RISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone addresses the board at a Dec. 7 meeting. Screenshot courtesy Richardson ISD

Richardson ISD is advocating for its educators to be prioritized for the COVID-19 vaccine when it is released.

At a Dec. 7 board meeting, Superintendent Jeannie Stone said the district signed onto a letter that asks for teachers and staff who work with students to be considered essential workers and gain priority to receive the vaccine when it becomes available.

“We have been given no timeline whatsoever about when [the COVID-19 vaccine] would be available and where our educators, what we call our essential workers, would fall in line with those priorities in terms of vaccination,” Stone said at the meeting. “As soon as we have definite information about that, we will be coordinating that and bringing the board our plan for any kind of adjustments if there are any to be made.”

RISD also signed onto “a number of letters” and sent individual letters to legislators for the district’s “hold harmless” for attendance to be extended to the end of the year, Stone said.

A “hold harmless” guarantee from the Texas Education Agency ensured schools that offer in-person instruction receive their anticipated funding through the first 18 weeks of the first semester regardless of changes to enrollment or attendance rates due to COVID-19.

In October, TEA stated that the agency would address further funding adjustments for the second semester based on information and data gathered through January 2021.