GHC Student Vaccination Requirement and Updates (March 2022)

Brian Bauer

Dear Granada Hills Charter Community,

I first want to thank the entire community for its continued support throughout these extraordinary times. This communication is to notify all Granada Hills Charter (“GHC”) students and families of important updates to the School’s health and safety plan that allow for the further reopening of the School’s campuses in phases. 

At its Monday, March 14, 2022 meeting, the GHC Governing Board approved a policy requiring an approved COVID-19 vaccination for all GHC students, age 12 and older. This policy ensures the safest learning environment for all students and aligns with local and state guidance and directives related to COVID-19 vaccination for all age-eligible students. 

In addition, we are updating our guest and visitor policy as it pertains to spectators - students and parents/guardians - attending athletic events.  

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination for all Age-Eligible Students

All GHC students who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, excluding those students with a qualified and approved exemption or conditional admission, must become fully vaccinated against COVID19 as a mandatory precondition to accessing any GHC campus. At the time this GHC policy is approved, eligible students for the COVID-19 vaccination are those age 12 and older. In the future, eligible students will include students under the age of 12.

Students newly age-eligible for vaccination, or newly admitted for the 2022-23 school year (on or after May 1, 2022), are permitted to access GHC campuses for the 30-day period after GHC makes an offer of admission or the student’s 12th (or eligible) birthday. If the first dose is not completed within the 30-day period, students will be excluded from GHC campuses and programmed into independent study (high school grades only; may not be available in the TK-8). If vaccination is not complete within the eight-week period, students will be excluded from GHC campuses and programmed into full-time independent study (high school grades only; may not be available in the TK-8). The full policy is linked here for your reference. 

Covid19vaccinationpolicychart_march2022

Fully Vaccinated

"Fully-vaccinated” refers to an individual who has received the first and second doses of the vaccine (or, in the case of Johnson & Johnson, the single required dose) and has completed the two-week period that follows to ensure maximum immunity.

Process for Meeting Mandatory Vaccination Requirement

Parents/guardians must submit student COVID-19 vaccination documentation to GHC by the first and second dose deadlines set forth above to meet the deadlines. As GHC needs sufficient time to process vaccination documentation and make any necessary operational adjustments, failure to submit proof of vaccination to GHC by the respective deadline may prevent a student from accessing campus for in-person learning and may prompt a different class schedule beginning August 11, 2022.  Vaccination proof is to be submitted to HSCovidVax@ghctk12.com for High School students or TK8CovidVax@ghctk12.com for TK-8 students. Failure to meet deadlines or comply with the policy may prevent or delay students in the second semester from accessing in-person instruction, prompt a new class schedule based on availability, and/or may lead to an offer of only independent study.

Student vaccination records and information will be maintained securely and confidentially in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations governing the privacy of student health information and other student records.

Exemptions and Conditional Admission

Parents/guardians may apply to seek exemption from the student COVID-19 vaccine requirements or conditional admission only under the following circumstances:

1. Qualified Medical Exemption

a. Parents/guardians seeking a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine for their child will be required to submit a completed Student Medical Exemption to the COVID-19 Vaccine Form (linked here) to GHC. 

To allow ample time for GHC staff to process, review, and reply to qualified medical exemption requests, any parent/guardian or adult student seeking a medical exemption must submit a complete Student Medical Exemption to the COVID-19 Vaccine Form to GHC within 30 calendar days from receipt of an offer of admission from GHC. Failure to submit the qualified medical exemption form to GHC by the deadline may prevent a student from accessing the GHC campus for in-person learning.

Medical exemptions are not guaranteed and are subject to review, verification, and inquiry from the Medical Exemption Committee (“MEC”). The MEC has authority and discretion to approve or deny an exemption request, including the length of time for the exemption. The MEC’s proceedings are not public. Decisions from the MEC are appealable to an Independent Expert Review Panel (“IERP”).

Applications for medical exemptions must be submitted to the School at ghccovidmedexemption@ghctk12.com. Please direct questions to the respective email addresses.

2. Conditional Admission

a. Students may be conditionally admitted if they are in one of the following groups: (1) foster youth; (2) experiencing homelessness; (3) migrant; or (4) military family. Conditional admission is not indefinite.

b. Students with an individualized education program (“IEP”) shall not be denied educational services pursuant to their IEP.

GHC will notify the parent/guardian confirming the exemption or conditional admission approval, denial, or indicating that further attention is required.

Religious or Personal Exemption

The GHC policy does not allow for religious or personal belief exemptions. 

Exclusion from GHC Campuses

Beginning Wednesday, June 1, 2022, eligible students who have not submitted proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or received a qualified and approved exemption or conditional admission pursuant to this policy will not be permitted on GHC campuses or facilities.

GHC will continue to implement other health and safety measures on campus as necessary to comply with current applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, orders, and ordinances related to COVID-19 and District health and safety policies and procedures as they relate to charter schools on District sites.

We will continue to communicate important updates and reminders about School policies and practices. Thank you for your continued support of GHC and the necessary actions you are taking to keep the GHC community safe.  

Sincerely,

Brian Bauer