Getting Back To Normal

District officials weigh in on how the COVID-19 vaccine may affect our schools.


Hunter King, News and Sports Section Editor

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Over the last few weeks, the number of new COVID-19 infections has been rising at an alarming rate, while at the same time, companies like Pfizer and Moderna have been rapidly producing vaccines for distribution. The new vaccines are arguably a turning point in this pandemic and officials are urging the public to get the shots. 


As of right now, many of the shots have been only available for first responders and frontline workers, but higher-risk groups and children are next in line to receive the vaccine. Parents, students, and staff around the school district and at Cypress Falls High School are prepping for major vaccine rollouts across the country in the coming weeks and months ahead. 


Kyle Parsons, the Associate Principal at Cy Falls High School, is cautiously optimistic about the future of the school with the introduction of the new vaccine. 


“The vaccine is definitely a step in the right direction,” Associate Principal Parsons said. “For a lot of people, it provides hope that things can and will return to normal. I am sure like all vaccines, anything new, or almost everything, there will be changes to make it better.” 


Vaccine requirement is still not known for sure at this time according to officials in the district. If a vaccine were to be required by law, it would likely come from the federal or state government. Required vaccines have had a proven track record and keep the threat of diseases like polio and measles away, but with how quick the COVID-19 vaccines were produced, many Americans in recent polls have said they are considering not getting it. That leads to a possible nightmare scenario where safety guidelines return back to normal, but a majority of Americans are still susceptible to the virus.


“As long as the school has been in place, there have always been threats,” Associate Principal Parsons said. “We have always adapted to do the best job possible to keep students and staff safe. As long as COVID-19 is a threat, we will continue to have protocols to keep everyone safe. Luckily we have a vaccine and amazing medical professionals that are going to make sure we get past this.”


Leslie Francis, the Assistant Superintendent for Communication and Community Relations of CFISD, says that there have been no decisions made regarding the 2021-2022 school year, however, the instructional calendar will be presented to the CFISD Board of Trustees for approval on January 14. 


“Widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine will provide CFISD staff another layer of protection from the virus, not only resulting in fewer illnesses, but also reducing the number of staff and students who are subsequently quarantined due to exposure,” Assistant Superintendent Francis said. “Campus nurses and clinic assistants have already been offered the vaccine through Memorial Hermann Hospital and Harris County Health, and others who meet the eligibility requirements of Phase 1B may receive the vaccine through government or private providers.”


According to officials with the district, they are working with the major hospitals in the area to develop a plan to vaccinate district employees as soon as supply becomes available. The main goal is the safety of everyone’s health and minimizing absences. Mark Henry, the Superintendent of CFISD, answered a few questions via Twitter on Sunday afternoon.


“We have offered CFISD facilities to be used as mega vaccination sites,” Superintendent Henry said in a tweet. “We want every employee who wants a vaccine to receive one [as soon as possible]. We are working behind the scenes to be organized and ready to go when the vaccines become available. I appreciate the cooperation that I have received from our local hospitals.”


Despite the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the district, Associate Principal Parsons is keeping an optimistic viewpoint on what the future may hold.


“The worst case is things take longer than expected to get back to normal,” Parsons said. “The best-case scenario is that COVID-19 disappears as quickly as it has arrived whether through vaccines or treatments. Either way, we will get through and not just survive, but find ways to thrive.”