Talawanda teachers’ second vaccine dose to result in two stay-at-home days


Talawanda Schools Superintendent Ed Theroux, top center, announced at Monday’s virtual school board meeting that students will work at home asynchronously on Feb. 25 and Feb. 26, while school employees complete their COVID-19 vaccinations.

By Sydney Scepkowski

Talawanda School District students will stay home and do pre-assigned work at their own pace on Thursday, Feb. 25, and Friday, Feb. 26, while faculty and staff complete the COVID-19 vaccination process.

“The shots will be administered on Feb. 25 and the at-home day on Feb. 26 will be used to accommodate any employees who may experience adverse reactions to the second doses of the vaccine,” said Superintendent Ed Theroux. The Talawanda employees had the first shot of the two-shot regimen on Feb. 4. 

Initially, Friday, Feb. 26 was to be a regular school day, but the district announced the scheduling change at the school board meeting on Monday, Feb. 8.  

At the meeting, Theroux expressed concern for teachers’ health.

“Some Talawanda staff members had adverse reactions to the first shot,” Theroux said. “We are hearing that staff developed fevers and headaches and cannot work after taking the vaccination.” 

The superintendent and medical providers anticipate that more staff may have adverse reactions to the second vaccine dose. The reactions may make teachers temporarily unable to come to school. 

“I don’t want to open up schools and not have enough substitute teachers,” he said. 

In his report, Theroux, who was at the vaccination site on Feb. 4, praised the positivity and efficiency at the site. 

“Everyone was polite and well-mannered,” he said.  “I think it’s because this has been an awful year and this has been cathartic and a relief, a possibility that there finally is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Theroux said.