Janesville School District cancels all classes on Jan. 22 for mass vaccination of employees

JANESVILLE, Wis. — The Janesville School District has canceled classes scheduled for Jan. 22 so all district employees can get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The district announced the schedule change in a press release Thursday afternoon. Mercyhealth will provide and administer the vaccine to more than 1,300 district employees.

Students can expect their teachers to send them home Thursday with lessons and work to finish over the extended weekend, the release said.

“To make it possible to vaccinate more than 1,300 SDJ employees, the SDJ will not hold school on Friday, January 22, 2021,” Superintendent Steve Pophal said. “We learned today of this opportunity to vaccinate all employees, and we want to give families as much lead time as possible to make arrangements for childcare coverage. We are very grateful to Mercyhealth for making this a possibility.”

District employees will receive their required second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 12. District officials said plans for school that day are still undecided.

District spokesperson Patrick Gasper said Mercyhealth set up the vaccination initiative.

“State guidance indicates that providers do not have to be completely finished with phase 1A before moving on to the next phase,” Gasper said. “Educators are in the 1B phase.”

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced earlier this week that vaccinations for groups included in Phase 1B can start getting vaccinated Jan. 18, but DHS has not said if educators will be included in Phase 1B.