Briya Public Charter School is pleased to announce that 100% of staff are fully vaccinated for Covid-19. Briya began vaccinating staff in January 2021 through the school’s partnership with Mary’s Center. As essential workers in a school that had partial in-person instruction throughout the 2020-2021 school year, Briya staff were one of the first groups eligible to receive the vaccine. Most staff agreed to be vaccinated immediately. In fact, 92% of Briya staff had received shots by spring 2021.
Staff member Silvia Arias said at the time, “We are in a moment of crisis, and we have to make use of every possible tool to help stop the pandemic. For me, getting vaccinated is making a small contribution and at the same time it is an act of love to help protect myself, my loved ones, and my community.”
For staff who were hesitant, Briya leadership held individual meetings to hear their concerns and arranged for Mary’s Center doctors and nurses to be available to provide additional information or answer questions. In addition, Briya staff could conveniently get vaccinated through Mary’s Center, which is co-located at three of Briya’s four sites. To ensure that staff was not worried about missing work after getting the vaccine, everyone was granted additional PTO if they were experiencing side effects.
In July 2021, Briya officially mandated that staff get vaccinated to ensure an added layer of mitigation for the 2021-2022 school year. Within a few weeks, all staff were compliant ahead of Currently, 82% of enrolled adult students are also fully vaccinated with an additional 2% in the process of scheduling their vaccine appointment. However, not all Briya students are old enough to be inoculated. Since Briya is a two-generation school, it has infant, toddler, and prekindergarten students are not yet eligible. This is a key reason Briya has committed to getting as many staff and adult students vaccinated as possible. While there is no mandate that students be vaccinated, the school set an initial goal of 70% of students vaccinated by the end of August but was able to surpass this target six weeks ahead of schedule.
“I have always been proud of how our community supports one another through challenging times—that has been even more true during the pandemic,” stated Christie McKay, Briya’s Executive Director. “Having all of our staff vaccinated shows that we care about keeping one another healthy and safe.” There will likely be new challenges this school year as the pandemic continues to present unforeseen obstacles, but Briya is confident that its staff and students will continue to work together to persevere.