RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Nearly two months after Richmond Public Schools (RPS) became the first school division in Central Virginia to implement a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all employees, contractors, partners and volunteers, 81% of staff members have submitted documentation of vaccination or an approved exemption, according to a presentation to the RPS School Board at its Monday meeting.
At the time of the School Board’s 8-1 vote in favor of the vaccine mandate, an RPS spokesperson reported that 60% of the school division’s staff was fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Superintendent Jason Kamras then said on Sept. 13 that the school division was short 64 teachers, 15 of which were new vacancies due to educators who left because of RPS’ vaccine mandate.
In August, all employees, contractors, partners and volunteers at RPS were told that they would have until Oct. 1 to submit documentation of vaccination against COVID-19 or a medical or religious exemption, or face disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Superintendent Jason Kamras said staff have a two week grace period for all employees to finish up getting their information to the school board.
Kamras said many people have reached out already to let the board know that they’ve gotten their first vaccine dose and are just waiting until they are eligible for their second.