By LILY TINOCO | Reporter
Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest district in the nation, passed a vaccine mandate requiring all eligible students, 12 years of age and older, to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend in-person classes during a special meeting on Thursday, September 9.
“This board is being asked … to put our kids, their safety and their opportunity to learn in-person and reconnect with teachers and friends after a traumatic year of unimaginable loss and challenges first,” LAUSD Board of Education Vice President Nick Melvoin said. “We want to do everything possible to make sure LA Unified does not end up on the long list of school districts that have had to re-close and go back to distance learning after welcoming students this fall.”
The Board of Education voted unanimously that the mandate was appropriate based on continued high COVID-19 transmission rates due to the surge of the delta variant and cases among school-age children due to transmission.
The mandate requires students 12 years and older who partake in in-person extracurricular programs to receive their first vaccine dose by October 3 and their second dose no later than October 31. All other students aged 12 and up will be required to receive their first dose by November 21 and their second by December 19. All remaining students will have to receive their first dose no more than 30 days after their 12th birthday.
The mandate applies to all LAUSD students and charter school students on “co-located school facilities.”
As an “affiliated charter,” Paul Revere Charter Middle School reported it will be following the policy. As part of the school’s efforts to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 to students and employees, mobile vaccination teams will be visiting the campus to administer free doses of the vaccine to eligible students.
“Keeping our children safe, on campus and in class is our goal daily,” according to Paul Revere’s website.
Melvoin reported during a Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting on September 9 that the mandate does not apply to Palisades Charter High School, an independent charter school that operates on LAUSD property.
Representatives from the school shared they anticipate clarification from its charter authorizer regarding the “impact of this action on PCHS and other LAUSD independent charter schools,” according to a newsletter sent on Saturday, September 11. Pali High is also preparing to discuss the topic at its Tuesday, September 21, Board of Trustees meeting.
“The PCHS Board and school leadership understand this is an important topic for our school community, and are committed to making decisions that are the most appropriate for the health and safety of PCHS students and staff,” according to the letter.
LAUSD is not the first district in the county to approve a student vaccine mandate: Culver City Unified School District approved such a mandate on Tuesday, August 17. According to data reported by Los Angeles County Public Health, more than half of 12 to 17 year olds in the county are vaccinated.
When asked if the mandate would automatically apply to students under the age of 12 if the vaccine is approved for younger recipients in the future, the LAUSD chief communications office reported that they do not have that information at this point.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.