Vaccine or exemption mandated for K-12 employees

Vaccine or exemption mandated for K-12 employees
Posted on 08/18/2021
The following message was sent to Tahoma staff on the afternoon of Aug. 18. Families and community members, please know that today's announcement from the Governor does not include a requirement for students to be vaccinated. We wanted to reach out today with an initial message and let you know that we'll have more information soon.

Dear Tahoma staff,

Big news came out today with a proclamation from the Governor that legally requires all school district staff, coaches, school volunteers, substitutes, contractors and others working in school facilities to get a COVID-19 vaccination or an exemption by Oct. 18. We wanted to reach out to you immediately to touch base and let you know that we’ll have more information soon. We are also talking with leaders from TEA, PSE, and TASP so that we can plan how to meet this requirement together. In general, there are three choices to work in school district facilities: Submit proof of vaccination by Oct. 18, receive a medical exemption, or receive a religious exemption.

A majority of our staff members are vaccinated, and most of those employees have already turned in proof of vaccination. If you are a vaccinated staff member but have not yet sent proof of vaccination, please send that to Human Resources. You may send a photo of your vaccination card to Anna Pabisz in Human Resources via email at, district mail or stop by the district office in person. This medical information will be kept confidential.

For those of you who haven’t been vaccinated yet due to religious or medical reasons, we are expecting more details soon from OSPI about the forms and process for employees to request a medical exemption or a religious exemption. We will share those with you as soon as possible.

Other highlights from today’s message include:

*Tahoma School District and our Board of Directors do not have local control over this matter. We are legally required to follow the Governor’s directive.

*This proclamation does not include a requirement for student vaccination.

*There is not an option to undergo regular testing instead of receiving the vaccine or an exemption.

*Here are the dates you would need to begin and end the vaccine series, by type:

Chart showing dates that staff would need to begin the vaccine series, by type, in order to complete the vaccination by the Oct. 18 deadline.

We will be in touch with more information soon. If you are a staff member who has questions between now and our next email, please contact Assistant Director of Human Resources, Tracy Krause, at

In partnership,

Mike Hanson
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