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Home / Health / Los Angeles private schools try to get employees to use COVID vaccine as early as possible

Los Angeles private schools try to get employees to use COVID vaccine as early as possible



At least three private schools in Los Angeles County provide their teachers and other staff with a way to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine within a limited supply time-one school urges them to use restricted access codes, and the other two prove Its employees are responsible for healthcare-related duties.

The actions of these three schools are explained in the school’s emails, meeting minutes and letters provided to The Times by multiple school staff. The three schools are Alverno Heights College in Sierra Madre and Westmark in Encino. School and Mirman School in Brentwood.

During the period of severe dose restriction (which is a key issue for all public and private campuses), the quick action taken by management to ensure that employees are vaccinated shows that some private schools have been willing to boldly interpret the rules in order to seek to keep students safe Opportunity to go back to school. Protect employees.

It also provides another example of a difficult choice, as basic workers, seniors over 65 and educators are competing for vaccines available in California.

However, some staff members were dissatisfied with the instructions, saying that their journey to the front of the vaccination line had entered an ethical gray area.

Managers defended their decisive actions, saying that they were responsible for following strict safety procedures during campus operations, and also helping employees seek opportunities to find vaccines within the scope of government guidelines.

Alverno Heights said in a statement: “We believe that vaccinating teachers is a key factor in ensuring the well-being of our community.”

; “For this reason, we encourage employees to follow all relevant guidelines and as soon as possible if they are able and have vaccine supplies. Get the vaccine.”

At the same time, public school districts responsible for employee unions and elected school boards have mobilized vaccines from state and local public health authorities under stricter public supervision, but with limited success. Los Angeles County health officials said school employees are usually not eligible for the vaccine until March 1, when initial supply exceeds supply.

Earlier this month, Northridge Hospital Medical Center directly provided vaccine appointment services to 14 private schools and daycare centers (including Wesley School in North Hollywood). One of the senior hospital executives recruited a child, which allowed People have glimpsed another unauthorized way.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health stated that these actions violated vaccination guidelines.

There are also many examples of private schools that seem to fully comply with county health department policies.

When it was possible in October, all three schools brought back some or all of the youngest students within a few weeks, using exemptions allowed by state and county regulations. And they have also started to offer all elementary-level courses, which have been able to do so since February 16 due to the decline in the coronavirus infection rate.

Alverno Heights and Westmark brought back more high school students.

Although the documents stated that the school wanted all employees to be vaccinated immediately, the school did not order them to do so. The administrator declined to say how many employees received the vaccination.

All staff members who spoke to The Times requested anonymity out of fear of work. Alverno Heights policy does not allow employees to speak to the media without permission.

Access code for disadvantaged communities

For Alverno, an independent Catholic school, the epidemic broke out at an untimely time, because the ancient all-girls high school was adding a program for boys and girls in grades from kindergarten to eighth. High school tuition (excluding additional fees) is approximately US$22,000 per year.

The promotion of vaccines was expressed in emails sent by senior management. An email on February 18th provided employees with multiple ways to obtain vaccines:

“Option 1” will go to myturn.ca.gov, The state’s dating booking site, and then “Check the two boxes and your age range, select’Education and Parenting’, select Los Angeles County, and enter the following accessibility code’LA2S5R9.”

Darrel Ng, senior communications consultant for the state’s COVID-19 vaccine working group, said that the special code took effect last week, and other codes have been provided to community organizations for distribution in low-income communities most affected by the pandemic. In an email reply to “Time”.

But obviously there are loopholes.

In the guidance provided to “community partners,” a state official wrote that as of February 16, those eligible to use the code to work at California State University’s mass vaccination sites will include “education and childcare workers.” The rule appears to have allowed staff from Alverno and at least another private school to be appointed.

However, the guidelines also pointed out: “The focus of these vaccination sites is to provide fair access to safe, life-saving vaccines for California communities severely affected by COVID-19.”

An Alverno employee said: “I called the vaccine hotline to make an appointment, I read the password, and then said:’Am I eligible to use this password?” They said, “Oh, the code has been distributed to community leaders in the hard-hit areas For use. “

The employee told The Times: “We are trying to achieve what Jesus wants us to do, and Jesus doesn’t want us [to do this]. This is an ethical error that violates everything about the school we represent. “

The Alverno government declined to answer questions about the use of access codes.

Two days later, on February 20, another senior administrator sent an email to the staff via email, suggesting that they could hold an appointment as long as they claimed to be associated with Long Beach. The city’s health department began providing vaccine appointment services for local schools in late January. This is an example of fragmented vaccine availability, frustrating school leaders in areas where their employees are not yet qualified.

The administrator said in the email: “There are many dating locations just driving at California State University.” “I went to myturn.ca.gov and made Long Beach County your county-you can enter all the correct information, including age and Education.”

Another email also reminded the staff to be sure to list the affiliation with Long Beach.

According to the minutes of the meeting provided to The Times, the appropriateness of this effort was raised at the Zoom staff meeting on February 3.

“Please try to make an appointment. According to the minutes of the meeting, the principal Julia Fanara said: “If you have a QR code, they will let people enter the Dodger Stadium without requiring any work permits. “But it is not ethical to skip the line to buy vaccines instead of medical staff.” This is a decision you must make yourself. “

When receiving copies of meeting minutes and e-mails, the school did not question its authenticity, but insisted in the statement provided by Fanara that the school’s role is to provide information to staff and does not require vaccinations.

“Health Care Duties” of School Staff

The Westmark School in Encino specializes in educating children from grades 2 to 12 who “have been clinically diagnosed with language-based learning disabilities,” says school director Claudia Koochek.

This year’s tuition fee is US$52,446, and the tuition fee for new students is US$2,000.

In a communication reviewed by The Times on January 15, school leaders warned the “faculty and staff” that they “have prepared a verification letter” and will allow them to say “You are an employee of Westmark School, and You may participate in activities related to the health office from time to time.”

The letter stated that these duties may include supervision of the health office and temperature checks at the front entrance. The letter also stated that the three staff members who submitted the letter had been vaccinated.

Koochek said in a statement to The Times that her employees are eligible for vaccinations because the school has a “hygiene office” and any employee working on the campus has direct responsibilities related to ensuring the safety of everyone.

Koochek said the school’s method and its “documentation has been reviewed and verbally approved by officials at the vaccination site,” and he declined to say who conducted the review or when.

She said: “We take advantage of the opportunities provided by each appointment system provided by various medical institutions. These institutions provide appointments for the education/childcare department and have medical offices on campus.” “We chose this option because we are one A school with a health office.”

The Times spoke with four staff members, who said the letter did not correctly describe their role or most other people in the school. They described the letter as incorrect or unethical in different ways.

“Although I hope to be vaccinated as soon as possible with a nationwide effort, many other colleagues I and I talk to are morally opposed to skipping rope, especially when this requires dishonesty about our actual behavior. Position”, Westmark employees said.

The Los Angeles County Department of Education said on Thursday that the exemption for school staff to be vaccinated is very narrow until March 1.

Spokesperson Margo Minecki said: “The staff of the school health office (nurses, health assistants) are eligible to receive vaccination as health care personnel in stage 1A.”

The Millman School in Brentwood describes its niche market, which serves talented K-8 students, with annual tuition fees ranging from $34,000 to $38,000, and new student fees at $2,250.

In an exchange with faculty and staff on January 20, school leaders followed similar reasons as Westmark:

“Since you all work directly with students who may be contagious, it is the health coordinator who helps any sick student. The first person to participate in the daily health check during the carpool and at the gate. You belong to the current county guidelines for vaccination vaccine.”

The school provided a dating link and an official letter from the “persons that may be involved” that the staff signed by the principal Dan Vorenberg can propose:

The letter reads: “As a staff member, (insert name) works full-time at Millman and is directly responsible for all students, while providing necessary support to our health coordinator throughout the study day to support the provision of health to students Service.”. “They are responsible for daily health checks, respond first to children who are sick, have direct contact with children who may be infectious, and receive training on the Covid-19 response procedures on campus.”

Ericka Dean, Mirman’s director of marketing and communications, said the school “discreetly shares this information with our employees because we have a responsibility to ensure their continued safety and protect the happiness of our family.”

Laura J. Nelson and Julia Wick from Time Magazine contributed to this report.




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