Carthage ISD partners to provide COVID-19 vaccine to teachers

Snow blanketed Carthage High School on Jan. 10 and 11.

Carthage ISD has partnered with a Center medical practice to provide COVID-19 vaccines to teachers when it becomes available, school officials said Monday.

Assistant Superintendent Donna Porter, the district’s COVID-19 coordinator, told trustees at Monday’s school board meeting that they have an agreement with Aurora Concepts to make the vaccine available when Aurora gets it.

Interim Superintendent Jim Dunlap added that the vaccine would be voluntary.

“It’s all volunteer, no one is required to do it,” he said. “We haven’t reached that point yet. Some districts across the state are requiring all their staff first of all to be tested and also to be vaccinated. We’re not to that point here.”

Also at the meeting, Porter said the district had seen about 60 cases of COVID-19 during the holidays. The district’s nurses, she said, had gone through training and were now giving rapid COVID tests to students and staff members.

Instruction wise, Chief Learning Officer Allen Koch said the district has 15 students on permanent at-home learning with a doctor’s note. The rest of the district is back in the traditional classroom.

The good thing, Koch said, is that the district is now also one-to-one with devices, so every student has access in case they need to switch to at-home learning at any point.

“I think we’re in a position now if we have to have students go home that we’ll be able to handle that, but at this point where we are now, we’ve taken those students who spent the first six weeks or two six weeks back in the classroom, intervention for them, some remediation for them and trying to get them caught up,” Koch said.

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Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.