Nearly all Denver Public Schools employees are now vaccinated following a mandate from the city. Superintendent Alex Marrero said Thursday that 99.1% of the district’s more than 13,700 employees had complied with the city health order to get the COVID-19 shots or an exemption.
But 108 employees are set to lose their jobs on Jan. 2 if they don’t get vaccinated or obtain an exemption before then. The school board on Thursday formally terminated the employees, but left open a window for them to get vaccinated and keep their jobs.
The vast majority of compliant employees have gotten the vaccine. Data shared with the school board showed that as of Nov. 8, fewer than 4% of employees had been granted a religious or medical exemption. The district has been requiring unvaccinated employees to get tested for COVID every week on their own time through COVIDCheck Colorado, which offers free testing.
The long timeline to terminate non-compliant employees makes it hard to know how the vaccine mandate will affect staffing in the 90,000-student district, which is experiencing the same shortages as many districts across the country.
The 108 non-compliant employees include 34 paraprofessionals, 12 food service workers, 11 custodians, and 11 transportation workers, according to a list provided by a district spokesperson. They also include six members of the teachers union, whose members are classroom teachers, school counselors, career and technical instructors, and others.
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