Henry County Schools offers $1,000 incentive for vaccinated employees

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Henry County Schools is hoping that having a large number of its workforce vaccinated could lessen possible interruptions in the school year.

The district is aiming to create stability for its students after a very unusual pandemic-led 2020 school year.

“Last year was a challenge like no other for our students and our staff members, as we were constantly having to adjust to the presence and possibilities of COVID-19 on our campuses,” said Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis.

The district hopes that having many of its 6,000 employees vaccinated will be beneficial for all.

The district is planning to offer a one-time pay supplement of $1,000 to all who have been fully vaccinated or will be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30, 2021.

“Our students and our families deserve and expect predictability and stability in their learning, and keeping our buildings open and supporting our employees’ health are paramount to these efforts,” said Davis.

The funds to offer the incentive will come from a federal program for COVID-19 mitigation in elementary and secondary schools.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals who are fully vaccinated lessen their personal risk of getting COVID-19 or experiencing serious symptoms or hospitalization if they contract COVID-19.

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Teachers that are fully vaccinated are exempt from quarantine in cases of close contact with a person positive for COVID-19.

Henry County schools says in instances of quarantine, the lost time in the classroom for up to 10 days and substitute expenses exceeding $800 for each quarantine. The investment in a vaccination incentive is an investment in workforce health, employee stability and steadiness in the educational experience of students.

Employees that would like to get the benefit must provide proof that they have received a Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson and Johnson vaccine by the September deadline.

“We are doing our part to let people know how important this is and how much we value their health and safety and that of our students too,” said Davis.