Nearly 100% of River Forest School District 90’s faculty and staff are fully vaccinated, according to recent data collected by the district.

To be exact, 97.2% of District 90 employees are fully vaccinated, said Dawne Simmons, communications and community outreach coordinator. The district learned about its high vaccination rate after requiring workers to disclose their vaccination status in compliance with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s latest mandate.

“It feels really positive that our staff members take the COVID-19 situation seriously, and they are committed to the safety of our students, our families and even our residents,” Simmons said.

District 90 employs a total of 219 workers, and 213 of them submitted proof of their vaccination status by Pritzker’s Sept. 19 deadline, Simmons said. Two of the remaining six school workers have already received the first shot of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, while the remaining four employees have qualified for religious or medical exemptions. Once the two employees complete their vaccination series, the district’s vaccination rate will jump to 98.2%, Simmons added.

In an emailed statement to Wednesday Journal, Superintendent Ed Condon praised the district’s current vaccination rate and said employees understood the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“More importantly, they have actively taken action to protect themselves, their students, families and colleagues, and by extension the entire River Forest community during this pandemic,” Condon wrote. “This affirmation of our employees’ commitment to the community strengthens the bond between our staff and the community, where each works together on behalf of our students. This vaccination rate is truly remarkable.”    

Simmons also shared that the district is now working on creating a way for parent volunteers and daily substitute teachers to upload their COVID vaccination records. 

Since February, the district has teamed up with a local Jewel-Osco and the Village of River Forest to host vaccination clinics for faculty and staff, students between the ages of 12 and 15, and seniors 65 and older. 

As Simmons reflected on District 90’s high vaccination rate, she emphasized that employees took the initiative and made a pledge toward health and safety. 

“This is a commitment our staff members have made to themselves, our students, the families of our students and to the greater community,” she said. “It speaks to the dedication of our people to this.” 

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