The GHC Governing Board recently approved a change to our COVID-19 Safety Plan and Visitor Policy that will allow School-approved visitors - regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status - to attend GHC indoor events and activities such as performances, athletic events, and meetings with GHC staff. The change also applies to GHC and non-GHC students.
Any questions regarding COVID testing, COVID results, COVID quarantine time, please contact the COVID Response Office at covidresponse@
- COVID-19 General Information
- Getting the Vaccine
- Independent Study
- School Vaccination Policy
- Vaccine Health & Safety
COVID-19 General Information
Symptoms of COVID-19 may include one or more of the following: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, feeling tired, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, stuffy or runny nose, or new loss of taste or smell. Talk to your doctor about any of these or other symptoms that worry you. If you need help finding a doctor, call the 24/7 helpline at 2-1-1 or visit the 211LA.org. To learn about symptoms & what to do if you are sick, visit ph.lacounty.gov/covidcare.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads from person to person mainly through respiratory droplets that are released into the air by a person who has COVID-19. For example, when they speak, sing, cough, shout, sneeze, or breathe heavily. These droplets are then breathed in by other people or land in their nose, mouth, or eyes. A person’s risk of getting infected goes up the closer they are to someone with COVID-19. Enclosed places with poor air flow can also increase the risk of getting infected. This is because the droplets that have the virus can concentrate and spread in the air past 6 feet. They can even stay floating in the air after an infected person has left the room. It is also possible, but less common, for the virus to spread by touching a surface with droplets on it and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. See CDC How COVID-19 spreads.
Like all viruses, SARS-CoV-2 changes constantly through mutation. These mutations add up and create slightly different versions of the virus, called “variants”. Sometimes, a mutation will result in the virus spreading more easily, making people sicker or making it resistant to treatment or vaccines. Currently, the CDC has found that all 3 vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are highly effective at preventing serious illness and death from these variants. See LAC DPH COVID-19 Variants FAQs.
COVID-19 is a disease that was first identified in humans in 2019. It is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Because it is a new virus, we are studying it carefully and continue to learn about it. Most people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms. But COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and even death. Some groups have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, especially unvaccinated older adults and unvaccinated people who have certain medical conditions. People can also be infected and never have symptoms. Some people experience post-COVID conditions. This includes a wide range of new or returning symptoms or ongoing health problems that can last for weeks or months. Even people who did not have symptoms at first can experience post-COVID conditions. See CDC Long-Term effects.
Getting the Vaccine
No. Eligible students will be vaccinated if they present a vaccination consent form signed by a parent or guardian as set forth above that authorizes their child to be unaccompanied. Parents and guardians do not need to accompany students to be vaccinated. However, parents and guardians are welcome to accompany students for their vaccination or to designate a responsible adult to accompany their child, and parents and guardians are encouraged to do so if they wish to be vaccinated themselves.
Regarding an adverse reaction to the vaccine for your student, we recommend that you continue to work with your primary care physician or equivalent licensed medical provider about how to treat side effects and adverse reactions to the vaccine. If your student has adverse reactions and misses school, please notify the attendance office.
If you or your child has concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, you can talk to your pediatrician or healthcare provider. You can also talk to our school nurses.
Yes. With limited exceptions for emancipated minors and others legally permitted to self-consent, students age 12-17 will not be vaccinated without written consent from a parent or legal guardian.
“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.
iGranada is an independent study option. It does not look like distance learning or synchronous learning during the school shut down. Students who chose not to be vaccinated will have an opportunity to apply for the IGc or iGranadaCovid program.
The need for a lottery will be determined based on the responses that are received. Communication about the need for a lottery will be provided later and will include options for students who are selected in the lottery process.
If, for any reason, you do not think your child will be fully vaccinated by the deadline that allows them to participate in in-person instruction for the start of the second semester, please submit a request for Independent Study.
Details about the IS program that will be offered in the Spring semester will be communicated later based on a number of factors as the School determines how to best meet the needs of the community, including students and staff.
If you are considering requesting Independent Study for the Spring at the TK-8, please know that you should not assume that the model will look like 1.) what you experienced in Distance Learning last year, 2.) what IS looks like currently for those who chose IS for the fall semester, or 3.) what you may have experienced in a short-term quarantine this year. The IS program that will be offered will be communicated later based on the number of factors as the School determines how to best meet the needs of the community, including students and staff.
There will be an opportunity for students currently participating in Independent Study (IS) for this Fall semester to request to remain on IS for the Spring. These students will have priority for a spot in the Spring IS program and will not need to participate in a lottery, should there be one. But, if you choose to request IS for the Spring at the TK-8, please know that it should not be assumed that the IS model will look the same as it has been for this Fall. The Spring IS program that will be offered will be communicated later based on a number of factors as the School determines how to best meet the needs of the community, including students and staff.
School Vaccination Policy
At present, the GHC plans to test all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, through the end of the Fall 2021 semester.
Students who are newly eligible will have 30 days after their 12th birthday to get their first dose and must get their second vaccine dose no later than 8 weeks after their 12th birthday.
As with other immunizations required for enrollment in California schools, state law does not recognize religious or personal belief exemptions.
Children who are experiencing homelessness, in the foster care system, in a military family, migrant, or who have an IEP qualify for conditional admissions. Note that conditional admission is not an exemption, and a recurring effort is made by the school nursing team to support the child and family to receive a vaccination in a timely manner. Students who are currently enrolled and are eligible for conditional enrollment should plan to be fully vaccinated by February 11, 2022.
A qualified exemption includes a medical exemption.
Students may be conditionally admitted to or enrolled at GHC if they are in one of these groups: foster youth, homeless, migrant, military family, or has an IEP.
Vaccine Health & Safety
The way in which the vaccine was made does not target DNA for adults or children, so it cannot affect or change a person’s DNA. Essentially, mRNA vaccines teach cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. This allows our immune system to more quickly recognize the virus that causes COVID-19, mount an immune response, and more quickly handle the virus. This mechanism of vaccine development has been studied since 2011 and is both safe and effective. The first COVID-19 vaccines to reach the market were messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. According to the CDC, mRNA vaccines work by instructing cells in the body how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. Injecting mRNA into your body will not interact or do anything to the DNA of your cells. Human cells break down and get rid of the mRNA soon after they have finished using the instructions.
You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. None of the vaccines contain the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have gone through - and continue to go through - the most intensive safety monitoring in US history. The vaccines were tested on tens of thousands of people, including people of color, older adults, and people with medical conditions and found to be safe and effective. Since December 2020, hundreds of millions of people have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems. They are safe for pregnant people and are recommended by pregnancy experts.
Vaccine side effects are common and may include sore or red arm, feeling tired, fever, chills, headache or muscle ache. They do not mean that you have COVID-19. Not everyone will get them. Side effects are a sign that your immune system is building protection. They may affect your ability to do some daily activities but should go away within a day or two of getting vaccinated. Serious side effects are rare and most are treatable.
Yes. Your child should get vaccinated even if they already had COVID-19. We don’t yet know how long someone is protected after they have had COVID-19. Getting vaccinated will boost their immunity and give them better and more lasting protection against COVID-19. This includes protection against variants of the virus that may be more infectious or cause more serious illness.
Over 4 million children ages (0-17 years) have tested positive for COVID-19 in the US since the start of the pandemic. Even though COVID-19 is often milder in children than adults, some children can get very sick or have lasting health problems from COVID-19. Getting your child vaccinated lowers their risk of getting infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine will also protect against Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) - a rare but serious condition in young people who have had COVID-19. Children who get infected can spread the virus to others even if they don’t feel sick. Getting vaccinated helps to protect friends and families, as well as the larger community. This includes protecting people with weak immune systems and children under 12, who can’t be vaccinated yet. Once your child is fully vaccinated, it will be safer for them to hang out with friends, play sports or travel to see family. In addition, fully vaccinated youth will be able to attend local concerts and sporting events, visit amusement parks such as Magic Mountain and Disneyland, and dine out in restaurants, among other important social activities and events. If fully vaccinated, they also do not need to quarantine if they travel out of state or if a friend, family member, teacher or teammate gets COVID-19.
Vaccine Links & Resources
COVID-19 Safety Plan
Vaccination Policies & Requirements
Proof of Vaccination Submission
Resources from LA Dept. of Public Health (PDF)
COVID-19 Vaccine Myth Busters