The Los Angeles district has decided to delay enforcement of its Covid-19 vaccination mandate for students until fall 2022.
In backing off from a Jan. 10 deadline, the district cited concerns over disrupting instruction and the monumental task of transitioning tens of thousands of students into independent study, reports The Los Angeles Times.
Over 28,000 students have not complied with the mandate and were on track to be barred from in-person schooling.
So far, 87% of district students 12 and older have shown proof of vaccination, obtained a medical exemption or received an extension. The district’s independent study program, City of Angels, was overwhelmed in the fall with about 16,000 students — and district officials did not want to send thousands more to online learning.
The board also voted to expand the student vaccination mandate to charter schools that are authorized by the district.
Superintendent-designate Alberto Carvalho weighed in during a news conference, calling the new deadline “the right decision.”
“The conditions that the board is facing today, and the policy adjustments are not, in my opinion, a reversal of decisions made,” he said, but “an evolution of the previous board position” that recognizes what is best for students.
High school students on sports teams will still need to get vaccinated in order to participate.
According to the district's website students and staff, regardless of vaccine requirements, will be required to be tested throughout January on a weekly basis. Starting in February, only students without proof of vaccination will be required to test regularly.