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San Diego Charter School Issues Vaccination Mandate

Michelle Dion-Bernier teaching at Urban Discovery School San Diego, CA September 22, 2021
Nicholas McVicker
Michelle Dion-Bernier teaching at Urban Discovery School San Diego, CA September 22, 2021

The COVID pandemic has caused many parents to reconsider education options for their children. A new study by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools reports a 7-percent increase in charter school enrollment across the U.S. in the last school year.

Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative and accountable for student achievement.

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San Diego Charter School Issues Vaccination Mandate
Listen to this story by M.G. Perez.

Urban Discovery School is the textbook example of a charter school with a middle and high school campus and a K-5th grade campus in Downtown San Diego. Combined, both campuses have 600 students. UDS has taken the lead in COVID-19 safety protocols. Now the charter becomes the first public school system in San Diego County to institute mandatory vaccinations for eligible students 12 years of age and older.

"In passing this resolution, we are demonstrating our steadfast belief that this additional vaccination requirement is in the best interest of student health, well-being, and learning,” said Shawn T. Loescher, EdD, ChiefExecutive Officer at UDS. “Throughout this pandemic, we have demonstrated resilience, innovation, and a focus on what is best for children. This decision is based on science and is the result of coordination and consultation with public health experts in the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency.”

Parents will have 60 days to comply and get both shots for their children.

Urban Discovery Schools Requiring Students Vaccinated

Peri Turnbull has two children in charter schools. Her youngest, 11-year old Trevor, is in the 5th grade at UDS. He’s learning from home right now because he’s decided it’s safer until he’s eligible for a vaccine.

“My biggest concern is that as a community we’re not operating together trying to get through this. This is a prime example of where we can help our children understand they can be part of the solution,” Turnbull said.

Over the next few weeks, a series of online community meetings will be held to support families in getting their children vaccinated.