More Saskatchewan school divisions announce proof-of-vaccination policies for staff

NBTA president Connie Keating says the association has not been consulted as part of the ongoing review. File / Global News

Saskatchewan school divisions will soon be asking their employees to make a choice between showing proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or providing a negative COVID-19 test result.

On Monday, additional school divisions announced they are developing policies regarding employee COVID-19 vaccination.

Among them is the Regina Catholic School Division (RCSD) which said a full administrative procedure (AP) will come into effect in the coming weeks as officials work through policy logistics.

“This initiative will help us provide a safe learning and working environment for our students, staff and communities,” said Regina Catholic School Director of Education Sean Chase in a statement.

People who remain unvaccinated will be required to regularly present a negative COVID-19 test by using a testing method approved for use in Canada, according to the school division.

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The policy will affect adults who work in or wish to visit their schools, central office, facilities and school buses.

This means it will impact all RCSD employees, contracted workers and will have specific consideration for parents, but it will not apply to students.

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“The past year and a half have been challenging for us all,” stated Board Chair Vicky Bonnell. “This administrative procedure will provide another means for limiting the possibility of transmission within our facilities.”

The division said in a statement that the AP is “designed to encourage the highest possible COVID-19 vaccination rates amongst school division employees” as part of ongoing efforts to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in their schools.

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More details will be provided once the AP is finalized.

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Prairie Valley School Division

An employee vaccination AP requiring proof of vaccination or regular negative test results is also in the works at Prairie Valley School Division (PVSD).

In a release from the division, Director of Education Luc Lerminiaux said the decision to go ahead with drawing up a policy came at the direction of the Prairie Valley School Division’s board of education.

“It is up to the individual to choose the path they wish to take in order to remain an employee in good standing,” wrote Lerminiaux in the division’s release. “We feel it is important to introduce this initiative for staff and any other individual spending a significant period of time with our children, particularly those who are not yet eligible for vaccination.”

The AP will apply to all employees, school board members and anyone interacting directly with students during school division approved activities, according to PVSD.

For proof of vaccination, the division said it will recognize the immunization card issued by the Saskatchewan Health Authority at the time of vaccination, a copy of a vaccination record through MySaskHealthRecord, records entered into the SK Vax Wallet digital app or a verification letter from a Saskatchewan doctor or pharmacist.

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Lerminiaux expects the full AP will be released in mid-October.

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