Pennsylvania Department of Education Secretary Dr. Noe Ortega and Deputy Secretary Dr. Sherri Smith joined Reading School District administration and community partners to discuss the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine prior to the start of the new school year.
“As communities across the commonwealth prepare for a new school year, we must work together to create healthy and safe conditions for our students, teachers, and staff now and in the future,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Noe Ortega. “We commend the Reading School District and their community partners for their efforts to offer eligible school children and families the COVID-19 vaccine through multiple mobile vaccine clinics this summer.”
In March, the Wolf Administration, in partnership with the COVID-19 Task Force, created a special initiative that vaccinated more than 112,500 teachers and staff in three weeks. On Friday, the administration applauded Reading School District and supports efforts by schools across the commonwealth to vaccinate eligible school children prior to the start of the new school year.
“Back-to-school planning is in full swing. As we gear up for a successful and safe 2021-22 school year that will include a return to full in-person learning in our district, we are pleased to partner with the City of Reading and Penn State Health-St. Joseph to host our latest round of vaccination clinics this summer. We are hopeful all of our eligible students and their families will continue to take advantage of the great vaccination opportunities happening both with the school district and throughout our community,” said Reading School District Superintendent Dr. Khalid N. Mumin.
“We are also grateful for these type of ‘all-in’ community efforts, as they complement the outstanding work of our RSD Health Services Department and school nurses, who have continually held free vaccination clinics and informational sessions for students and families throughout the pandemic.”
School nurses from Reading School District’s Health Services Department have held several vaccination clinics for students, staff, and community members since the spring.
In this latest effort, Reading School District partnered with the City of Reading and Penn State Health St. Joseph to host another series of vaccination clinics in late July and August at Southwest Middle School, Northwest Middle School and Reading High School.
To support school communities in preparing for the 2021-22 school year, the U.S. Department of Education released its Return to School Roadmap last week. Throughout the 2020-21 school year, PDE regularly provided technical assistance and guidance to LEAs to support instruction while navigating the pandemic. This included through the PDE online resource, the Roadmap for Educational Leaders. PDE will continue to support LEAs as they prepare for and navigate the upcoming school year.