The Ontario government has released new vaccine disclosure policies for all school board employees, including school bus drivers for the 2021-22 school year.
The Ministry of Education will require all school boards to implement a COVID-19 immunization disclosure policy as an additional tool to advance safety and support local public health units in working with school boards to follow COVID-19 Guidance: School Case, Contact, and Outbreak Management.
The policy will require that school boards ensure all school board employees undertake one of the following:
- Provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19; or
- Provide a formal/official documented medical reason for not being vaccinated against COVID-19; or
- Participate in an educational program approved by the Ministry of Education.
This approach will also apply to student placements, frequent school visitors (e.g. school nutrition program staff), and other professionals who deliver services in schools. It will also apply to student transportation drivers employed by transportation consortia.
School board employees, student transportation drivers, frequent visitors and other professionals, who are not immunized, including those with medical reasons, will be required to complete regular COVID-19 testing as directed in provincial guidance.
The means of obtaining, administering and reporting the test will be communicated in the near future.
School boards and transportation partners will be required to track and report on the implementation of the policy, provide aggregated and depersonalized statistical information to the ministry and publicly disclose board-level immunization status data on a regular basis. To support a consistent approach, the ministry will undertake consultations with school boards in the near future.
Subject to Lieutenant Governor-In-Council (LGIC) approval, this policy will be outlined in regulations under the Education Act.
Further details and guidance will be provided to support school boards in implementing the proposed policy, testing approach, and reporting expectations for early Fall 2021.