Yesterday, at an in-camera meeting, the Delta Board of Education directed the school district to create, implement and amend as necessary, a Proof of Vaccination Regarding COVID-19 Operations Procedure to help protect the health and safety of both staff and students in accordance with the following:
- The procedure will be consistent with the K-12 Sector Guidelines for Vaccination Policies and the BCPSEA Template Operations Procedure.
- Appropriate employee representatives (including unions and joint health and safety committees), and parent, First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and community partners will be consulted.
- The procedure will ensure the School District complies with its obligation to accommodate individuals who are legally entitled to accommodation for medical reasons or under the Human Rights Code of British Columbia or Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms.
- The procedure will ensure the School District’s privacy obligations are met.
- That the finalized procedure and communication plan be implemented as soon as possible.
“We continue to hear from public health of the need for unvaccinated people to get immunized as soon as possible as vaccines reduce people’s risk of severe illness,” said Val Windsor, Board Chair, Delta School District. “We feel very strongly about protecting our students and staff. We believe anything we can do to reduce their risk of getting COVID, lessen the severity of their symptoms or reduce their time away from work or school is worth doing. After reviewing the many factors involved in this extremely sensitive and highly complex issue, the Board of Trustees believes introducing a proof of vaccination requirement is the right decision for public schools in Delta. We strongly urge any employees who have not yet been fully vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.”
Effective Monday, January 17, district staff will be given a minimum of six weeks to disclose their vaccination status. Staff who are unvaccinated or who fail to disclose their vaccination status by the deadline will be required to undergo regular rapid testing in order to continue work, or take an Extraordinary Leave Of Absence (unpaid). The proof of vaccine requirement will not apply to students.
This timeframe is intended to give unvaccinated or partially vaccinated employees sufficient time to get vaccinated. It will also enable the district to set up a process for collecting vaccination status information from employees in a way that best protects their privacy and to develop a rapid testing program. Further information will be available once the Procedure has been finalized.
This decision follows weeks of research and consultation by the school district into the viability of a vaccine mandate. On October 13, 2021, the Delta Board of Education directed the school district to begin work immediately on a safety policy and/or procedure, to provide, amongst other safety measures, the viability of mandatory vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2, for all staff.
January 13, 2022 Clarification: When developing the Procedure, the school district will follow the framework and guidance developed by the B.C. Government’s advisory committee as well as additional guidance released by the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA). This will help ensure a common sector-wide approach to a proof of vaccination requirement for employees.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Director of Communications
Delta School District
Cell: 604 363 3079