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RPS 205 Launches Vaccine Incentive Program

Rockford Public Schools is encouraging students to take advantage of the free COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the 2021-22 school year. 

The vaccine is the best defense we have against COVID-19, the virus variants and further interruptions and distractions for students. We want our students to have the most normal school year possible. The greater a schools’ vaccination rate, the lower the chance of closures, cancellations and interruptions. Also, fully vaccinated students will not be asked to quarantine unless they’re having COVID-19 symptoms.

Gift card incentive:

The federal government is encouraging school districts across the country to use federal money to create incentives to boost the number of vaccinated students. We’re setting aside some of the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund – emergency 
COVID-19 relief money – to prioritize safety in a creative way. 

All vaccinated students ages 12 and older can receive up to $100 in gift cards from RPS 205 for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Register with the Winnebago County Health Department: 
  • Visit a vaccine clinic on Wednesday, Aug. 18 or Thursday, Aug. 19 to receive the first vaccine shot. 
  • Students who receive the first dose at an RPS 205 clinic will receive a $50 gift card. A second gift card will be provided when the second shot is given. If demand exceeds our gift card supply, school staff will distribute gift cards to vaccinated students ASAP. 
  • Any RPS 205 students who are already fully vaccinated will receive a $100 gift card from RPS 205. School administrators will share details soon. 


What’s next:

Staff and students will create additional incentive plans to increase vaccine numbers. Each school’s plan will be unique and could include block parties, food trucks or even facilities upgrades. Each school will have a goal and reward all students if the goal is met. 

RPS 205 officials know not all students will take advantage of the vaccine. Students will not be punished for their vaccination status.

Incentive plans and vaccination clinics will be developed when the COVID-19 vaccine is available for students younger than 12.


COVID-19 Vaccine Pop-Up Clinics:

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available at registration to students 12 and older. A parent or guardian must be present for a student to receive the vaccine.  

Wednesday, Aug. 18: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
Thursday, Aug. 19: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 

Clinic sites: Eisenhower, Flinn, Lincoln, RESA, West, Auburn, East, Guilford, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Barbour. (Students may attend a clinic outside of their assigned school.)