Headshot of Linda Miller next to image of Vallecitos School District building

When San Diego County Health and Human Services announced the opening of Phase 1B-Tier 1 – which includes educators – Linda Miller, CBO for the Vallecitos School District, jumped into action. She sent in all the names of the educators in their rural, K-8 school to the VEBA Vaccinates program. The very next day, people in her district began making appointments to receive the vaccine.

“That was really great news. There was a sense of relief that it was being made available to those of us in education, and it’s encouraging in terms of just being able to move forward to with the goal of bringing students back to school for in-person instruction.”

Ms. Miller set up her own appointment that same week and was very impressed with how smoothly her visit unfolded, thanks to the VEBA Vaccinates partnership with Sharp HealthCare and UC San Diego Health.

“They answered all of my questions, they were very informative. It was organized. I actually arrived a little early and there was no wait. [After receiving the shot] we were all directed to a waiting area for 15 minutes to make sure that there was no negative reaction. That was it.”

The Vallecitos School District is also very organized, welcoming back staff and students for a hybrid on-campus/at-home classroom experience.

“We have students on Monday-Wednesday and then another cohort on Tuesday-Thursday. We also have a population of students doing distance learning… As a small district, we are very excited to get our students back in school. And as a whole, we are all looking towards that as a positive goal… We’re hopeful that we can bring all the students back as soon as possible and certainly by next year.”

And even though most Vallecitos educators are vaccinated, Ms. Miller says the district continues to take all recommended precautions to protect staff and students, including cleaning and sanitizing, wearing masks, and distancing.

“We have a really great staff. Our teachers are wonderful and they’re genuinely interested in the success of the students. So getting students back to class is something that we are really looking forward to, something everyone is really striving for.”