More than 80% of Phoenix Union staff are vaccinated against COVID-19, district says
More than 80% of Phoenix Union High School District staff have submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination, Superintendent Chad Gestson told its governing board at its Thursday meeting.
Back in September, the district set a vaccination goal of 85% for all staff by Oct. 11. To incentivize them, the district offered employees a one-time payout of $200. Gestson shared current vaccination numbers at a Thursday governing board meeting.
"Over 93% of all administrators are vaccinated. Of our certified staff: teachers, counselors and social workers, it’s over 90, 91%," he said.
In addition, Gestson said the vaccination rate among guest teachers has been strong, but it's lower among classified education support professionals, about 72%.
The district also offered prizes for the first two schools to reach 85% among full-time employees at their campuses. So far, nine of PXU's campuses — Phoenix Coding Academy, Bioscience High School, Camelback High School, Maryvale High School, Franklin Police and Fire High School, Alhambra High School, Carl Hayden High School, Central High School and North High School — meet or exceed that threshold.
Students were also targeted during the district's vaccination challenges and starting this week, students involved in athletics and some other extracurricular activities are required to either be fully vaccinated or submit to regular testing in order to participate. Gestson didn't have data on student vaccination numbers to share at the meeting but said the district has noticed some resistance with its efforts targeted at students.
“Sometimes it’s the parents standing in the way so a lot of our students want to get vaccinated and their parents might not let them," he said.
During the meeting, the board approved Gestson's recommendation to extend its vaccine campaign and incentives for fully vaccinated students and staff through early January to get its vaccination rate higher.