board did not take any formal action on reopening and is still scheduled to continue learning remotely through April 21st.
Additionally, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced last week that educators would be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as of March 15th, though some teachers were able to get vaccinated at an event at Rowan University on Saturday.