Alexandria School Board to discuss mandatory vaccinations for staffers this week

The School Board will determine this week whether to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory for all Alexandria City Public Schools staffers.

COVID-19 numbers are on the rise in Alexandria, and unvaccinated people make up a majority of new cases, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

“It is outrageous that they are only just now working on this,” an ACPS parent told ALXnow. “If my kid gets COVID from an unvaccinated teacher, I will slap a lawsuit on ACPS in a hot minute.”

As of August 12, ACPS had no plan requiring employee vaccinations, even though Samuel L. Tucker Elementary School started their school year on August 9. The rest of the school system will open its doors on August 24. Face masks are required for all 15,000+ students and more than 1,500 teachers and administrators, as is six-foot distancing.

In an email to a parent, Board Chair Meagan Alderton said that ACPS senior leadership have been working on a vaccine proposal, which will be unveiled at the upcoming School Board meeting on Thursday, August 19.

“Board leadership requested that the superintendent present a clear process and set of expectations to be shared and discussed publicly with the school board for input and approval,” Alderton wrote.

Superintendent Gregory Hutchings, Jr. told a parent in an email that he will have more information after receiving guidance from a Virginia Department of Education meeting this week.

“We will continue working with the Alexandria Health Department and Virginia Department of Health to determine the best course of action with regard to vaccination requirements for staff,” Hutchings wrote.

Vaccines are not on the agenda for the upcoming meeting. The only item listed is an update on ventilation, HVAC and indoor air quality.

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