Posted on October 20, 2021
Categories: News from SDP

More than 80 Percent of School District of Philadelphia Employees are Fully Vaccinated as Another Layer of Safety in Schools and Offices

Board of Education-approved mandate went into effect earlier this month

PHILADELPHIA — Eighty one percent of School District of Philadelphia staff — or approximately 15,500 employees — are now fully vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, adding another vital layer of health and safety across District schools and offices.  All partially vaccinated (2%) or unvaccinated staff must submit to COVID-19 testing two times a week, instead of the once a week requirement for all fully vaccinated employees.

“We know that vaccines are an effective mitigation strategy to stem the spread of COVID-19, so I want to thank all staff who have chosen to get vaccinated,” said Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D. “The science is clear that vaccines provide another layer of protection for all of us and our staff are doing their part to protect the health and wellbeing of themselves, the students we serve and everyone who enters our schools and offices.”

Board President Joyce S. Wilkerson agreed, saying the Board is pleased with the response from District staff.

“It is the Board’s duty to protect our children, many of whom cannot get vaccinated, and being vaccinated is the best protection against the virus,” Wilkerson said. “We believe that preventing COVID-19 infections through vaccines will lead to fewer missed school days, more in-person learning days, and ultimately, to improved student achievement.”

The mandate, which was approved by the Board during a special meeting on August 24, was viewed as an additional way to protect the health and safety of District students and staff. Following the adoption of the resolution, staff submitted information about their vaccine status via an online platform, VacTrac. All employees were required to do so by September 30.

Approximately 12 percent of District employees –roughly 2,250 people — have reported that they are not vaccinated. Those individuals will be required to be tested twice a week while vaccinated employees will continue to be tested once a week. Also, unvaccinated staff will no longer have access to 10 days of Direct Quarantine Leave related to COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis.

While the vaccine mandate was not a condition of employment for staff hired before October 1, the District is now requiring that all new hires be fully vaccinated in order to start employment.

Data will continue to be updated as more employees get vaccinated and those employees who are currently on leave return and are able to submit their information.