JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ – Middle school students in the Jackson School District will return to an in-school learning model on Monday and as many as 300 teachers in the district have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Jackson School District was offered immediate vaccinations by Chemed CEO Mark Berkowitz. Teachers and staff within the district were able to get vaccinated during a special clinic for educators held at the Lakewood School District.
The effort was coordinated by Jackson resident Rabbi Mordechai Burnstein and Jackson School District Board Member Tzvi Herman. Herman was elected to the board in November with overwhelming results.
Burnstein estimated that as many as 300 teachers attended the teacher’s vaccination clinic on Wednesday, but said he does not know exactly how many Jackson staff members took advantage of the offering.
Rabbi Burnstein serves as a member of the Jackson Township Municipal Clergy. He was appointed by Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina.
“When Mr. Burnstein reached out, I immediately thanked him,” Mayor Reina said. “The kindness of individuals, like Mr. Berkowitz and the CHEMED staff, is what helps get us through difficult times such as this and we are more than grateful to be on the receiving end. On behalf of all of Jackson Township, I extend a sincere thank you to Mr. Burnstein, Mr. Berkowitz, and the CHEMED staff.”
“I would like to not only thank Mr. Berkowitz for making educators a priority for vaccinations but Mr. Burnstein and Mr. Herman who worked to coordinate this for the district,” said Jackson School District Superintendent Nicole Pormilli. “I’d like to thank the Lakewood Board of Education for housing the vaccination site.”
On Monday, hybrid students at the two middle schools in Jackson will be returning to 5-day per-week in-school hybrid schedules.
“The staff was thrilled to be able to have those availabilities yesterday and today,” Pormilli added.
When Governor Phil Murphy visited Chemed’s Lakewood facility last Friday, a discussion was held to get students back in school and how to get teachers vaccinated.
Getting students back into school has been something Murphy has started pushing now that vaccinations in the state are open to school teachers.
“Now is the time for all of our schools to meaningfully move forward with a return to in-person instruction, whether it be full time or through a hybrid schedule,” Murphy said Wednesday. “The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress, signed by President Biden, is providing nearly $2.8 billion for our schools. Much of this funding is meant to help our schools reopen and to combat the learning loss we know has occurred.”
Chemed made the vaccination clinic available to the district staff, including bus drivers and first responders in the township. It was also announced this week that Chemed is going to start receiving vaccinations directly from the federal government in order to increase vaccination capacity. Vaccinations at Chemed are available to all residents and many have been having more success scheduling appointments than through publicly operated vaccination sites.
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