Tallmadge schools begins vaccination on Feb. 4

Krista S. Kano
Akron Beacon Journal

Tallmadge City Schools employees will begin the COVID-19 vaccination process on Feb. 4, school officials confirmed. 

The district is partnering with Akron Children's Hospital, which already provides nursing services, to vaccinate 285 employees, about 90% of the staff. 

"We were excited about that high number, and that includes transportation, kitchen, teaching, custodial, maintenance, secretaries, everyone," said Jeff Ferguson on his last day as superintendent. "So to come back at 90% is great and [Akron Children's] is confident that they'll get through all of them in one day."

Staff will be scheduled to receive the first dose of the three-week Pfizer vaccine so as not to interfere with instruction, Ferguson said, and the same is expected for the second dose, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 24. 

However, the district is exploring alternate plans for Feb. 25, the day after the second dose, in case a large number of staff members have a reaction. 

Currently, only Tallmadge kindergarteners through fifth-graders report to school daily, while the older students are in a hybrid model. Staff vaccinations would not necessarily prompt a change in the learning models, Ferguson said. 

"Since August, our goal has been to bring all students back to school safely," he said. "One of the challenges prior to the vaccine was not having enough substitutes, and hybrid gives us more flexibility. Vaccinations are another tool in our tool box and would be a factor in getting all students back in the buildings." 

That decision, however, will ultimately fall on new Superintendent Steve Wood, who took over on Feb. 1. 

Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, kkano@thebeaconjournal.com or on  Twitter @KristaKanoABJ.