As we shared on Friday, Gov. Jared Polis announced that frontline essential educators, including teachers, other school-based staff and child care workers, as well as those 65-69 years old, are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Feb. 8. We also announced our exciting partnership with Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) that will allow us to offer vaccinations to all of our roughly 18,000 DPS employees and charter school staff members.
We are working hard to quickly and equitably make a plan for how all educators who want the vaccine can schedule their appointment to receive it through Children’s Colorado. Please note that while educators are eligible to receive the vaccine starting Feb. 8, it does not mean all educators will be able to receive the vaccine during that first week it is available.
In collaboration with union leadership, we will prioritize team members who are frontline essential educators -- those who are critical to the operations of the school and work with our students every day -- such as teachers, paras, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, custodians and school administrators. We will be in contact with those employees with steps on how appointments will be made with Children's Colorado. Please do not reach out to Children's Colorado directly to set up your appointment.
Take the Vaccine Survey
You should have received an email on Monday, Feb. 1, from Interim Superintendent Dwight Jones with a unique link to a survey about whether or not you would like to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. To expedite the process of vaccinating all DPS frontline essential educators who want a vaccine, we are asking everyone to complete this quick, one-minute survey by noon today, Feb. 3, using the unique link that was emailed to you. Please do not forward this invitation to anyone else; each DPS team member has a unique link. If you need access to a link, email Connect_HumanResources@dpsk12.org.
It is critical that you take this survey even if you have already received the vaccine or you do not want to receive the vaccine. For anyone who does not respond, we will still be providing your name to Children's Colorado because we do not want anyone to be missed if they did not see these emails. Please help us get your voice accurately recorded on whether you would like your name provided to Children's Colorado to receive the vaccine!
Once you have completed this survey, please know that there will be further communication regarding when you will be eligible for the vaccine in this process and how you can sign up for an appointment when you are eligible.
Resources to Support Your Decision
We know this is a personal decision and that you may not have made up your mind on whether or not to participate in vaccination. (Note, there is a survey option for those who would like more time to decide.) As a reminder, DPS is not requiring you to take the vaccine because we know this is an individual and personal choice for all staff members. However, we hope that a large number of our team will choose to take the vaccine in order to provide maximum protection for our staff and student communities. Below are additional details and resources to help you make an informed decision.
Children's Colorado Resources
For family-friendly articles, visit www.childrenscolorado.org/COVIDInfoDPS and the following resources on the vaccine:
- Getting Vaccinated at Children's Colorado: What to Expect
- COVID-19 Vaccine: How the Process Works
- Patient Handout: FAQs About the Vaccine
- "What the Vaccine Means to Me" Video
Vaccine Information on The Commons, including more resources and FAQs.
Who to Reach with Questions
Questions about the survey can be directed to HR Connect at Connect_HumanResources@dpsk12.org or 720-423-3900.
If you have questions about the vaccine itself, please reference the Children’s Colorado resources above or contact your healthcare provider.
If you believe you should be eligible now because you are in category 1A or 1B "above the line," but have not yet received a notification, please reach out to your supervisor. Please do not reach out to Children’s Colorado, as they will not have information about your eligibility or scheduling.
If you have questions about an email you received about making an appointment to receive the vaccine, please contact HR Connect.
Other questions about DPS' vaccine process can be directed to your school leader or HR Connect.
Stories from Across DPS
DPS has already begun supporting team members in getting the vaccine who are currently eligible under state guidelines, including school nurses, health technicians, occupational and physical therapists, and other health care roles. As Laura Hagan, a DPS school nurse at Godsman and Goldrick elementaries, shared:
"The shot did not hurt at all. I was so happy to receive it that I skipped out of Children's. The only adverse event I had was my shoulder was sore for three days. I moved my arm in circles and used an ice pack, which helped a lot with the discomfort.
"Children's was amazing. They had very clear directions and people to greet plus direct you when you arrive in the lobby. It was smooth and only took about 10 minutes -- plus the time to wait after to see if you are safe to go, which is optional but highly recommended. The staff was so nice they even took a photo of me on my way out."
(If you’ve received the vaccine through Children's Colorado, tell us about it! Share your stories and photos here.)
Keeping Your Vaccine Appointment
As the vaccine becomes more available, please note you do not have to get the vaccine through Children's Colorado and may work with other healthcare providers. However, please be mindful that signing up for multiple vaccine waiting lists and making multiple appointments creates inefficiencies and slows down the process for everyone, and could result in the waste of the vaccine. It is for this reason that DPS is partnering with Children's Colorado; it will be the quickest, most efficient way to get all of our educators access to the vaccine.
If you have multiple appointments, please make sure to cancel in advance those that you will not attend.
Children's Colorado will continue sharing available appointment times with eligible employees as the vaccine and time slots are available. Please understand that the available times may not be ideal for everyone's schedule -- but given the high demand and fragility of the vaccine, it's important to take advantage of the appointment opportunity when it arises.
More Details Coming Soon
We know so many of us on Team DPS are excited, anxious and anticipating exactly when you will be able to receive the vaccine. We are working as quickly as possible, especially given the expedited timeline shared by the state. Please know we are committed to sharing information as it becomes available, and we hope to share more information about exactly when you can receive your vaccine soon.