Donna Talerico calls it a shot of normalcy for the coming school year.
Talerico, the deputy superintendent of Monongalia County’s school district, is referring to the COVID vaccine clinics coming up this week for middle-schoolers and high-schoolers.
Around 700 students are expected to roll up their sleeves, she said.
The middle school students will receive their second round of shots, the deputy superintendent said.
Talerico said she’s heartened that Mon’s high school students are coming around, also.
“These are the students who didn’t get vaccinated the first time around,” she said, of the above, “so we’ll be happy to see them there.”
The clinics begin Wednesday morning at University High and at Clay-Battelle, which houses both middle and high school grades.
Shots will also be administered that afternoon at Suncrest Middle and Westwood Middle.
The clinics move to Morgantown High and South Middle on Thursday morning and Mountaineer Middle that afternoon.
“Our goal is to get all our kids vaccinated,” Talerico said.
“Getting vaccinated means they’ll get to have sports and prom and just a more normal kind of year.”
“Normal,” wasn’t the watchword for this most recent academic year, Talerico said, even as she allowed that things could have been much worse.
While the students forced to quarantine from contact tracing ticked into classes, whole sports teams and triple-digit numbers at various times this term, the actual numbers of positive diagnoses were – relatively speaking – quite low, she said.
A total of 137 students, or less than 1% of total enrolled population, came down with COVID this past year, Talerico reported.
Another 160 teachers, employees and others associated Mon Schools also tested positive, she said.
The high quarantine numbers can be attributed to the district’s vigorous, in-house contact tracing, she said.
Thank the protocols and overall compliance for masking and social distancing for keeping the case numbers low, the deputy superintendent said.
“There are words to describe what people went through,” she said. “Every day was a first.”
“Our kids, our school personnel, really worked together. Everything we asked them to do, they did.”
All Sam Watson was asking for last month was that normalcy Talerico was talking about.
“I was excited to get it done,” the Suncrest Middle student said on the occasion of his first vaccine then.
“And I’ll be able to do a lot more things over the summer.”