Dawson County Schools Superintendent Damon Gibbs announced this week that local teachers will begin receiving doses of the single-shot, Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as early as next week.
At a meeting held on Tuesday, Superintendent Damon Gibbs told the board that the school system has opened sign-ups for school employees who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and with help from the local health department they will begin vaccinating teachers on March 19.
“We actually put together a sign-up sheet for our staff for vaccinations; those are going to be the 19th and the 26th from 2 to 5,” Gibbs said. "Throughout the day we had about 100 staff members sign up on day 1, so that’ll remain open up until vaccination day.”
According to Gibbs, the vaccines that will be provided to the school staff will be the Johnson and Johnson single-dose vaccines. Staff will be asked to sign up for the vaccine beforehand so they can print and fill out forms they need to bring with them.
Gibbs said that the plan is to hold one vaccination day at the Professional Development Center and the other at Dawson County Middle School, so as to offer more options for staff who want to get the vaccine.
“Unfortunately we can’t go to every school, but we felt like out of those two locations one of the two should be pretty convenient for all our folks,” Gibbs said, “The Health Department was very gracious to work with us.”
All school staff will be offered the vaccine, and the school system is encouraged by initial sign-up numbers, Gibbs said.
“We’re pleased with that number and we hope our staff participates in large number,” Gibbs said. “We have 530 employees and we’re being told that there’s 600 doses coming our way, so there’s plenty of vaccine if our staff wants to take it.”
Contest winners recognized
Also at the meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Nicole Lecave presented information to the board about the Young Georgia Author writing contest which was held recently and its winners from the school system.
“We participated in the Young Georgia Author writing contest, and this is a writing competition to celebrate the writing achievements of students in K-12,” Lecave said. “It’s sponsored by the Georgia BOE and the Georgia association of language arts supervisors, so each year we hold a school-level competition and the school winners advance to regional.”
Lecave said that students from every school in the Dawson County School System submitted pieces to the competition. The pieces were then judged, and the top piece in each grade level was selected as the winner for that grade.
The Dawson County winners for the district-level competition were: Kindergarten winner Jude Stephenson, first grade winner Lyla Green, second grade winner Sophia Taylor, third grade winner Addison Castleman, fourth grade winner Travis Collins, fifth grade winner Abigail Escoto-Torrez, sixth grade winner Scarlett Duncan, seventh grade winner Anthony Dill, eighth grade winner Trinity Allen, ninth grade winner Annette Passmore, tenth grade winner Abby Clouser, eleventh grade winner Sandra Reese Miller and twelfth grade winner Angel Roberts.
Lecave said that the winning pieces, which are mostly short stories and poems, will be submitted to the regional level of the competition, where they will be judged in April. In the meantime, the Dawson County district-level winners will be celebrated in each of their schools.
“We are presenting these students with certificates and we’ve asked the principals to recognize them at school level,” Lecave said. “And we’ve advanced all of these to the regional level, so we usually hear back about mid-April and we’ll give y’all an update then.”