Supporting Team DPS in Complying with Vaccine Health Order

  • We have been working hard to map out a plan for how we can create the safest conditions possible across the district and comply with the public health order, which calls for all city employees and employees working in certain designated industries such as schools, child care, hospitals and more to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 30. This requirement applies to all DPS employees, all charter school employees, contractors, and community members who volunteer in schools.
     
    Below is more information about our plan and resources to help all members of Team DPS comply with the health order.
  • What does it mean to be in compliance with the city’s public health order?

    You will be in compliance with the city’s requirements when you are fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption. 
    A person is considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they receive the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or two weeks after they receive a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janseen). Learn more about what it means to be fully vaccinated here. With this in mind, team members who have not yet received the vaccine will need to complete their series or single dose by Sept. 15. 
    There are exceptions for people with medical exemptions or sincere religious beliefs -- more information about these exceptions are shared below. 

  • How do I provide documentation of my vaccine status or apply for a medical accommodation or religious exemption?

    You will be receiving an email to your dpsk12.org account on Monday, Aug. 23. The email will provide you with instructions on how to log in to Employee Space and take action to comply with the mandate. All employees will need to take action in one of three ways:
    Submit documentation of vaccine status: You will be asked to upload a picture of your completed vaccination card. We are requesting that all employees who are already fully vaccinated upload their documentation by Aug. 30.
    Submit a request for a medical exemption: This form needs to be completed by both the employee and their health care provider before being uploaded. (This process will be similar to the ADA accommodation process.) 
    • Please note, any COVID-related medical accommodations from the 2020-21 school year will not roll over. Team members must submit a new medical accommodation request specifically for the COVID-19 vaccine. 
    Submit a request for a religious exemption: This form needs to be completed by the employee and uploaded into Employee Space. 
    • Even if you have already submitted a religious exemption through Human Resources, you’ll need to please re-submit through this system.
    • Please note that all sections of the form must be completed, including a description of the sincerely held religious belief. 

  • What happens after I upload my information?

    Team members who upload their vaccine card do not need to take further action -- your status will be inputted into our database and only available by those who need to know the status, such as Human Resources representatives and your manager. Your manager will not have access to your vaccine card itself. They will only have confirmation of whether you are in compliance with the public health order.
    Those who submit either a medical or religious exemption will be contacted by Human Resources with details on next steps. 

  • What happens if you receive an approved medical accommodation or religious exemption?

    DPS team members who are not fully vaccinated will be required to take additional safety measures to protect themselves and others. These measures may include masking, regular testing and other safety precautions. Specifics about additional measures will be determined at the time of approval of the accommodation or exemption. 
    Please note, requesting an accommodation or exemption will open additional conversations with Human Resources and your manager to determine the appropriate actions, which may include masking, regular testing, and other requirements to ensure your safety and the safety of others in the work environment. Private information will not be shared with your manager; however, they will be informed of your approved status and asked for input on what accommodations are appropriate for your role.

  • What happens if you aren’t in compliance by Sept. 30?

    DPS is committed to fully supporting our staff in complying with the order and no employees will be immediately dismissed on Oct. 1 for not complying with the public-health order. However, we will begin corrective action and progressive discipline processes beginning Oct. 4. See a timeline of these next steps for those who aren’t in compliance by Sept. 30:
    • Oct. 1: A reminder will be sent to those who did not take action with instructions on how to take a step toward compliance. 
    • Upon request, DPS is required to share records of full vaccination status for all personnel to the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE). 
    • All unvaccinated employees must continue to mask at all times and comply with weekly testing. The first test must be submitted on or before Oct. 8. All testing must go through COVIDCheckColorado. Employees who are out of compliance with the vaccine mandate must complete testing on their own time. 
    • According to the DDPHE, any person or entity who is not fully vaccinated by Sept. 30 or who has failed to ensure compliance with the mandate may be subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per violation by DDPHE (Sec. 24.5 Administrative Assessment of Civil Penalties). 
    • Oct. 4: Letters of Reprimand will be issued to all non-compliant employees. This formal action will include instructions for complying with the vaccine mandate. 
      • The same processes and stipulations listed above, including weekly testing, will apply to those who aren’t in compliance. 
    • Nov. 18: The district will make a recommendation to dismiss employees who aren’t in compliance, effective Jan. 2, 2022.
    • Any employee who is not in compliance, regardless of role or bargaining unit, will be able to work up until Jan. 1 and will be terminated on Jan. 2. 
    • If an employee becomes compliant between Nov. 18 and Jan. 1, the recommendation for dismissal will be dropped. However, the district will post your position after Nov. 18 on the assumption that the position will need to be filled after Jan. 2. If the position is filled before you get vaccinated, you may not be able to go back to your current position.
    • The same processes and stipulations listed above, including weekly testing, will apply to those who aren’t in compliance.

  • Have more questions?

    Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines -- including testing/trial facts, dosage and potential side effects -- through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, including through this FAQ
    Additionally, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs on The Commons for more information about the city’s mandate and what it means for members of DPS. This page is updated regularly with new information as it’s available. 
    If you have specific concerns regarding your unique situation, please contact HR Connect by email at hr_connect@dpsk12.org or over the phone at 720-423-3900. Note: Due to increased volume, email and phone inquiries, HR Connect may be delayed. Please first check The Commons for up-to-date information regarding the vaccine mandate and requirements for DPS. Also, it’s important to note HR Connect team members are not medical professionals, and they are unable to answer questions regarding your personal medical situation and whether you are eligible for medical accommodation. For personal medical inquiries, please reach out to your primary care provider.