CCSD offers COVID-19 vaccination opportunities to staff – a look from teachers’ perspectives

As 2021 began, the Cherry Creek School District decided to partner with Centura Health. Teachers and staff were granted the option to take the COVID-19 vaccine, opening up multiple doors to the future of our school.



(From Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment). Scheduling Safety: These graphs display the timeline of COVID-19 vaccinations in Colorado. We are currently in phase 1-A and working our way through the first half of phase 1-B. To get more information about Colorado’s vaccinations visit

Lily Deitch, Staff Writer

If you are short on time:

-The Cherry Creek School District gives staff the option to take the vaccine.

-The district’s plan on getting teachers vaccinated right away was placed on hold as Colorado placed educators further back within phase 1-B for vaccinations.

-Teachers are generally excited to be given the opportunity of taking the vaccine and will start receiving them this spring.

-It is a possibility that when all willing teachers receive the vaccine, Creek will take a couple steps forward toward full in-person learning.

As fireworks ignited to celebrate the end of a hard year, it was clear that there were high expectations for 2021. Despite the already chaotic events that have painted our country with stress, there have been some overlooked gifts that speckle 2021. The year started on January 1st when nurses at Cherry Creek School District started receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. As of now, the CCSD is the first and only district in Colorado that was able to start staff vaccinations.

That was, until we hit a roadblock.

The original plan was to distribute vaccines to all willing staff as soon as possible. After nurses received their vaccines, other staff and teachers at CCHS would have started getting vaccinated right away.

This plan was pushed back because the state of Colorado placed educators further back in phase 1-B for vaccinations. We are currently in phase 1-A and the first half of 1-B (see charts to the side). Governor Polis told 9News that he pushed back the timeline “due to the increased risk of death for people in that [years 70 and above] age group — more than 78% of COVID-19 deaths in the state are among adults age 70 and older.”

Even though the original proposals were halted, staff that did not already get vaccinated are next up to get the vaccine this spring.

“I believe that we’ll have probably all 9,000 employees through their second dose by the first of March,” Superintendent Siegfried said on 9News.

For the most part, teachers at Cherry Creek High School are elated to be offered the vaccine; especially so soon during these early stages of distribution. Spanish teacher Arantxa Gutierrez is signed up to take the vaccine as soon as permitted.

“When I found that teachers would be vaccinated so early I was so happy and I told people around me and they couldn’t believe it,” Gutierrez said.

Coming back to school before teachers were able to get the vaccine made some teachers uncomfortable, but the hope of getting protection against COVID-19 and back into school helps everyone stay optimistic. Gutierrez believes that taking the vaccine will ultimately make everyone at Creek, including the teachers and students, safer.

By taking the vaccine, teachers and students will be better protected from the possibility of getting really sick from COVID-19 and give everyone some peace of mind. Kenadi Dixon, a science teacher at Creek, is one of those who fully appreciates the opportunity.

“It [coming into school] is always a risk,” Dixon said. “So being vaccinated would definitely make me just feel safer…to protect my family and my friends and my students, but also protect myself.”

Creek’s goal is to have all students back in school to learn. To start us off, Dixon thinks that when all willing teachers get the vaccine, students will potentially be able to come to school as a whole class rather than being split into a cohort.

Getting back into full time school is a step by step process though. When all willing teachers receive their vaccines, it is possible that some normal activities will start to return.

In an interview with Principal Silva, he said that there are still a lot of uncertainties, but these COVID-19 vaccinations might allow for some things such as prom and graduation to occur. Silva also stated that getting teachers vaccinated could help Creek take a couple steps forward toward going back into in-person school — whatever that may look like.

“It would seem that once everybody has access to it [the vaccine], being able to return to normal activity sometime soon after seems realistic to me,” Silva said.

No one knows if things will ever get back to the way they were, but we might be able to reach a new sort of normalcy when teachers at school have more serenity about coming in to teach.

“I’m very optimistic about just the future and everything in school and I really look forward to getting the vaccine and just being as healthy as I can and protecting those around me,” Dixon said.

To see more from Principal Silva, click here.