By Peter Day
LVUSD Social Media
LVUSD Social Media
Except for some sore upper arms, Lucerne Valley USD staff members were ecstatic about Monday’s vaccination event at Barstow Community Hospital and what it means for the future.
Longtime Lucerne Valley Elementary School teacher Kay Hall said the experience was simple and efficient. “I drove into the parking lot, the nurse took the paperwork, checked it, and I received the vaccination.”
To ensure no one had an allergic reaction, Ms. Hall and others were instructed to wait for 15 to 30 minutes in case of side effects before they left the site. “I had none. My arm isn’t even sore.”
“I expected a long wait time but was pleasantly surprised to find that I received my shot within minutes of arriving at the site,” said teacher Mariah McClellen. “The nurses and hospital staff were kind and made you feel relaxed. The whole experience was smooth and seamless. After receiving the first round of the vaccine, I felt a sense of relief.”
Some Lucerne Valley teachers did have sore arms afterward, however, but there was nothing alarming to report. The consensus among the staff was emphatic: They were glad to get their first of the two-dose vaccine.
“I feel so blessed to work for a district that works so hard for their employees and cares so much,” said lead special education teacher Vici Miller.
The vaccination event, which took place over sessions in the morning and afternoon, was a collaboration between Lucerne Valley USD and several other area school districts currently open to in person learning and Barstow Community Hospital. School districts also participating included Helendale, Silver Valley and Trona.
“I would like to thank Barstow Community Hospital for an amazing collaboration to get distribution of COVID 19 Vaccine to Lucerne Valley staff in an incredibly short time frame,” said LVUSD Superintendent Peter Livingston. “We were notified on Friday that the Pfizer vaccine was available to our staff because we are open to in person learning, cohort learning, and sport conditioning. We are blessed to have a partnership with Barstow Community Hospital who on receiving this information made our vaccine distribution happen immediately. LVUSD staff is overwhelmingly thankful for our partnership with Barstow Community Hospital once the County released vaccines to districts open to in person instruction and interaction.”
Mr. Livingston is especially grateful for the “collaborative partnership” with Barstow Community Hospital once the San Bernardino County Health Department released vaccines available to those school districts that are serving students.
“This makes sense and our teachers, classified, administration, and board truly recognize the common sense that those serving students every day and those showing up to work every day should be vaccinated first,” he said. “Thank you to the County for taking care of LVUSD.”
Mr. Livingston also specifically thanked Jeff Malan, the superintendent of the Barstow Unified School District, and Nedal Alqalqili, Chief Quality Officer at Barstow Community Hospital who headed the hospital’s vaccination crew.
Assistant Superintendent Nate Lambdin, who was in attendance on Monday, said that getting the vaccines is a step toward normalcy for the school district. Mr. Lambdin, who also serves as co-principal with Kelly Boeing at Lucerne Valley Middle High School, said that LVMHS staff members are “chomping at the bit” to start hybrid teaching, which includes a combination of in-person and computer-based learning. The elementary school was one of the first schools in the state to begin hybrid teaching with cohorts last year.
“I’m actually looking forward to my follow-up shot, and the peace of mind that come with 95% efficacy,” said LVMHS teacher Brian Hood. “If we all get the shots, wear our mask, and maintain safe distancing, ‘normal’ is coming.”
Those who received the first dose of the vaccination this week will receive their second shots on March 1.
Barstow Community Hospital health care workers are joined by Lucerne Valley Unified School District staff members (back in blue shirts) Superintendent Peter Livingston, LVMHS Office Manager Andrea Moretz and Assistant Superintendent Nate Lambdin. Photo by Peter Day
The hospital staff worked efficiently to move school district employees through the vaccination lines safely and quickly. Photo by Peter Livingston