NYC charter school mandates COVID vaccine for middle schoolers

Coronavirus

Anaiya Layland, 12, receives her first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination as her mother, Ashlesha Patel, observes at the Cook County Public Health Department, Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Des Plaines, Ill. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)

NEW YORK — The Success Academy public charter school network in New York City issued a COVID vaccine mandate for all middle school students on Tuesday.

Founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz said the decision was made to protect the health of students amid an alarming increase in COVID cases across the city as the highly transmissible omicron variant spreads.

“Vaccines offer the best protection for scholars and staff, and learning,” Moskowitz said. “Our kids are making great gains — academically, socially, and emotionally — and we intend to keep that momentum going.”

Additionally, students between 5 and 11 years old must get vaccinated if they wish to participate in clubs and sports. All staff, meanwhile, will be required to get a booster shot.

The new policies were issued based on guidance from local health officials and the CDC, according to Success Academy.

School staff will need to get a booster shot by Jan. 3, 2022. Students will have until Jan. 31, 2022 to comply with the vaccine mandate.

If a staff member is not yet eligible for a booster shot by Jan. 3, they will be required to get one within the calendar month after they become eligible.

Weekly testing will be provided for students who are not vaccinated, according to the charter network.

Success Academy also notified parents of elementary school students that beginning early next year, they will need to provide proof of vaccination or submit to weekly testing.

Success Academy has 47 schools located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

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