Proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test is being considered for staff in South Peace schools.
Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) administration conducted an employee survey and is also seeking legal guidance in developing a procedure to require proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test for adults in their facilities.
“The procedure would extend to educational partners, contractors and volunteers who work closely with staff or students,” said Bob Stewart, PWPSD superintendent.
He noted that administration and the board agreed the protocol had to be made sensitively and adhere to the board’s health and safety policy, along with other needed considerations such as the health and safety of students.
“This is about safety,” said Stewart.
He noted that information on the procedure would be sent out to its education partners as the division looks for widespread feedback.
“We're going to make sure that we take the time we create, we send it out, we get the feedback, we make adjustments,” said Stewart.
Stewart hopes to see a draft of the procedure by the end of the month, with implementation set for mid- to late January.
Meanwhile, the Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools (GPCSD) board has directed administration to develop a process regarding proof of vaccines for adults.
“For the most part, we have our staff willing to say it’s alright we’d have a proof of vaccination for the adults coming into our school,” said GPCSD superintendent Jessie Shirley at the Nov. 1 board meeting.
She also noted that administration will look at ways to consider those who are vaccine-hesitant or have exemptions.
Currently at GPCSD, adults working or visiting the school are expected to wear masks; each school may have its own rules about physical distancing.
GPCSD trustee Michelle Gemmell wants to see a survey done to hear feedback from what parents would like to see, she told the board on its Nov. 1 meeting.
“We're not looking for anything mandatory; we're looking for proof of vaccination, or people can choose a negative COVID rapid test either one works,” said Stewart.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News