Vaccine Requirement

  • The research is clear, and all credible medical and public health experts agree: vaccines are the number one way to prevent people from getting COVID, from getting very sick if they catch COVID, and to help all of us get out of the pandemic. It won’t happen until the vast majority of us across the country are vaccinated. California has the lowest COVID rates in the country, and our high vaccination rates are a big part of why. The vaccines are safe and highly effective.

     

    Jan. 28, 2022 UPDATE
    Last October, the Board of Education adopted Board Policy 5141.29, which requires students 12 years old and up to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend school in-person as of January 1, 2022. Under the policy, a number of exemptions are available to students who are not fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated students would also be offered enrollment at the District’s online independent study program at Sojourner Truth.
     
    Initially, the policy required that the District unenroll from in-person school any unvaccinated student without a valid exemption starting January 1, 2022. In December, the Board voted to delay the deadline to be unenrolled to January 31, 2022.
     
    At the most recent Board meeting this week, the Board delayed the deadline even further, to August 1, 2022. That means all students can continue to attend school in-person regardless of vaccine status for the entire spring semester.
     
    Students who are 12+ years old are still required to be vaccinated and boosted as soon as they are eligible. As we have seen through the omicron surge, COVID-19 can be very aggressive, and it is more likely to infect people who are not vaccinated, and much more likely to make unvaccinated people very sick. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and our entire community.

     

    Dec. 1, 2021 UPDATE

    No student shall be unenrolled under this Policy prior to January 31, 2022.

     

    Nov. 10, 2021 UPDATE

    OUSD Board Resolution: Vaccine Requirement

     

    Watch the video above for a quick overview of the new Board policy, exemptions and independent study.

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    Videos also posted on our OUSD YouTube Channel COVID Playlist

     

    The OUSD Board of Education adopted a Board Policy in October, which requires COVID-19 vaccines for all students ages 12 and up, starting January 1, 2022. For all students who are age 12+ as of 12/1/2021, they must get vaccinated or qualify for an exemption to attend school in-person in the spring of 2022. A final version of the adopted Policy is available here. The requirement also applies to all charter schools that operate on District-owned property or that seek to have their students participate in Oakland Athletic League (OAL) activities or compete against OAL teams. The State is also moving forward with a COVID-19 requirement of its own, which will take effect before the start of the 2022-2023 school year, if not earlier. Ultimately, this means that all California students will need to be fully vaccinated when required by the state, unless exempted by the state next year.

     

    There are several exemptions in the OUSD Board Policy for the spring of 2022, including one for medical reasons, a personal belief exemption, and an exemption for students who have received their first or second shots but are not yet fully vaccinated. (An individual must wait two weeks after their second shot to be considered fully vaccinated.) Learn more about the exemption process and how to file the form. 

     

    All non-exempted, unvaccinated students will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the District’s independent study program at Sojourner Truth. Learn more about transfering to Sojourner Truth here.

     

    How to get vaccinated

    To get vaccinated, please visit your healthcare provider, local pharmacy, community vaccine clinic, or any of our upcoming school-based vaccine clinics. We have been hosting on-campus vaccine clinics in partnership with the county all semester, and plan to continue doing so at multiple schools through January. Remember that COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, and effective, and are our best form of protection as we move into this holiday season.

     

    How to share vaccination card

    If your child has been vaccinated, please send a copy of your child’s vaccination card to vaccinestatus_student@ousd.org. All families who have a child over the age of 12, for whom we do not have a record, will be receiving messages and phone calls asking for updated vaccination information over the next several weeks.

     

    Please make sure we have your child’s updated vaccination status, including a copy of your student’s vaccination card. In January, we will be raffling off some prizes for all fully vaccinated students ages 12+ including tickets to see the Warriors play at the Chase Center! All students who are 12+ by 12/1/2021, who have been fully vaccinated by 1/1/2022 and whose vaccination status is on file with the district, will be entered to win!

     


    Oct. 27, 2021 UPDATE

    On Oct. 27, 2021, the Board of Education voted 4-3 to adopt Board Policy 5141.29 - COVID-19 Student Vaccine Requirement, which implements the Resolution the Board previously adopted requiring COVID-19 vaccines for all students ages 12 and up. The Board was presented with three enforcement options and selected Option #1, which requires all students aged 12 and over to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of January 1, 2022 to attend school in-person unless otherwise exempted. A final version of the adopted Policy is available here.

    There are several exemptions in the Policy, including one for medical reasons, a personal belief exemption, and an exemption for students who have received their first or second shots but are not yet fully vaccinated. (An individual must wait two weeks after their second shot to be considered fully vaccinated.) All non-exempted, unvaccinated students will be offered placement in the District’s independent study program at Sojourner Truth.

    The Policy is similar to the requirement currently in place in Los Angeles Unified School District and Piedmont Unified School District. It also applies to all charter schools that operate on District-owned property or that seek to have their students participate in Oakland Athletic League (OAL) activities or compete against OAL teams.

    OUSD has been working for months with Alameda County to ensure that all eligible students have access to the vaccine. OUSD will continue to do so and is seeking to partner with other service providers to make vaccines available to all unvaccinated students at sites across the District. District staff have also begun reaching out to families whose vaccine-eligible children do not have COVID-19 vaccination records on file with the State of California to accurately assess who still needs to be vaccinated. Staff are requesting a copy of their child’s vaccination card, if they have it, or they will inform the family how and where to get their student vaccinated.

    The State is also moving forward with a COVID-19 requirement of its own, which will take effect before the start of the 2022-2023 school year, if not earlier. Ultimately, this means that all California students will need to be fully vaccinated, unless exempt.

    To get vaccinated, please visit your healthcare provider, local pharmacy, a community vaccine clinic, or any of our upcoming school-based vaccine clinics. We have been hosting on-campus vaccine clinics in partnership with the county all semester, and plan to continue doing so at multiple schools through January. Remember that COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, and effective, and are our best form of protection as we move into this holiday season, during which many of us will be gathering with loved ones, traveling, and spending more time indoors.

     


    Sept. 22, 2021 UPDATE 

    During the September 22, 2021 OUSD Board of Education meeting, the Directors voted 5-1 with one abstention in favor of a vaccine requirement for all students 12 years old and up. Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell and her team will now work out the logistics of how the requirement will take effect and when as directed by the resolution. The District will create a plan and present it to the Board by October, so they are aware of how it will happen. Superintendent Johnson-Trammell indicated the requirement would likely go into effect no earlier than January 1, 2022, so as to be less disruptive during the middle of the fall semester, and to give students time to get their required vaccination, if not before, then during winter break.

     

    As for how the District will create the requirement, the team will take a look at the vaccine requirement in Los Angeles Unified and adjust it based on local context and need. There may be aspects of that requirement that work in Oakland, and others that do not, so we will use the best parts of it, and add to it where needed. Per the resolution, all exemptions required by law and a “personal belief exemption” will be included.