School board
During a Feb. 17 meeting, Superintendent Tim Tarvin (center) briefed the Shelby Board of Education about coronavirus vaccines.
SHELBY -- As a historic day neared in Shelby and Ohio's response to the coronavirus pandemic, schools Superintendent Tim Tarvin briefed Board of Education members on the hundreds of coronavirus vaccines set to be administered to community educators and staff.
"We are partnering with the city of Shelby Health Department, Pioneer Career and Technology Center and Shelby St. Marys," Tarvin said in remarks to the Shelby School Board on Feb. 17. "All three of those school districts will be receiving their vaccinations to be administered by the city of Shelby Health Department this Friday (Feb. 19.)"
The shots are set to be given at Shelby High School where the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine are being administered that day.
"The total is somewhere around 330 vaccinations," Tarvin said. "Shelby has 182 staff members. That's right at 70 percent of our staff members who have chosen to get the vaccination."
He expects the vaccines to be administered from 8 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m. 
Due to the logistical challenges of so many shots being administered and the timing involved, students will not be in school building classrooms that day. "Our students will be receiving remote online lessons," Tarvin said. "Our teachers all have to report, whether they are getting the vaccine or not."
The second dose of the vaccine is to be given March 12 when Shelby students  already were not scheduled to be in class due to a professional development day for staff members.
"We are thrilled that we can get these all done on two days, Feb. 19 and March 12," Tarvin told the school board. "We are really, really happy that 70 percent of our staff members have chosen that they want to put another layer -- from their perspective -- of safety in regard to contracting the virus."
Shelby School Board President Lorie White praised all involved.
"I am so proud of the staff for thoughtfully considering, whether you decided to take it (vaccine) or not," she said. "Just their thoughtful consideration. The people who decided not to get it have their personal reasons for that. I respect that."
"I am super proud of the staff for embracing science and taking that step," White went on to say.
White has already received two doses of the vaccine through her workplace. A social worker, she works in a skilled nursing facility where she is in admissions.
"I am a Pfizer survivor," White said at the school board meeting. "I am still sitting here. I don't have three eyes. I don't have another arm that I'm hiding. It's all good. It's all good."
Superintendent Tarvin praised the Shelby City Health Department, Shelby Mayor Steve Schag, Dr. Ajay Chawla, Shelby’s health commissioner and medical director, Tiffiny Ellenberger, Shelby's director of nursing, and Beth Conrad, the city of Shelby's director of environmental health.
"The four of them have been wonderful to work with," Tarvin said in also naming Pioneer and St. Mary officials. 
"It's been a team effort," Tarvin said. "We are very grateful for the opportunity and having the city of Shelby Health Department be our provider."
The vaccines for teachers and school staff are a key part of Gov. Mike DeWine's strategy to get Ohio school's open by March 1 during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Shelby City Schools opened in late August for the 2020-21 school year with in-person instruction and the option of online learning through the Whippet Academy. A surge in coronavirus cases in Shelby and Richland County late this past fall had prompted remote learning from Nov. 23 through Jan. 8. In-class instruction resumed on Jan. 11 in Shelby. The pandemic also had closed school buildings in Shelby and across Ohio from mid-March 2020 through the end of the 2019-20 school year.
"Vaccinations will help our staff members remain healthy and out of quarantine, which in turn will help our schools to remain open with face-to-face instruction for the remainder of this school year," Tarvin wrote in a Feb. 10 online letter to Shelby families.
At the Feb. 17 meeting, the Shelby School Board addressed multiple other topics, ranging from finances to curriculum. Check for more upcoming in the Shelby Daily Globe.

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