a student taking a photo of an educator who received their COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination clinics for Bellevue School District educators and staff are underway, and one student plans to help document the process. Andy Mereckis, a ninth grade student at Bellevue Big Picture School, is compiling selfie photos and video footage as part of a semester-long internship project at the school. He said, “My goal is to motivate families to get the vaccine, and to get students excited about going back to the buildings. I hope to compile all of these into one video, which could be made available to the district, students and families.”

On March 6, Mereckis was on-hand at Sammamish High School to get footage of the clinic, hosted in partnership with Safeway, which provided over 600 vaccinations to BSD staff. “It is encouraging to see our students apply their learning, which has continued throughout the pandemic, to motivate and unify us all to get vaccinated. It is a testament to the work of our educators and Big Picture School leadership,” said BSD Superintendent, Dr. Ivan Duran. “BSD staff and students alike, are working together to return to face-to-face learning, and the vaccine efforts help us move closer to making that a reality — with all of us working together.”

Carrie Lang, RN, Director of Special Education, Health Services, coordinates the vaccination clinic for educators and works with providers to create as many opportunities as possible for educators to be vaccinated. “Many community partners that are vaccine providers have stepped forward to support getting our educators vaccinated. So, we will continue to plan clinics like this as well as promote the Get Ready COVID-19 Vaccination Plan for Schools.” The “Get Ready” plan is led by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, to ensure that school employees have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. OSPI and Kaiser Permanente believe it affords school employees an efficient way to access the vaccine as supply increases.

BSD vaccination clinics began on Saturday, February 27 and have vaccinated over 800 educators to date. Plans are underway to host clinics throughout the month of March.

Want to participate in this project? You can read Mereckis’ letter to staff here. Send your vaccination photos to s-mereckisa@bsd405.org or share with us on social media using #BSDStrong #BSDSafeandHealthy #BSDBack2Buildings