Charter schools have consistently provided access to crucial non-academic resources throughout the pandemic, supporting community outcomes with a “whole child” approach. At Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF) Public Schools, one aspect of this is connecting students and families with opportunities to receive vaccinations at a trusted location – the ICEF’s school campus.While ICEF has implemented a number of school-wide safety measures, including mandatory staff vaccinations, universal masking, and weekly COVID testing, ICEF school leaders believe having a fully vaccinated student and family population will keep students learning in the classroom.
As such, the charter public school has been organizing mobile vaccine clinics for family members and the larger ICEF community at View Park High School, Vista K-8, and View Park K-8. ICEF school leaders say these mobile clinics are a natural extension of the school’s effort to provide a safe, consistent learning environment for students.
For example: When ICEF students headed back to school this year, mobile clinics were stationed at the campuses and all eligible students and family members were invited to attend their vaccination events. At the clinics, both first and second shots were offered, providing resources to an area hit harder with lower vaccination levels, compared with the greater Los Angeles region. Ultimately, the back-to-school vaccination drive was successful, with over 125 families showing up to 150 shots across the three locations.
Given the requirements that a student is under parent supervision when receiving the shot, this is a fundamental component of expanding the number of eligible vaccinated students on campus. Lead time thus becomes imperative for families to arrange schedules, and ICEF’s main takeaway is to plan outreach for at least one month in advance for future clinics. Their hope is that this can serve as a model for other charters working to increase vaccinations for students and families.
ICEF also places emphasis on non-academic resources as a fundamental means to achieving successful student outcomes throughout the pandemic, whether its through food security, access to mental health services, and sustained academic achievement. At the onset of COVID-19, ICEF rapidly responded to student technology needs by connecting them to the virtual classroom; they are now working to connect the school community to health resources to continue developing healthy, academically successful students.
One thing is clear: ICEF Public Schools understands that a healthy community is how we pave the way for a brighter future.
Interested in learning more about ICEF? Check out its website by clicking here!