July 28, 2022, Granada Hills, CA – Granada Hills Charter (“GHC”) is pleased that yesterday Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant denied the claims in two lawsuits challenging GHC’s COVID-19 student vaccination policy. In so doing, the Court affirmed the importance of our independent charter status and the discretion of GHC’s Board of Directors to adopt campus access policies designed to protect the health and safety of our community.
The Court recognized that “[t]he state may reasonably identify minimum vaccination standards for admission and the schools reasonably may identify vaccination standards during a pandemic as conditions for access to a school site,” which is precisely what GHC’s COVID-19 student vaccination policy achieves. The decision also observed that “state public policy, as expressed by CDPH’s guidance, is that vaccination of all eligible students for Covid 19 is ‘crucial.’”
“For more than nine months, the School’s COVID-19 student vaccination policy safeguarded our students and staff and minimized disruption to learning during the past school year,” said James Salin, Chair of the GHC Board of Directors. “The School has stood by its policy, on campus and in court alike, because we believe in our core responsibility to protect students and staff using the best and most effective tools available to limit the spread, severity, and duration of COVID-19 infection, a policy requiring vaccination for campus access.”
“We continue to be grateful to our families and community, who helped GHC reach a 99% vaccination rate among age-eligible students on campus,” said Brian Bauer, GHC Chief Executive Officer/Superintendent. “As an independent charter school, a school of choice, we are proud to offer families a choice during the pandemic to attend a public school campus in Los Angeles that has been aligned with public health best practices on vaccination.”
The GHC COVID-19 student vaccination policy was approved by the Board of Directors in October 2021, and the policy went into effect on January 11, 2022, the first day of the Spring 2022 semester. Its positive impact in minimizing disruption to learning during the past nine months is clear, and its effect was immediate and lasting. On every metric associated with keeping students learning in class - attendance rates, chronic absenteeism rates, and COVID-19 positivity rates - GHC outperformed the Los Angeles Unified School District and other school districts by significant margins.
“As we prepare for the new school year, the well-being of our students and staff and GHC’s commitment to providing the highest quality and greatest variety of educational opportunities will remain our highest priorities,” Bauer said. “We look forward to welcoming students and staff back to school next month and to maintaining our COVID-19 student vaccination policy in the 2022-2023 school year to ensure that our campus remains a safe place for learning and working.”
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