More than half of the 2,329 teachers and classified support staff in the Manteca Unified School District are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The district doesn’t have exact numbers due to confidentiality laws. However, based on vaccination clinics the San Joaquin County Office of Education conducted earlier this year in excess of 50 percent of the district staff received shots.
That was before the district offered a $350 incentive to employees who were fully vaccinated by the end of June.
That effort resulted in 891 staff members being paid a $350 bonus. In addition nine classified employees who did not want shots but took advantage of an offer to be certified in hands only CPR to obtain a $350 bonus.
The $315,000 cost was part of pandemic stipends with an overall price tag of $6.55 million. The one-time stipends will be covered by $49.7 million in federal COVID relief funds the district is receiving.
The one-time stipend for their efforts during the pandemic was $2,350 for teachers and most classified employees. Those classified employees that are noon duty workers received $1,160.
Manteca Unified was one of only a handful of districts in the state that required all employees — unless they had a pre-existing condition — to physically report to work for the entire school year that ended in May.
That was the case even when almost all students except for small cohorts were 100 percent distance learning for the first three months of the school year.
Manteca was among the first districts to migrate to a hybrid learning system with students on campus four days and remote learning two days starting in late October for primary grades and the remaining grade levels in November.
The reason to have teaching staff on campus before COVID-19 vaccines were available as well as the classified staff to support them was three-fold.
It established a procedure for parents to get in touch with teachers on a set schedule to reach out for help so they could assist their children who may have been struggling with remote learning.
It also assured teachers would have the resources as well as being able to collaborate to be as effective as possible. That included teachers being able to rely on district tech support when issues arose.
The other reason was to prepare campuses for an effective and smooth transition to bring students back to the classrooms. It allowed the district to identify any potential issues with COVID protocols being implemented as well as to make sure the return of students was done in a manner that created no health issues for staff or students.
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