CORVALLIS, Ore. --- After several hours of discussion Thursday night, the Corvallis School Board decided to delay an official vote on the proposed vaccine mandate for the district's 6th through 12th grade students.
"A vaccine requirement is not off the table. It's on the table, but not yet," said Sami Al-Abdrabbuh, the chair of the board.
This topic was sparked after a suggestion from the Superintendent, Ryan Noss. According to district officials, Noss, and several other members of the district believe the vaccine mandate for students is one of the best methods to keep students learning in-person.
However, throughout the meeting, board members, as well as members of the public expressed concerns regarding safety, inclusion, and the mental health of the students.
Ultimately, the board decided to affirm Noss' four recommendations for staff, instead of a vaccine requirement for kids.
The recommendations are listed on the district's website as follows:
Key staff recommendations:
● Staff’s recommendation is for the Corvallis School Board to direct staff to conduct community engagement by gathering feedback and information on vaccine hesitancy among our equity populations with low vaccination rates.
● Work alongside the Benton County Health Department to engage with communities of color to create greater confidence in the vaccine and increase vaccination rates among our equity populations.
● Continue to provide updated data and information on COVID-19 vaccination rates among CSD students.
● Report to the board on planning and actions related to the vaccination rate changes in our communities of color.
According to officials, there is no timeline for when discussions about the mandate will continue.