<p>WHEREAS: In response to the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020 the School Committee and Administration implemented multi-layered strategies outlined in the “COVID-19 Safety & Facilities Procedures Manual” developed with the advice of the superintendent-appointed COVID-19 Safety, Health & Facilities Working Group made up of expert volunteers, the Department of Public Health, Safety committees at each school and the wider community through regular meetings of the Building & Grounds Subcommittee; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: The multi-layered strategies included ventilation, CO2 monitoring, masking, distancing, and vaccination to minimize the spread of the virus so that we could return to in-person learning during the school year 2020-2021; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: In the autumn of 2021, when the state required all students to return to in-person learning, our high-school-age student vaccination rates were low and vaccination access was not in place for all students; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: To contribute to a higher vaccination rate among high school and middle school students and at the recommendation of the superintendent, the School Committee passed Order C21-340<a href="https://cdnsm5-ss5.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_3042785/File/school_committee/agenda/C21-340_21-309.pdf"> (See: Appendix A)</a> on October 5, 2021, that approved “mandatory vaccination requirements for all currently age-eligible Cambridge Public School students effective November 22, 2021, and further, that as additional students become age-eligible for vaccines the same mandate will apply to these students at a date to be determined once the vaccine expansion is announced.”; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: The Administration subsequently, on October 6, 2021, announced it was implementing this requirement such by November 29, 2021, no unvaccinated, age-eligible student will be allowed to participate in the CPS-sponsored after-school extracurricular activities; initially for students ages 12 and older, and later for all students; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: On February 15, 2022, with everything we have learned about the virus, the wide availability of vaccines in our community, and the emergence of treatments against COVID-19, it appears we will not eradicate the virus and we are unlikely to eliminate it the School Committee adopted Order C22-038 <a href="https://cdnsm5-ss5.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_3042785/File/school_committee/agenda/C22-038_22-308.pdf">(See: Appendix B)</a> that modified the goals of the “COVID-19 Safety & Facilities Procedures Manual” from zero transmission to “balancing the costs and benefits of COVID-19 protocols on students and staff…and that we … continue to make decisions based on the latest science and give that COVID-19 will continue to evolve and be ready to reassess the priorities of [Manual] including returning to a zero-transmission goal/strategy.</p> <p>WHEREAS: On June 7, 2022, the administration changed the mandatory vaccination requirement from students needing to be completely up to date with their COVID-19 vaccine to only needing to be vaccinated with the initial vaccinations against Covid-19, as it was challenging to monitor the ever-evolving logistics of boosters; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: The fully-vaccinated rate of our high school and upper school students is now 85% and 74% respectively; and</p> <p>WHEREAS: Based on current COVID-19 trends, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 to expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023; and therefore, be it</p> <p>RESOLVED: That the School Committee request the administration to present data on the outcomes of Cambridge’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students relative to those of surrounding communities where their school districts do not have a mandated vaccination requirement for students; and be it further,</p> <p>RESOLVED: That assuming that there are no material differences in the above-referenced outcomes, that the administration, with the advice of the COVID-19 Safety, Health & Facilities Working Group, presents a date by when our mandatory COVID-19 student vaccination requirement policy should be rescinded; and be it further,</p> <p>RESOLVED: That as we have stated before, we have and will continue to make decisions based on the latest science, and given that COVID-19 will continue to evolve, we need to be ready to reassess the priorities of the “COVID-19 Safety & Facilities Procedures Manual”, including implementing any new vaccine requirements for students issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health; and be it further</p> <p>RESOLVED: That the School Committee continues to recommend all students be fully vaccinated and up to date with the most recent boosters available, to best protect themselves, their families, and the CPS community.</p>

School Committee Actions

Action Action Date Reconsidered By Referred to Subcommitee
03/07/2023 Adopted

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