Supt. Philip Conrad Reports School Faculty and Staff Vaccination Rate at least 75 Percent

Data shared by Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad appear to show that at least three-quarters of faculty and staff in the Bedford Public Schools have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Conrad reported to the School Committee at its virtual meeting Tuesday that 326 people have responded to a district-wide survey, and all but two said they have been vaccinated.

There are still a little more than 100 answers outstanding, but even if none of those employees has been vaccinated, the percentage would be around 75.

“I think we’ve known that our teachers have been out in front protecting themselves and the community,” Conrad said. He added that the Bedford Education Association is advocating vaccination among its members.

The report was in response to School Committee member Dan Brosgol’s demand for staff vaccination details.

Earlier in the meeting, the committee acknowledged a letter of recommendation from the Board of Health urging a staff vaccination requirement. School Committee Chair Sarah Scoville, in a prepared response, said the schools are continuing to collect vaccination information and are “committed to collaborating with all constituencies to make a final decision.”

After Conrad’s report, Brosgol asserted, “Eventually, there is going to have to be some compulsion. We can’t open school if we don’t know who’s vaccinated.”

“We need to find a way to get the information,” he continued. “So many neighboring towns have done it. Somebody has got to be the bad guy and make a tougher stand.”

His colleague Ann Guay pointed out, “Some towns required it but didn’t enforce it. I don’t know how many towns have done any more than what we are doing.” She said she is waiting for a directive from state government; Brosgol replied “We’re not going to get it.”

Member JoAnn Santiago noted that the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education allows districts to relax the state-imposed mask mandate in any schoolhouse with at least 80 percent of all personnel vaccinated against Covid. She said Bedford High School may be approaching that threshold.

Conrad pointed out that John Glenn Middle School also has the potential to realize 80 percent soon. He said he would obtain more details on the BHS percentage.

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at mike@thebedfordcitizen.org, or 781-983-1763

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