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Mandatory Vaccination Requirements

ACPS Athletic COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) requires student-athletes to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as an additional safety measure.  This requirement applies to student athletes participating in out-of-season conditioning as well. An increase in positive COVID-19 cases in sports programs results in large numbers of students being paused from athletic participation and, more importantly, from classroom instruction.

Vaccination Requirement

Students who wish to participate in VHSL sponsored athletic activities within ACPS must be fully vaccinated OR have an approved medical exemption, religious exemption, or completed testing agreement form on file. 

Students who are not fully vaccinated will be required to take a COVID-19 test once a week (with negative results) or will be unable to participate in team activities the remainder of the week.

Submitting Proof of Vaccination **Must be fully vaccinated**

Athletes can submit their proof of COVID-19 vaccination by uploading a picture of their vaccination card into the Rank One System under the “Covid-19 Vaccination” form.  Students may NOT bring hard copies of their vaccination card to the athletic office.

Exemptions (weekly Covid-19 testing is required)

** All exemption request or testing forms submitted to Rank One will be reviewed and approved by Central Office before students are added to the testing list or able to participate in activities. Please expect a wait period for the review and approval process**

Is there a religious exemption?

Student athletes can submit the “Commonwealth of Virginia Certificate of Religious Exemption” form.  The form must be notarized! Completed forms should be uploaded to the Rank One system.

Is there a medical exemption?

Student athletes can provide documentation of a medical exemption with a letter from their doctor (on the doctor’s office letterhead) stating the student has a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. This should be uploaded to Rank One forms.

What if my decision is not for a religious or medical reason?

Student athletes can complete the “COVID-19 Testing to Meet Athletic Requirements” form and submit to Rank One if not fully vaccinated, but would like to participate in sports without a medical or religious exemption.

 

 

Decision Making

Why did ACPS decide to mandate vaccinations for high school athletes?

Athletics are deemed high contact activities with an increased chance for spread. Vaccinating student athletes adds another layer of protection against the virus, particularly as the majority of students do not wear masks while competing. It will also greatly reduce the number of students and teams paused, thereby minimizing any time a student has to be paused from in-person learning.

Was ACPS directed by anyone to develop this mandate? Why are you mandating a vaccine that is currently not part of the state requirements for school attendance?

VDH Interim Guidance for K-12 School Reopening

Instructs school divisions to prioritize educational opportunities over athletics, extracurricular activities, or other events in the school and surrounding community. Vaccinating our students is a critical step in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and minimizing any disruption to learning. The Virginia High School League supports ACPS’ decision.

Our goal is to keep students in school whenever possible. This action should both lower the number of COVID-19 cases stemming from athletic activities and reduce the time a student is required to pause.

The state mandates vaccinations for instruction where students earn credit. The COVID-19 vaccine is not included in the list of required vaccines for classes in which students earn credits. ACPS can require vaccinations for voluntary participation in activities where no credit is earned.

Who Is Affected

Why not require it of all students instead of just athletes?

The state mandates vaccinations for instruction where students earn credit. The COVID-19 vaccine is not included in the list of required vaccines for classes in which students earn credits. We can only require vaccinations for voluntary participation in activities where no credit is earned.

What about other VHSL activities including - Debate, Creative Writing, eSports, Forensics, Robotics, Student Leadership, Scholastic Bowl, etc.? What about other activities?

ACPS will require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination for participation in any other activity that requires a physical, including dance team and step team. We are only mandating the vaccine for those VHSL activities that require a physical and are deemed high contact activities with an increased likelihood of transmission of the virus.

Testing

Student-athletes who are not fully vaccinated will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test on a weekly basis. Home testing with over the counter testing products will not be accepted. If your exemption request/testing form is approved, students will be added to a testing list and expected to participate in their school’s free Covid-19 testing program once a week. This is done during the school day and a “pass” will be provided for the student to show their coach each week.

MANDATORY COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIRED FOR ATHLETES

Athletic COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Students who wish to participate in VHSL sponsored athletic activities within ACPS must be fully vaccinated OR have an approved medical exemption, religious exemption, or completed testing agreement form on file. 

Students who are not fully vaccinated will be required to take a COVID-19 test once a week (with negative results) or will be unable to participate in team activities. Please read the FAQ document below for more details.

Submitting Proof of Vaccination **Must be fully vaccinated**

Please submit proof of your Covid-19 vaccination by uploading a picture of your vaccination card or state vaccination record. Students may NOT turn in hard copies or original documents (must be submitted online in Rank One).

All uploaded forms will take time to be reviewed and will say “pending” during that time.

Exemption Options (weekly Covid-19 testing is required)

** All exemption requests or testing forms submitted to Rank One will be reviewed and approved by Central Office before students are added to the testing list or able to participate in activities. Please expect a wait period for the review and approval process**

Student athletes can submit the “Commonwealth of Virginia Certificate of Religious Exemption” form. This form must be notarized!

OR can provide documentation of a medical exemption with a letter from their doctor (on the doctor’s office letterhead) stating the student has a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

OR can complete the “COVID-19 Testing to Meet Athletic Requirements” form if not fully vaccinated, but would like to participate in sports without a medical or religious exemption.

 

Check and Acknowledgement

 

Please click on the link below to access the Vaccination Requirement FAQ. After reading the document, place a check in the box to acknowledge having read, understood, and accepted the information.

 

I have read and understand the information presented in the:

 

Yes FAQ Vaccination Requirement

 

Please upload ONE picture or document only. This should show the front of your vaccination card or state vaccination record that includes all required shots to be fully vaccinated/boosted OR your completed exemption/testing forms.

 

Select how you would like to upload the document.

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