UTICA, Mich. – The Utica Community Schools (UCS) district said it is “leveraging partnerships” to increase the availability of vaccines to its staff while it moves toward more in-person instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Partnerships with the Sterling Heights Fire Department and Henry Ford Medical Center allow district staff additional opportunities to register to receive the vaccine, the district said in a news release Thursday.
The district is also working with local pharmacies including Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Meijer and Kroger to increase availability of vaccines for staff. Moreover, UCS said it has reached out to the Macomb County Health Department to host in-district clinics.
“A full return to in-person instruction remains a goal for Utica Community Schools, and the health and safety of our staff and students continues to be a priority in our move forward,” Interim Superintendent Robert Monroe said. “We are working aggressively through partnerships to increase the access of vaccines to interested staff as we prepare to increase the amount of time students are in our classrooms.”
Utica Community Schools is currently offering two learning models to its families:
- A hybrid (cohort) option that provides students a combination of in-person and remote instruction
- The full on-line UCS Virtual Academy
The district is scheduled to increase the amount of in-person learning over the next month. Students in special education self-contained classrooms and secondary English Learner students are scheduled to have increased in-person learning the week of March 1. The remaining K-12 students are scheduled for an increase of in-person learning the week of March 15.
Eligibility for district staff to receive COVID-19 vaccinations was opened on Jan. 11.
On Tuesday, the K-12 Alliance of Michigan -- representing hundreds of thousands of students, teachers and schools -- held a roundtable to give a glimpse of issues facing students, teachers and learning.
One issue being the $1.6 billion federal allocation signed by then-President Donald Trump that has not yet shown in the state as well as the debate over who should control what in Lansing.
“We need the governor and Legislature to come together and commit to putting politics aside, getting the stimulus money out the door and getting a budget put in place by June 1 that put the needs of our students first,” said Robert McCann with K-12 Alliance of Michigan.