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News Release: FMPSD Announces Mandatory Vaccination for Employees

News Release: FMPSD Announces Mandatory Vaccination for Employees

(Fort McMurray, AB, October 28, 2021) On October 5, the Ministers of Education and Health sent a letter strongly encouraging all school authorities, as employers, and operators of school facilities, to develop administrative procedures that require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for teachers, staff and any adult who enters a school.

Immunization has been proven to be the most effective means to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This in turn preserves in-person learning and helps prevent outbreaks. Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) has taken a thoughtful, measured approach to system-wide requirements and measures throughout the pandemic. The issue of proof of vaccination was considered with the same thoughtful, measured approach. As a school division we have a responsibility to provide a safe working and learning environment for those we serve and employ, including our students under the age of 12 who are unable to be immunized at this point in time. 

Linda Mywaart, Board Chair, FMPSD shares more.

"October 27 marked the start of a new four-year term for the Board of Trustees, and they immediately immersed themselves in the work on behalf of the students they serve. Staff provided the Board with comprehensive information and answers to questions that gave a broad view of the options available to them on the topic of a Covid-19 vaccine mandate. This included recommendations from the Ministers of Education and of Health, data gathered from within FMPSD about current vaccination rates, insurance ramifications, legal opinion, and direct impact on students, particularly on class sizes. Trustees engaged in an informed, robust, at times impassioned discussion that culminated in a decision by Board motion directing the staff to develop and implement a mandatory vaccinate Administrative Procedure. We move forward together to provide FMPSD students, staff and families with choices that guard their own well-being and that of those around them."

Fort McMurray Public School Division will begin the development of an administrative procedure that requires all employees to be fully vaccinated by January 17, 2022 unless an employee requires an accommodation pursuant to a protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act or participates in a regular, rapid testing program that ensures they are not COVID-19 positive while in contact with students and other employees. Further information regarding timelines and accommodations will be shared directly with employees via email in the coming week.

“Keeping our students and staff safe and healthy has been a priority ever since this pandemic changed our lives. We don’t take this responsibility lightly. We have followed all Alberta Health Services guidelines, and protocols and the mandatory vaccine implementation is in alignment with direction from the Minister of Health, the Minister of Education, and other guiding legislation. We continue to work diligently and proactively in Doing What’s Best for Kids and our employees,” notes Jennifer Turner, Superintendent, FMPSD.

Adults who are in direct contact with students and/or employees must also be fully vaccinated in order to enter schools in our Division. This includes independent contractors and volunteers. Fort McMurray Public Schools will not require students to be vaccinated.

For more information, please contact:

Kiran Malik-Khan

Communications Consultant         

Fort McMurray Public School Division

kiran.malikkhan@fmpsd.ab.ca

780-880-7666