March 10, 2021 submitted by Kerri Ni, School Committee Chair
On March 3rd, Governor Baker announced that educators and school staff members will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as of March 11th. This is welcome news as it will protect our essential school staff and will also allow more safe, in-person learning time for students. However, anyone who has arranged a vaccine appointment for themselves or an eligible family member understands how onerous and time consuming the process can be, especially for school staff who do not have time to navigate the appointment system during the school day. This year has been extremely challenging, but as they always do, our Hingham Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) stepped up with a concrete solution.
To ensure that our educators and school staff are able to access COVID-19 vaccinations as easily as possible, the Hingham PTOs are launching an adopt-an-educator/staff program. Participation is completely voluntary and any staff member can sign up to have a volunteer search for vaccine appointments for them.
The Hingham School Department and Committee are grateful to HPS parent Priya Howell and Hingham High School PTO Co-President Josh Ross for initiating this program and for the ongoing support provided by our PTOs!
Dr. Paul Austin shares, “As Hingham Public Schools continue to increase in-person learning for students, staff and educator vaccinations are very important. While our plan to increase in-person learning time is not tied to vaccinations, I believe that vaccinations, in addition to our current health and safety protocols, are the best path forward to ensure the health and safety of our staff, students and entire community. As public school educators and staff become eligible for the vaccine, it is important that we move quickly to get as many of our employees vaccinated as soon as possible. However, we also know from the past few months that the process for securing an appointment for the vaccine can be both time consuming and frustrating. Because of this, I was thrilled when Priya Howell, Joshua Ross and the PTO Presidents came forward with an offer to assist our staff in securing vaccination appointments. The efforts of our amazing parents and community will support our educators and staff to focus on educating students while volunteers seek appointments to get them vaccinated. This is just one of many examples of how this community comes together to support each other and our public schools. On behalf of Hingham Public Schools, I want to thank our parents and community for their generosity and continued support of our schools and staff.”
Editor’s Note: PTOs have begun this program and will reach out to parents as help is needed. If you have questions regarding this program, reach out to your school’s PTO representative.