At least 1,000 DC Public Schools employees have not provided proof of COVID-19 vaccine

As of Monday, all D.C. Public Schools staff are supposed to be vaccinated for COVID-19, but FOX 5 has learned at least 1,000 DCPS employees still haven’t provided proof of the shot.

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According to data from union leaders, that includes 558 teachers, 300 bus drivers and attendants, over 80 security contractors and over 70 principals and vice principals.

For now, those employees will be able to continue working.

An email that went out to staff says notices of non-compliance will now start going out to employees and then a reprimand will be issued for continued non-compliance.

The email says, "Continued noncompliance will result in a 5-day suspension," and then, "Continued noncompliance may result in termination."

The timeline for when someone could be fired remains unclear.

READ MORE: DC Public Schools requiring face mask, covering for all students, staff

Dyana Forester, president of the Metro Washington Labor Council, says there are concerns about what it would mean for hundreds of employees to lose their jobs, especially with so many vacancies in the school system.

"I think it’s going to get worse, especially if we’re facing almost 1,000 employees within the school system," said Forester. "And we’re talking about from principals to vice principals to teachers, even the custodians, the ones who clean the building. Everyone right now is essential to our students' learning."

D.C. is trying to build up its teacher ranks. FOX 5 obtained a letter being sent to retired educators trying to bring them out of retirement. The city is offering a $4,500 signing bonus and up to $300 a day for long-term substitute teaching.

READ MORE: DC Council considering COVID-19 mandate for all eligible students

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s vaccine mandate for firefighters and health care workers came and went over a month ago. The city is still working through hundreds of religious and medical exemption requests.

Exemptions for school staff are also being reviewed.

DCPS provided this statement on the mandate:

"DC Public Schools prioritizes the health and safety of our students and staff. Consistent with the Mayor’s mandate, all staff working regularly in schools must be fully vaccinated or request and receive a medical or religious exemption and submit a COVID test weekly. As of Monday morning, 79% of staff were fully vaccinated, including 85 percent of teachers. We are continuing to work with our remaining staff to ensure appropriate actions are taken. Staff who are not fully vaccinated or have not received an exemption and work regularly in schools are subject to progressive discipline after November 1."


The mandate that took effect Monday pertains to D.C. school and child care employees, but also students 12 and up who participate in extracurricular sports.

A vaccine mandate for all D.C. public schools students is now being considered.