Superintendents wait for vaccine dates

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — Local superintendents are waiting for word from the state on when the COVID-19 vaccines will be available for their staff members.

On Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced vaccines will be made available to school personnel beginning the week of Feb. 1. The first round of vaccines will be going to counties with large school districts such as Montgomery and Franklin counties schools.

“Those districts who are not getting them next week (no Shelby County school was on the list) are supposed to be informed in the next few days of when we will receive our first dose which is projected to be by the end of February,” said Hardin-Houston Local School District Ryan Maier.

Riverside Local Schools Superintendent Scott Mann said his district will be working with a local provider once they know when the vaccine will be given to their staff.

“It is the staff member’s choice on whether they get the vaccine or not. We will work with the same provider to schedule our second vaccine,” said Mann.

Dan Holland, Fort Loramie Local Schools superintendent, said the district will be contacted by the vendor supplying the vaccine on when they will be vaccinated.

“We are waiting on word as to how the vendor we have been assigned will complete both rounds of the vaccination. We will follow the protocol as directed,” said Holland.

“We have not received specific word yet on the dispensing details. For our staff the vaccine is optional but many are wanting it. We have been back in school all year on direct instruction. We will await 2nd vaccine instructions,” said Dick Dray, Christian Academy Schools superintendent.

Botkins Local Schools Superintendent Jeff McPheron said the district is waiting on word from the Ohio Department of Health and the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center on when the vaccine will arrive in Botkins.

“We have not received word yet,” said Jackson Center Local Schools Superintendent Bill Reichert. “It looks like they are focusing on the counties with the largest cities first.”

Both Bob Humble, Sidney City Schools superintendent, and Aaron Moran, Versailles Exempted School District superintendent, said they are also waiting for word when the vaccine will be given in their district.

Once employees receive the first shot, the second will be given within a three to four week period after the initial vaccine.

“Our district’s plans would mirror the first shot which has to fall in a specific window of days, but will also be dependent on our vaccination provider’s availability to vaccinate the number of employees who want it,” said Maier.

Minster Local Schools Superintendent Brenda Boeke said, “We will address the plans for the second administration of the vaccine after we see how the first vaccine impacts our staff.”

“Our district, and I am sure the other local districts, will know the exact details once our vaccination provider calls us to set up both vaccination dates and times. It is my hope these dates and times mesh with our school calendar, but if they do not we will continue to be flexible and adjust just as we have done since last March,” said Maier.

“With the pace that the vaccines have been rolled out and all of the necessary details required to manage a highly complex process, I can’t speak highly enough about the work being done by the Shelby County Health Department,” said Lehman Catholic School President Josh Ater. “This group has been highly professional, are doing an exemplary job with communications, and are proving to be highly adapt and managing changes as they are occurring on the ground level. I have complete confidence in their ability to lead the distribution of the vaccine in Shelby County and their ability to guide Lehman Catholic through the process.”

All of the superintendents stated no faculty member will be required to get the vaccine. It is up to each individual to make the decision on whether to receive the two-shot vaccine or not.

“Russia School strongly believes that each employee needs to make their own decision as to get the vaccine or not and would never considering a mandate requiring staff to be vaccinated,” said Russia Local Schools Superintendent Steve Rose.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 927-328-4822.

Reach the writer at 927-328-4822.