The Board of Education Approves a Vaccine Mandate for all School District Employees
At a special meeting today, the Board of Education approved a resolution to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all School District of Philadelphia employees. The Board authorized this mandate to protect the health and safety of all School District students and 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,” said Board President Joyce S. Wilkerson. “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 vaccine mandate was approved as Philadelphia faces a growing number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, driven by the Delta variant which is more transmissible than earlier forms of the virus. The School District has been striving to prevent COVID-19 cases through layered strategies, including masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, on-site COVID-19 testing and quarantining or isolating when necessary. This approach aligns with both the CDC and Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) guidelines.
The Board’s resolution directs the Superintendent to develop and implement a mandatory vaccination plan that would require employees, contracted workers and service employees who work in District facilities and on District property to be fully vaccinated and to submit proof of vaccination status. The plan would also include a process to request exemptions and accommodations for certain documented medical circumstances or sincerely held religious beliefs. Details of the plan will be developed and shared soon with District staff and school communities.