Vaccination rate for staff in Juneau Schools over 90%

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau Board of Education received a COVID-19 report from the district Superintendent during their meeting Tuesday evening, and also adopted educational standards for an Alaska Native program in the district.

    During her Superintendent report, Dr. Weiss said that due to the board's recent move to require weekly testing COVID testing for any employee who has not been vaccinated, that set the district in motion to start verifying vaccination status from employees.

    "We are highly vaccinated as an employee group. Given all information that we have right now, we are at least 93% to 94% vaccinated," she said. "So that's every single person that we employ, we're about between 93 and 94% vaccinated."

    Monday saw the first youth vaccine clinics held by the district, Dr. Weiss reported that 278 children were vaccinated for COVID. She said she has been in consultation with the City and Borough of Juneau regarding the clinics that were held Tuesday and and will be held Thursday.

    "We're anticipating possibly by those three days we'll maybe have about 600 children come through. So, again, this is an option for parents and I am again, so proud of this community and the way that our agencies have worked together. It's just another example really quite impressive."

    The district has acquired 850 rapid test kits that can be sent home with kids. Dr. Weiss said through the kits, the district has had situations where they have been able to use the kits as an additional screener to lower or remove the need to quarantine.

    For items up for board action, the Tlingit Culture Language and Literacy Oral Narrative Standards were presented for final consideration, the standards would be used by the Tlingit Culture Language and Literacy program, or TCLL. Ted Wilson, Teaching and Learning Director for JSD, said the standards are the first step in making official curriculum for the program.

    According to Wilson, Sealaska Heritage Institute recently recieved a three-year grant to expand Tlingit language instruction in TCLL. Education Director with Sealaska Heritage, Kristy Dillingham, said the two grant goals are to support TCLL in developing more instructional autonomy, and working with the Juneau school board for adoption of a curriculum that is centered on Tlingit culture.

    A teacher with TCLL, Hans Chester, said that before the Tlingit oral narrative standards were developed the program facilitated student's learning via Tlingit oral narratives.

    "For years we have listened to and learned our ways from our teachers and elders, many of whom are no longer with us. We are on the same path our grandparents walked along and continue forward with the worldview and knowledge as they did."

    School Board Member, Deedie Sorensen, spoke in support of the standards.

    "I wish you every success with it, because as someone who believes that language is the fundamental piece of everything, it's a beautiful piece of work."

    The standards were passed unanimously.

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