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Vaccines available for all staff March 22-23 - March 12, 2021
Dear SAISD Staff:  
We have an incredible opportunity through our health industry partners to provide access to a COVID-19 vaccine for all SAISD employees on Monday, March 22 and Tuesday, March 23. To date, we have been able to provide almost 2,000 vaccinations to SAISD employees. With these additional 5,000 vaccines, we will be able to offer this opportunity to 100% of staff by the end of March.  
Since Monday, March 22 is a student holiday, we are prioritizing campus-based staff on this day. We will schedule the remainder of our central office staff for appointments on Tuesday, March 23. Transportation will be provided to the Wonderland Mall of Americas on both dates.  
We realize that many staff may not be checking emails and voicemail messages during this break, so to ensure we retain these slots, we are operating on the assumption that we will have enough interest among our employees to take advantage of this opportunity. There is strong scientific evidence to suggest that the vaccines are highly effective in preventing COVID-19 or preventing serious illness if you do get COVID-19; however, employees who prefer to opt out, may still do so.  
We will continue to collaborate with health care agencies to ensure our SAISD community – from our families to our eligible students – also receive the access they need to these vaccines. These vaccines, in combination with our continued safety protocols and weekly COVID-19 testing, will ensure we have the safest possible school environments as we close out this school year.  
Additionally, we are excited to learn that the third federal relief bill was signed into law by President Biden yesterday. As I mentioned in my last staff letter, the first round of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding remained at the state level, and we are actively advocating for much of the second round and all of the third round of education-specific funds to be funneled directly to Texas school districts.  
While we have benefited from the state’s hold harmless initiative toward student attendance, we have not seen additional resources to assist with other expenses such as the costs of providing personal protective equipment and implementing additional safety and sanitation procedures. We prioritized these critical safety components this school year for the health of all of our employees. We also maintained the fiscal health of the District so we can execute on our bonds.  
Staff compensation, however, will be our priority for the 2021-22 school year. We will continue our advocacy for the federal dollars targeted for education recovery and stimulus. Accessing these funds will allow for staff compensation, along with the ability to address learning loss that students have experienced since the COVID crisis began and provide more resources toward the mental health and social-emotional well-being of our students as a result of the ongoing pandemic.  
I will speak more about our vaccination initiatives and budget priorities during our staff town hall next week. I hope you will join me at 4:45 p.m. on Monday, March 15.  

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