COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement FAQ

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement FAQs

Overview

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Vaccination Requirement Pathways FAQ’S

What are the pathways to be in compliance with this new SCUSD vaccine requirement for in-person instruction and employment?

STUDENTS, STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS WHO HAVE ALREADY SUBMITTED PROOF OF VACCINATION: Student and staff who have already submitted proof of full COVID-19 vaccination are in compliance with SCUSD’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement and no further action is needed.

STUDENTS, STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS WHO STILL NEED TO BE FULLY VACCINATED: Students and staff who need to receive a first or second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine can do so by scheduling an appointment at a SCUSD clinic at www.scusd.edu/vaccinations or other locations found through MyTurn.ca.gov. SCUSD will need receipt of these records by completing an online vaccine status reporting form* at www.scusd.edu/reportvaccine by November 30, 2021. This form may also be filled out and turned in as a hard copy at your school site office. If you have only received your first dose of a two-dose vaccine, you still must opt into regular, routine testing until you are fully vaccinated.

STUDENTS, STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS WHO ARE FILING FOR A MEDICAL EXEMPTION FROM THE COVID-19 VACCINATION: If you are seeking a medical accommodation or exemption, you will need to provide SCUSD with a signed, written statement from a physician (MD or DO) licensed in California which states:

  • The specific nature of the physical condition or medical circumstance for which the licensed physician does not recommend immunization.
  • Which required vaccine is being exempted (COVID-19).
  • Whether the medical exemption is permanent or temporary.
  • An expiration date no more than 12 calendar months from the date of signing, if the exemption is temporary.
  • Information on submitting your vaccine exemption can be found at: www.scusd.edu/vaccineexemption.

STUDENTS FILING FOR A PERSONAL BELIEF EXEMPTION FROM THE COVID-19 VACCINATION: Students who wish to file an exemption for personal beliefs (including religious) can do so by completing an online exemption application form at www.scusd.edu/vaccineexemption. Those with an approved exemption will be required to register for regular, routine COVID-19 testing at scusd.edu/covid19testing.

STAFF FILING A REQUEST FOR A RELIGIOUS BELIEF EXEMPTION FOR THE COVID-19 VACCINATION: SCUSD will need receipt of exemption documentation by November 30, 2021. Once your exemption documentation is submitted, you will be contacted by Risk Management regarding next steps. Information on submitting your vaccine exemption can be found at: www.scusd.edu/vaccineexemption. Those with an approved exemption will be required to register for regular, routine COVID-19 testing at www.scusd.edu/covid19testing.

Vaccine Requirement Resolution FAQs

What is in the Board Resolution to require COVID-19 vaccinations?

The resolution to require COVID-19 vaccinations was adopted by the Sac City Unified Board at the October 12, 2021 Special Meeting. The resolution, which can be read in its entirety on the SCUSD website, includes the following provisions:

  • The Board directs the Superintendent to adopt the requirement that all SCUSD staff and students (including dependent charter school and Adult Education students) aged 12 and older receive the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition to accessing in-person instruction in order to best ensure the health and safety of all students, staff, and community and best protect against future disruptions to full-time, in-person instruction threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • All SCUSD staff and students (12+) shall provide proof of vaccination (first or second dose) by November 30, 2021, except for those students or staff with qualified and approved exemptions and conditional admissions.
  • All SCUSD students and staff not yet vaccinated (first or second dose) by November 30, 2021 or are not yet required for vaccination, as well as those students and staff with exemptions or conditional admissions, will be tested for COVID-19 on a regular routine basis based on public health recommendations for testing cadence, available staffing, and testing resources.
  • Consistent with the October 1, 2021 announcement by the Governor directing CDPH to promulgate regulations for the vaccine mandate, including the scope of exemptions, and pending any updated direction from new regulations or new legislation, SCUSD will allow for appropriately documented Medical and Personal Belief Exemptions with the requirement of regular routine COVID-19 testing.
  • All non-exempt or conditionally enrolled SCUSD students 12+ who have not submitted proof of vaccination (first and second dose) before the first day of the second semester will enroll in SCUSD’s Independent Study Program consistent with all legal requirements beginning on the first day of the second semester subject to the Superintendent’s discretion in light of SCUSD’s resources and the health and safety of SCUSD’s community and recognizing the need to reach agreement with labor partners regarding an Independent Study Program and other related matters that is viable in light of contractual obligations and state and national staffing shortages.
  • The Board directs the Superintendent to apply this vaccination mandate and determine appropriate conditions and timelines to students who become eligible under changes and updates to FDA COVID-19 emergency use approval, including students age five through 11 subject to the Superintendent’s discretion in light of SCUSD’s resources and the health and safety of SCUSD’s community.

Who is required to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

All staff and students (ages 12 or over) for the COVID-19 vaccine are required to be vaccinated, excluding those with qualified exemptions or conditional admissions.

Students who are newly eligible when they turn 12 will have 30 days after their 12th birthday to get their first dose, and must get their second vaccine dose no later than 8 weeks after their 12th birthday, or submit an exemption.

SCUSD will establish a reasonable timeline for students ages 5-11, including considerations for access to vaccine, time for families to consult with their medical provider and review current guidance from trusted sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP).

What other safety precautions are being undertaken by Sacramento City Unified, in addition to this resolution, to protect our community and schools against COVID-19?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sac City Unified has worked to prioritize the health and safety of all students, families and staff. The District reopened for full in-person instruction on September 2, 2021 with a detailed Return to Health plan, that includes making COVID testing available on every school site for any interested student and staff member, and following all State & County Public Health Guidelines for masking. The District also collaborates with community partners to host an ongoing series of COVID-19 vaccination clinics for those eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including students, staff and other members of our community.

Student Vaccination Requirement FAQs

What happens if my student does not get the COVID-19 vaccine?

By November 30, 2021 all students ages 12 and over must have either a first or second dose of vaccine submitted to SCUSD, except for those students who opt to undergo regular, routine testing due to qualified and approved exemptions (medical or personal belief reasons) and conditional admissions. All eligible, non-exempt or conditionally enrolled SCUSD students who have not submitted proof of vaccination (first and second dose) or qualified exemption before the first day of the second semester will enroll in SCUSD’s Independent Study Program consistent with all legal requirements beginning on the first day of the second semester subject to the Superintendent’s discretion in light of SCUSD’s resources and the health and safety of SCUSD’s community and recognizing the need to reach agreement with labor partners regarding an Independent Study Program and other related matters that is viable in light of contractual obligations and state and national staffing shortages.

How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to all at no cost, regardless of insurance or immigration status.

Why is Sacramento City Unified mandating student vaccinations?

Sacramento City Unified School District is working to ensure the highest-quality instruction in the safest environment possible for all students. Strong scientific evidence shows that vaccinations are an essential part of protecting our communities. Read more at https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/148/2/e2021052336.

This resolution is consistent with the October 1, 2021 announcement by the Governor directing CDPH to promulgate regulations for the vaccine mandate, including the scope of exemptions, and pending any updated direction from new regulations or new legislation, SCUSD will allow for appropriately documented Medical and Personal Belief Exemptions with the requirement of regular routine COVID-19 testing.

Where can I take my student to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to visit  https://www.scusd.edu/vaccinations for more information on vaccine clinics.  Sacramento County Public Health also has a number of vaccine clinic resources on their website. You can find more information on local vaccine clinic options at the My Turn website here: https://myturn.ca.gov/. You may also reach out to your medical provider for further consultation about the COVID vaccine.

Can my student still attend school if they do not get the COVID-19 vaccine?

By November 30, 2021 all students eligible for the vaccine (ages 12 and over) must have either a first or second dose of vaccine submitted to SCUSD, except for those students who opt to undergo regular, routine testing due to qualified and approved exemptions (medical or personal belief reasons) and conditional admissions. Starting second semester, all eligible, non-exempt or conditionally enrolled SCUSD students who have not submitted proof of vaccination (first and second dose) or qualified exemption before the first day of the second semester will enroll in SCUSD’s Independent Study Program consistent with all legal requirements beginning on the first day of the second semester subject to the Superintendent’s discretion in light of SCUSD’s resources and the health and safety of SCUSD’s community and recognizing the need to reach agreement with labor partners regarding an Independent Study Program and other related matters that is viable in light of contractual obligations and state and national staffing shortages.

Do I have to be tested for COVID-19 if I have submitted my vaccination information by November 30?

Those who have received their final dose (second dose for Pfizer and Moderna, and first for Johnson & Johnson) two weeks prior to November 30, 2021, or any time after, can cease the testing process. COVID-19 testing is required until the individual is “fully vaccinated”, meaning two weeks after the vaccine regimen is completed.

Can my student participate in in-person extracurricular activities (eg sports, after school programs, district sponsored events) if they are not fully vaccinated?

Your child will be permitted to participate in in-person extracurricular activities with proof of vaccination or a valid exemption and regular, routine testing.

Will my student be required to get booster shots?

At this time, a booster dose is not approved for students ages 12-16.  You can find more information about who is eligible for booster doses at https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/.

Do all of the COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson) fulfill the requirement?

Currently, students must receive the Pfizer vaccine if they are under the age of 18. Students 18 and older can receive Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, or Pfizer vaccines to meet the requirement. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given Emergency Use Authorization for students ages 5-15 and full approval for people age 16 and older. Emergency Use Authorization approval for youths ages 5-11 was approved November 2, 2021.

What if my student got vaccinated in another country?

If a student got vaccinated in another country, please submit the vaccination record to SCUSD for verification.

Does my student need to carry their vaccine card with them at all times?

No. Parents/guardians and students may submit their vaccine record to SCUSD.  The vaccination record will be documented in our student information system Infinite Campus, under the Immunization section.

By when does my student need to get vaccinated?

Parents/guardians or students must submit records of either a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine by November 30, 2021. If students aged 12 or older do not have proof of vaccination against COVID-19, or an exemption or conditional admission and undergoing regular, routine testing, they may not continue with in-person learning.

My student turns 12 after Monday, January 31. How much time do we have to be fully vaccinated?

Students who are newly eligible when they turn 12 will have 30 days after their 12th birthday to get their first dose, and must get their second vaccine dose no later than 8 weeks after their 12th birthday, or file a valid exemption and register for regular and routine testing.

Will this requirement change regular testing requirements?

Per CDPH guidance, “Fully-vaccinated individuals[1] do not need to undergo diagnostic screening testing in non-healthcare setting workplaces.” Students or staff who are fully-vaccinated are not required to undergo regular, routine testing.  However, students or staff may test weekly if they want to and will be offered testing if they are exposed to COVID-19 or become symptomatic.

What does “Fully-Vaccinated” mean?

“Fully-vaccinated” refers to an individual who has received the first and second doses of the vaccine (or, in the case of Johnson & Johnson, the single required dose) and has completed the two-week period that follows to ensure maximum immunity. The District needs to learn by November 30, 2021 of at least the first vaccination.

What do I do if I have lost my vaccination card?

If a student has lost their vaccine record, they can get a digital record at https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov.

What is a qualified exemption or conditional admission?

At this time, a qualified student exemption includes a medical, personal belief or religious exemption. Students may be conditionally admitted if they are in one of these groups: foster youth, homeless, migrant, military family, or have an IEP.

How can families submit their Student Vaccine information?

SCUSD will need receipt of these records by completing an online vaccine status reporting form at www.scusd.edu/reportvaccine by November 30, 2021. This form may also be filled out and turned in as a hard copy at your school site office.

SCUSD will be using an online form to collect the data for student vaccinations and exemptions.  Before filling out the form, you will need to know your student’s SCUSD student ID, as that is a required field.  You can find that number on the Infinite Campus Portal, on certain reports from school, or you can ask the staff at school for the ID number. 

Once you have that number, you can click the link to submit at www.scusd.edu/reportvaccine

  • You will be asked to type your name and email to open the form
  • Once the form is open, There will be an informative paragraph at the top of the page where you can find links to exemption information and other topics.
  • You will be asked to fill out a number of fields including demographic and vaccination status of your student
  • There are 4 survey questions that you will be asked to answer
  • Please remember to upload the proof of vaccination or exemption using the “Choose file(s)” button under Add Attachments at the bottom of the page
  • When your information and attachments are finished, please click the red “Submit form/Enviar Formulario” button to complete your submission.

Note: Please fill out a new form for each SCUSD student that you have in your home.

What is acceptable proof of COVID-19 vaccination for the verification process?

Acceptable proof includes any of the following: CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (White Card), World Health Organization Vaccine Record Card (Yellow Card), documentation of vaccination from a healthcare provider or entity that provided the COVID-19 vaccines, a California Immunization Registry (CAIR) Vaccination Record, or a digital vaccine record from https://myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov/. The name on the document must match the individual’s name and date of birth.

Where can families find the Student Vaccine Exemption Form?

Students who wish to file an exemption for personal beliefs (including religious) can do so by completing an online exemption application form at www.scusd.edu/vaccineexemption. Those with an approved exemption will be required to register for regular, routine COVID-19 testing at www.scusd.edu/covid19testing.

You can find student ID information in Infinite Campus. You may also inquire at your school site to obtain your student ID information.

What is the process for submitting personal belief exemptions?

Forms and information for vaccine exemptions can be found at: form at www.scusd.edu/vaccineexemption. Sacramento City Unified will be using an online form to collect the data for student vaccinations and exemptions. Before you begin filling out the form, you will need to know your student’s SCUSD student ID as that is a required field.  You can find that number on the Infinite Campus Portal, on certain reports from school, or you can ask the staff at school for the ID number. 

Once you have that number, you can visit www.scusd.edu/vaccineexemption to find the survey. 

  • You will be asked to type your name and email to open the form
  • Once the form is open, There will be an informative paragraph at the top of the page where you can find links to exemption information and other topics.
  • You will be asked to fill out a number of fields including demographic and vaccination status of your student
  • There are 4 survey questions that you will be asked to answer
  • Please remember to upload the proof of vaccination or exemption using the “Choose file(s)” button under Add Attachments at the bottom of the page
  • When your information and attachments are finished, please click the red “Submit form/Enviar Formulario” button to complete your submission.

Note: Please fill out a new form for each SCUSD student that you have in your home.

For a personal belief exemption requiring a physician signature, will the district allow an attachment of an electronic signature from a medical provider?

Yes, the district will accept an electronic attestation from a medical provider indicating they have advised of “1) the benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccine and 2) the health risks to the student and to the community of COVID-19 for which vaccine is required in SCUSD.” On the Student Personal or Religious Belief Exemption Application form parents/guardians must sign section “A. Personal Belief” and write “see attached” in the provider signature space.  Parents must also sign the “Affidavit” section at the bottom and then attach the medical provider’s electronic note and signature.

How do I submit my child’s medical exemption form?

Sacramento City Unified will be using an online form to collect the data for student vaccinations and exemptions. Before you begin filling out the form, you will need to know your student’s SCUSD student ID as that is a required field. You can find that number on the Infinite Campus Portal, on certain reports from school, or you can ask the staff at school for the ID number. 

Once you have that number, you can visit www.scusd.edu/vaccineexemption to find the survey. 

  • You will be asked to type your name and email to open the form
  • Once the form is open, There will be an informative paragraph at the top of the page where you can find links to exemption information and other topics.
  • You will be asked to fill out a number of fields including demographic and vaccination status of your student
  • There are 4 survey questions that you will be asked to answer
  • Please remember to upload the proof of vaccination or exemption using the “Choose file(s)” button under Add Attachments at the bottom of the page
  • When your information and attachments are finished, please click the red “Submit form/Enviar Formulario” button to complete your submission.

Note: Please fill out a new form for each SCUSD student that you have in your home.

What documentation is required to file a Medical Exemption?

If you are filing a medical accommodation or exemption, you will need to provide SCUSD with a signed, written statement from a physician (MD or DO) licensed in California which states:

  • The specific nature of the physical condition or medical circumstance for which the licensed physician does not recommend immunization.
  • Which required vaccine is being exempted (COVID-19).
  • Whether the medical exemption is permanent or temporary.
  • An expiration date no more than 12 calendar months from the date of signing, if the exemption is temporary.
  • Those with an approved exemption will need to schedule their regular, routine COVID-19 testing.

Who can my child talk to if they have concerns?

If a child has concerns, they can talk to their pediatrician or healthcare provider. They can also talk to the school nurse assigned to their school, or any of the medical providers attending a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

What if my child has a reaction to the vaccine and has to stay home from school?

Most common reactions to the vaccine include redness/swelling at the vaccine site, fever and muscle aches/body aches. Most symptoms resolve within 48-72 hours. If a child has a reaction to the vaccine, they may take excused absences with the ability to make up their schoolwork for full credit.

Do parents or guardians need to accompany students to be vaccinated? 

Eligible students will be vaccinated if they present a vaccination consent form signed by a parent or guardian and have a responsible adult with them at the time of vaccination. 

Do students need parental consent to be vaccinated?

Yes. With limited exceptions for emancipated minors and others legally permitted to self-consent, students age 5-17 will not be vaccinated without written consent from a parent or legal guardian.

Form: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Consent For Individuals Under 18 Years of Age

Will these policies apply to students under 12 when they are authorized?

We will let you know if and when this requirement will apply to students under 12. SCUSD will communicate with parents or guardians and provide adequate time to have your student under 12 vaccinated.

The Board of Education has directed the Superintendent to apply this vaccination mandate and determine appropriate conditions and timelines to students who become eligible under changes and updates to FDA COVID-19 emergency use approval, including students age five through 11 subject to the Superintendent’s discretion in light of SCUSD’s resources and the health and safety of SCUSD’s community.

If my child has already had COVID-19, do they still need to be vaccinated? Why?

Yes. While getting COVID-19 may offer some natural immunity from reinfection, it is not clear how long the immunity lasts. Because your child can still get reinfected with COVID-19 and have medical complications, the CDC recommends that those who have had COVID-19 get the COVID-19 vaccine. If your child received monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19, it is recommended to wait 90 days before getting vaccinated.

How was the process for filing an exemption determined?

The SCUSD Vaccine Requirement Exemption forms and procedures are standardized with the California Department of Public Health Personal Belief Exemption Form of 2016, that was created to be compliant with SB-276. SB-276 requires a clinically trained department staff member who is a physician and surgeon or a registered nurse to review all medical exemption forms submitted meeting those conditions.

SB-276 required the State Department of Public Health, by January 1, 2021, to develop and make available for use by licensed physicians and surgeons an electronic, standardized, statewide medical exemption request that would be transmitted using the California Immunization Registry (CAIR), and which, commencing January 1, 2021, would be the only documentation of a medical exemption that a governing authority may accept. The bill specified the information to be included in the medical exemption form, including a certification under penalty of perjury that the statements and information contained in the form are true, accurate, and complete. The bill requires a physician and surgeon to inform a parent or guardian of the bill’s requirements and to examine the child and submit a completed medical exemption request form to the department, as specified.

How will the vaccine requirement resolution apply to students with disabilities?

For our students with disabilities receiving special education services, we would ask the following be communicated to parents:

  • Students who need to receive a first or second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine can do so by scheduling an appointment at a SCUSD clinic at www.scusd.edu/vaccinations or other locations found through MyTurn.ca.gov. 
    • SCUSD will need receipt of these records by completing an online vaccine status reporting form* at www.scusd.edu/reportvaccine by November 30, 2021. This form may also be filled out and turned in as a hard copy at your school site office.
  • Students who wish to file an exemption for medical or personal beliefs (including religious) can do so by completing an online exemption application form at www.scusd.edu/vaccineexemption. Those with an approved exemption will be required to register for regular, routine COVID-19 testing at www.scusd.edu/covid19testing.

If a family wishes not to participate in either of these two options, please contact your Administrator of Teaching & Learning or the Special Education Local Plan Area at (916) 463-7400.

Employee Vaccination Requirement FAQs

Will the District require employees to be vaccinated?

Yes, unless employees have an approved exemption plus engage in regular and routine testing. As part of Sacramento City Unified School District’s efforts to provide the safest possible environment in which to learn and work, all District staff (including substitutes and others working on per diem) will be mandated to provide proof of a first or second dose of vaccination against COVID-19 no later than November 30, 2021 as a condition of continued employment/service, except for those staff with qualified and approved exemptions for medical or religious reasons.

Will the District allow employees time for getting vaccinated, for vaccine reaction, and protect the notification/privacy of appointments and vaccination status?

Employees may use 2-hours to be vaccinated during their work hours without loss of pay. In extenuating circumstances, employees shall be able to utilize more than 2-hours of paid time in order to be vaccinated. If employees make an appointment during the contractual day, they will work with their site administrator/supervisor on how to accommodate.

What if an employee refuses to be vaccinated due to a disability/medical condition or sincerely held religious belief?

Employees who will not be vaccinated against COVID-19 (first or second dose) by November 30, 2021 will need to undertake the following steps:

  • File for a medical or religious exemption by November 30, 2021. SCUSD will need receipt of exemption documentation by November 30, 2021. Once your exemption documentation is submitted, you will be contacted by Risk Management regarding next steps. Forms and information for submitting vaccine exemptions can be found at: www.scusd.edu/vaccineexemption.
  • Those with an approved exemption will need to schedule their regular, routine COVID-19 testing.

Failure to comply with these above procedures may lead Sacramento City Unified School District to take disciplinary action, including but not limited to placement on unpaid leave and/or separation from service.

What is the reasonable accommodation process that will be followed?

Employees seeking an exemption and accommodation due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief will follow the existing process for requesting such through the Risk Management Department.

What documentation is required to file a Medical Exemption?

If you are filing a medical accommodation or exemption, you will need to provide SCUSD with a signed, written statement from a physician (MD or DO) licensed in California which states:

  • The specific nature of the physical condition or medical circumstance for which the licensed physician does not recommend immunization.
  • Which required vaccine is being exempted (COVID-19).
  • Whether the medical exemption is permanent or temporary.
  • An expiration date no more than 12 calendar months from the date of signing, if the exemption is temporary.
  • Those with an approved exemption will need to schedule their regular, routine COVID-19 testing.

How will staff submit Medical Exemption records?

Staff members requesting a medical exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination can send all supporting documentation by:

SCUSD will need receipt of exemption documentation by Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Once your exemption documentation is submitted, you will be contacted by Risk Management regarding next steps. Those with an approved exemption will be required to register for regular, routine COVID-19 testing.

How will staff request Religious Belief Exemptions?

Staff members requesting a religious belief exemption to the COVID-19 vaccination can send all supporting documentation by:

SCUSD will need receipt of exemption documentation by Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Once your exemption documentation is submitted, you will be contacted by Risk Management regarding next steps. Those with an approved exemption will be required to register for regular, routine COVID-19 testing.

What does “Fully-Vaccinated” mean?

“Fully-vaccinated” refers to an individual who has received the first and second doses of the vaccine (or, in the case of Johnson & Johnson, the single required dose) and has completed the two-week period that follows to ensure maximum immunity. 

Do I have to be tested for COVID-19 if I have submitted my vaccination information by November 30?

Those who have received their final dose (second dose for Pfizer and Moderna, and first for Johnson & Johnson) two weeks prior to November 30, 2021, or any time after, can cease the testing process. COVID-19 testing is required until the individual is “fully vaccinated”, meaning two weeks after vaccine regimen is completed.

Do I have to be vaccinated if I am pregnant or breastfeeding? 

Although, currently, there is no contraindication to the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy or if a person is breastfeeding and the CDC urges pregnant and breastfeeding individuals to be vaccinated, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor to determine whether or not you qualify for a medical exemption.

When will employees receive educational information about the vaccines and vaccination process? 

Vaccination information is available at www.scusd.edu/vaccinations, including a frequently asked questions section and resources for finding further information. SCUSD has provided a number of educational resources about vaccines and has hosted vaccine clinics for employees and community members since February 2021.

How will the District address concerns from individuals who are vaccine-hesitant?

Educational materials and resources are available on the District’s website at https://www.scusd.edu/vaccinations.  Employees are encouraged to attend a vaccine clinic to speak with any of the available medical professionals about their vaccine questions or concerns.

Will the District continue COVID-19 testing after the vaccination policy goes into effect? Will testing frequency change for vaccinated employees?

Yes. Employees who are fully vaccinated may seek COVID testing, especially if they become symptomatic or are exposed to COVID-19.  For the latest testing information please visit https://www.scusd.edu/covid-19-testing.

Do I have to be vaccinated if I have already had COVID-19?

Yes. While getting COVID-19 may offer some natural immunity from reinfection, it is not clear how long the immunity lasts. Because you can still get reinfected with COVID-19 and have medical complications, the CDC recommends that those who have had COVID-19 get the COVID-19 vaccine. If you’ve received monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19, it is recommended to wait 90 days before getting vaccinated.

What are the consequences of an employee failing to comply with the vaccine requirement, or failing to undergo regular routine testing?

The District may take disciplinary action, including but not limited to placement on unpaid leave and/or separation from service.

Will there be a waiver for those on Leaves of Absences and not at work, such as an employee who is out on parental bonding time?

All mandated leaves remain in effect and any waivers for those on Leaves of Absences will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Are Sacramento City Unified employees required to take time off to receive the vaccination or do so outside of work hours?

Employees may receive the vaccine and accompany their child to receive the vaccine during paid working hours.  If employees make an appointment during the contractual day, they will work with their site administrator/supervisor on how to accommodate.

Must Sacramento City Unified on-campus volunteers be vaccinated?

Yes. All non-exempt SCUSD staff (including SCUSD partners, contractors, and other individuals who work directly with students and SCUSD staff on SCUSD facilities) must receive their first or second dose by November 30, 2021. Volunteers who need to test routinely due to a personal need may arrange for such with their respective school site. Volunteer Groups may choose to complete a certification form to certify that their volunteers providing services at SCUSD sites are compliant with the Vaccination Requirement resolution by November 30, 2021. These records can be audited by Sacramento City Unified School District.

How will vendors report vaccination status of their employees at SCUSD sites?

Vendors will complete a certification form to certify that their employees providing services at SCUSD sites are compliant with the Vaccination Requirement resolution by November 30, 2021. These records can be audited by Sacramento City Unified School District.

What is the District’s implementation timeline for this policy?

All non-exempt SCUSD staff (including SCUSD partners, contractors, and other individuals who work directly with students and SCUSD staff on SCUSD facilities) must receive their first or second dose by November 30, 2021 as a condition of employment and a requirement for contracted services, or be undergoing regular and routine testing with a valid exemption.

Accessing The Vaccine FAQs

Will SCUSD administer vaccines?

SCUSD has partnered with a number of community clinics to administer vaccinations to eligible community members at school sites. Community clinic vaccination schedules can be found at https://www.scusd.edu/vaccinations.

How do I make an appointment to get vaccinated?

If you are a community member, staff person, parent, or guardian, you can make an appointment by registering on the My Turn website at https://myturn.ca.gov/ or by walking onto any of the community vaccination sites.

What vaccine will SCUSD provide?

SCUSD sites and the community clinic operated sites offer Pfizer for youth. Moderna and Johnson and Johnson may be offered at some of the community clinic sites.

Are COVID-19 vaccines free?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are absolutely free to the recipient – not even an insurance copay will be charged. You can choose to provide your insurance information when you schedule your appointment.

Who is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

Currently, everyone age 5 and over is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

What do I need to bring to my vaccine appointment?

Students must be accompanied by a responsible adult with a signed parent/guardian permission slip. 

Vaccine Safety and Science FAQs

Why should I vaccinate my child if cases are low and children aren’t severely impacted by COVID-19?

Vaccinating students age 5 and over is an important part of creating the safest possible environment at schools, and protects the student’s family members.

The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that in May 2021 youth accounted for 22 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., when in Spring 2020 youth cases were only around three percent. It is important to get young people vaccinated to prevent new cases from increasing, including recently eligible children ages 5+.

Are the vaccines safe for youth?

After clinical trials showed the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective in protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death in those aged 12 to 15, the FDA granted emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for this next eligible age group. This is the same vaccine that has already been safely administered to millions of California adults, including 30 percent of people aged 16 and 17.

What side effects are seen in adolescents?

Side effects for young people are similar to those experienced by adults which could include a sore arm, fever, fatigue, chills, headache, and nausea. Some experience more symptoms than others while others have none.

As with any other vaccine, medical experts state that mild symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity and it is important to remember that the vaccines have proven to be safe and effective for all of us.

It is important for those who receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to return for their second dose in order to gain the full protection the vaccines have to offer.

Why is the vaccine only for children 5 and over? When do you expect vaccines to be available for younger children?

Vaccine trials and approvals commonly begin with older, more vulnerable populations then extend to younger ages. Adolescents were the next group to be prioritized because they are most similar to adults and are more likely than younger children to spread the virus and become seriously ill.

Emergency Use Authorization approval for Pfizer for youths ages 5-11 was approved November 2, 2021. Moderna has ongoing clinical trials in people younger than 12.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19?

No. According to the CDC, “None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.” It is important to have trustworthy and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html.

After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?

No. According to the CDC, “Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.​” Learn more at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html.

Where can I get trusted information about COVID-19 vaccines in general?

Trustworthy and factual information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html.

Where can I get trusted information about COVID-19 vaccines for youth?

You can read more about vaccines for 5-18 year-olds from the California Department of Health. You can read their FAQ for parents in English or Spanish.

Do I need two vaccinations?

Yes. If you receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you need two doses to reach their maximum level of protection. Students 5-18 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccination. Once they make an appointment for their first dose they will be automatically scheduled for their second dose. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is one dose and approved for those 18 years and above.

Sacramento City Unified’s Testing Program FAQs

Where can I find COVID-19 testing sites and information?

Please visit https://www.scusd.edu/covid-19-testing for the latest information regarding testing. Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) is pleased to offer free and voluntary COVID-19 screening testing for all students and staff at:

  • School Site Care Rooms
  • School Site Testing Events (schedules communicated at the site)
  • Serna Center; Every Monday – Friday, from 12:00-3:30 p.m.

What are the types of COVID-19 tests offered?

SCUSD is utilizing two types of COVID tests.  Both tests are self-administered nasal swabs, which means individuals use a long soft cotton swab to gently circulate in each nostril. These tests are simple enough for children to do themselves with a person instructing and observing. 

  • PCR Testing is widely used and known as the most reliable test.  Results are provided within 24-48 hours.
  • Rapid antigen tests/BinaxNOW provides results within 15 minutes, however any positive test results must be confirmed with a PCR test. 

District testing is provided with the support of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). CDPH provides test kits, test registration software, test processing, and technical assistance supporting this effort.  The test samples are processed at the Valencia Branch Laboratory, a CLIA certified lab.

Where can I register for COVID-19 testing?

Instructions for Registering for PCR or Rapid Antigen Testing

Staff or students can register for PCR or Rapid Antigen testing using the links below. You only need to register one time. When you arrive at the test site, staff will confirm registration on the Primary application.

Download COVID-19 Testing Registration Flyer with QR Codes

What are the Parent & Minor Consent requirements?

  • Consent for regular, routine COVID-19 testing is provided when you register your student for testing.
  • Parent/guardian consent is required for students under 13 years old.  
  • Students 13 years and older may register themselves and provide consent for testing.
    • Cal. Fam. Code § 6920 et seq and Cal. Fam. Code §  6920(a) (“A minor who is 12 years of age or older and who may have come into contact with an infectious, contagious, or communicable disease may consent to medical care related to the diagnosis or treatment of the disease, if the disease or condition is one that is required by law or regulation adopted pursuant to law to be reported to the local health officer, or is a related sexually transmitted disease, as may be determined by the State Public Health Officer.”).
    • CDPH Valencia Branch Laboratory PLAYBOOK to Stand Up School-Based Collection Sites at page 20 (“: Children who are 13 and older can provide consent and administer the tests themselves.”).

What are the COVID-19 Testing Frequencies?

  • Registered students and staff will automatically be offered COVID testing based on the county risk level.  
  • Staff or students may also access testing throughout the school day if they become symptomatic or learn of an exposure.
  • If a parent/guardian only wants to consent for testing one-time, please inform the Health Aide at the school site.
  • If parents want to revoke consent for testing, please notify the school in writing.

Why does Sacramento City Unified test for COVID-19?

  • The results of this test can help keep your school community healthy and safe.
  • The results of this test can help limit the spread of COVID-19 to your family and your community.

Do I have to be tested for COVID-19 if I have submitted my vaccination information by November 30?

Those who have received their final dose (second dose for Pfizer and Moderna, and first for Johnson & Johnson) two weeks prior to November 30, 2021, or any time after, can cease the testing process. COVID-19 testing is required until the individual is “fully vaccinated”, meaning two weeks after vaccine regimen is completed.

If I tested positive for COVID-19 recently, should I participate in regular and routine testing?

Per the CDPH individuals who had a positive viral test in the past 90 days and are now asymptomatic do not need to be retested as part of a screening testing program; testing should be considered again if it is more than 90 days after the date of onset of the prior infection, or if new symptoms occur.

How would I test using self-collection?

To collect the specimen, the individual will place a swab, similar to a cotton swab/Q-Tip, inside of the tip of the nose. 

Will getting the COVID-19 vaccine cause me to test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?

No. None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.

If your body develops an immune response to vaccination, which is the goal, you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus.

Getting vaccinated won’t make you show up as positive on PCR tests. That’s because these tests look for copies of the genetic material of the virus as an indication that you have been infected. But vaccines only show a part of the coronavirus to our immune systems to trigger a reaction, and at most may only contain a very small part of the complete genetic material of the virus, and so won’t get detected by these tests.

Moreover, the virus can only be present in a significant amount when it is a live virus that is able to replicate. Thus even though some vaccines are made with viral RNA or DNA, they won’t lead to a positive PCR test result. That’s because the small part of the pathogen’s genetic material contained within the vaccine cannot replicate and therefore cannot cause infection or trigger a positive PCR test result. 

Learn more about the possibility of COVID-19 illness after vaccination.

Will those who are vaccinated be subject to testing?

Testing will be made readily available to everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, however the current board resolution requirement is for full vaccination or regular and routine testing for those not fully vaccinated. While fully vaccinated students will not be subject to regular testing, if there is a positive COVID-19 case identified at the school site, anyone in close contact with the student who tested positive will be subject to testing. Students who engage in sports are also required to test regularly regardless of vaccination status.

How and what will COVID testing to students and staff who are not fully vaccinated look like?

  • SCUSD has provided on site COVID testing at all our school sites and main district locations since our schools opened. 
  • We have staffed 2 Health Aides at each school site to provide this easy access and availability to COVID testing in the event of an exposure, someone becoming ill, or wanting to regularly test.
  • As a requirement for the vaccine mandate, any student or staff not yet not fully vaccinated must file an exemption and will be required to participate in regular and routine COVID testing no later than January 31 – when the vaccine mandate is fully implemented
  • SCUSD has begun adding and training approximately 60 additional staff to meet this mandate timeline.
  • We have already started scheduling and providing regular and routine testing at a number of school sites, and continue to add more schools every week.
  • By January 31 all school sites will be providing COVID testing on a regular and routine basis for those required to test.
  • SCUSD will follow current public health guidance and case rates to determine the testing frequency – given our current conditions, testing will be provided on a weekly basis
  • We encourage all families to register for testing and to begin the testing process as we prepare for full implementation of the vaccine mandate
  • We will be posting the testing schedule on our website in the following week
  • Testing is self-administered with a nasal swab – students and staff have become real experts in this process
  • Testing helps our community detect cases of COVID in our community, and take steps through contact tracing to stop the spread of COVID in our community.
  • Vaccination and testing are key mitigation measures to slowing the spread of COVID, especially as we celebrate and gather this holiday season.

What is the sensitivity and tolerance level to touch with testing?

All available tests (PCR and rapid antigen) utilize a nasal swab.  Given these tests are self-swab, we have found that many individuals develop their own tolerance to the testing or their parent/guardian may also attend to assist with the testing process.