WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) — For Menasha Joint School District officials, planning for September is currently underway.
“We’re going to have to make the decisions we have to make sure school is safe for both our students and our staff,” Superintendent Chris VanderHeyden said Tuesday.
School officials are still working on an official masking policy.
They hope to have a school year that looks as normal as possible, but there are obstacles in place.
“The tricky part’s going to be that 11-and-under group that’s not eligible for vaccinations right now,” VanderHeyden said, “but we’re looking at that guidance closely, and we’ll make a decision by early August.”
Winnebago County Health officials say kids old enough aren’t showing up to get the shot.
“The 12-to-17-year-olds represent probably our lowest percentage of persons vaccinated of all age groups,” Doug Gieryn, Director/Health Officer with the Winnebago County Health Department said.
Before school starts back up in September, there is time for students to get vaccinated.
“If you get vaccinated this week, you’ll have your first dose this week, you’ll have your second dose in three weeks from now, and then you’ll have two weeks before the school year starts for that immunity to be completed,” Gieryn said.
Menasha officials are encouraging students who can get the vaccine to do it.
“We need to do what we can to encourage folks to get vaccinated if that’s something you’re willing to do, we would certainly encourage and hope that you would do so,” VanderHeyden said.
VanderHeyden added that when the school year begins, “We’re certainly not going to require vaccinations, we’re not going to ask who’s vaccinated, who’s not vaccinated.”
Health officials are hoping enough will get vaccinated to take some of the guesswork out of the upcoming school year.
“Even if not all people can get vaccinated in a group, certainly getting as many vaccinated as possible will help everyone,” Gieryn said.