Dear Team DPS,
I am excited to report on the progress DPS has made this week on making the COVID-19 vaccine available to our educators and staff. Last week, Gov. Jared Polis announced new state guidelines that make frontline essential educators — including teachers, other school-based staff and child care workers, as well as those 65-69 years old — eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Feb. 8. Since then, we have been working hard, in partnership with Children’s Colorado and Denver Health, to quickly and equitably support educators who want to receive the vaccine. This week at least 2000 of our educators across 80 schools were able to receive the vaccine from our partners! Here’s more on our progress to date:
Complete (These team members who expressed interest in receiving the vaccine through DPS have had the opportunity to receive their first dose and schedule their second dose):
- School nurses
- Early childhood education (ECE) staff
- Teachers and staff working in center programs for students with disabilities
- Occupational therapists/physical therapists
- Safety staff
- School psychiatrists and counselors
In progress now:
- Staff who are serving in schools all day, every day.
- Staff who are on health-related accommodations or above the age of 65.
- Central-support staff who are serving in schools for some portion of each day or week.
- Central-support staff who are supporting in schools less frequently.
We scheduled each school team’s vaccination day based on the population they serve, in an effort to keep equity at the core of our decision making throughout this pandemic. Staff at schools with the highest percentage of students from low-income households are our highest priority and have the opportunity to receive the vaccine soonest.
Keep Wearing Masks and Getting Tested
I’m so pleased with the progress we’ve made so far. And I also know that we are not out of the woods yet with COVID-19. Our health partners advise that you should still be tested for COVID-19 until two weeks after you have received both doses of the vaccine. Additionally, if you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, you should be tested even if you have been fully vaccinated. As a reminder, COVIDCheck Colorado is still offering free testing to all students, staff and community members at locations throughout the city, and I am tremendously grateful to the Governor’s Office for providing the funding for this critical health-care service for our community.
Please continue to follow our health guidelines — wash or sanitize your hands frequently, wear a mask over your mouth and nose, maintain physical distance, stay home if you are sick and practice good hygiene with coughs and sneezes.
We’re so pleased to be off to such a strong start in offering vaccines to Team DPS, and I’m very grateful for all of the support we’ve received from our community. It’s really been remarkable to see how we’ve come together to support our educators and children.