Rory Devine

Mandatory Vaccines at Francis Parker School

The school says it will be a "fully vaccinated community" when it opens Sept. 8

NBC Universal, Inc.

Francis Parker is a college prep independent school, with one of its campuses in Linda Vista.  The school says it will be a "fully vaccinated community" when it opens Sept. 8.

The employees and eligible students will have to be fully vaccinated in order to come on campus to take part "in any and all academic and extracurricular programs and activities," according to a statement.

Head of School Doctor Kevin Yaley said the school wants to do everything possible to give students an in-person learning environment that is as safe as possible.

That not only means being vaccinated, but employees and students will have to wear masks indoors, practice good hygiene, and social distance when not wearing masks; the school has other safety protocals in place as well, like better air filtration and ventilation.

“It’s is the first one I’ve heard about at high school or middle school level. We've certainly heard about it at lots of other places, this is youngest cohort for which I'm aware of this mandate," said Pediatric Infectious Disease physician Doctor Mark Sawyer.

He said we really need all the interventions in place to minimize or prevent the spread of the virus. He also said it is a way to minimize disruptions, with students having to quarantine.

“I think the intention is in the right place. We need to get people immunized if we're going to get over the pandemic in general, and get over the surge that we're now living through," said Sawyer.  

Sawyer said he is in favor of mandating vaccines for anyone who is eligible.

Francis Parker said 98 percent of students are vaccinated and are on board with the mandate. Those who are not fully vaccinated yet will be expected to be so by the end of September. Those in the 6th grade who are not 12 years old yet are expected to be vaccinated within the first two weeks of their 12th birthday.

No hybrid option is being offered. An NBC viewer, who wished to remain anonymous, said the decision, coming so close to when schools open, puts parents in a bad spot. A Francis Parker spokesperson said the school is working with families who have questions and concerns.

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