updated 3.17.2022
With input from trusted public health advisors and the full support of our Board of Trustees Executive Committee, we have approved a policy that requires all GDS faculty and staff and students over the age of 12 to be fully vaccinated against COVID for the 2021–22 school year (when eligible).  Adults must also be boosted when eligible. We are highly recommending that all eligible GDS students aged 5-11 get fully vaccinated against COVID during this school year now that the vaccine has been approved by the CDC.

Who Must Be Vaccinated

For the 2021-22 School year, all students over the age of 12 and all school employees were required to be to be vaccinated by October 15, 2021, whether or not they have had COVID previously or tested positive for antibodies. As of November 1, this became a requirement for participation in school, as well as extracurricular and athletic activities and is consistent with the Mayor's Order for school personnel and student athletes. Read more about the vaccine for children and adolescents on the CDC's website. As of March 28, 2022, GDS is also requiring the booster shot for all eligible students and staff age 18 or older.
For the 2022-23 school year, GDS requires that all eligible students and staff members receive the COVID-19 vaccine unless they have applied for and been granted a medical or religious exemption prior to the start of the school year. GDS reserves the right to require booster shots or additional vaccinations as needed.

Options for Exemption

  • Exemption requests for the 2021-22 school year are no longer being accepted.
  • Exemption requests for the 2022-23 school year may be requested using this form and must be received prior to August 1, 2022. There is no guarantee of outcome.
  • GDS will not be offering virtual learning for those with exemptions.
  • For students who may be required to be out of school due to exposure or illness, your child’s division office, advisor/homeroom teacher, and the student support team will work with your family to support your child’s learning.
  • We ask families who do not wish to vaccinate their children and who are not allowed exemption reach out to Chris Levy, director of enrollment management and financial aid, to discuss options to withdraw before the start of the school year. 
  • During times of high viral transmission, unvaccinated students with approved religious and medical exemptions may not be allowed to participate in certain school activities, including high-contact sports (wrestling), playing wind instruments indoors, singing indoors, and participating in school trips. In addition, those eligible for vaccination who remain unvaccinated may be required to participate in weekly COVID testing at their own expense.
  • Those who receive exemptions may be required to submit regular covid test results to the school at their own expense and to mask while indoors. Weekly testing and indoor masking are required for student-athletes age 12+ and staff in school per Mayor’s Order 2021-109. 

Positive Results from Community-Wide Vaccination

Our hope is that vaccination will allow us to return to more normal schooling. When most of our community is fully vaccinated and following DC Department of Health policies, GDS will communicate more about the opportunities our students and employees may then enjoy. 

Per current guidance, individuals who are up-to-date on all COVID vaccinations do not need to quarantine following close contact.

Get Vaccinated

All DC, MD, and VA residents age 5+ are eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Adults may also get the Moderna or J&J vaccine.

Use the CDC's Vaccines.gov site to find vaccination providers near you, such as pharmacies, hospitals, community vaccination and health centers, and physician offices. You can also text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

Post Vaccination
Upload a copy of your child’s vaccination card to the immunization section of your child's Magnus Health account (access via the MyGDS Health resource board). 

Vaccination Rates

GDS is in compliance with the Mayor's Order 2021-29 which requires that all adult members of the school community be fully vaccinated unless they have a religious or medical exemption.

As of 4/28/2022:

  • 98.9% of GDS students and personnel (including staff and contractors) are fully vaccinated.
  • 99.5% of adults on campus (including employees, contractors and vendors) in the GDS community are fully vaccinated or work entirely remotely.
  • 0.5% of adults received religious exemptions
  • 98.8% of K-6th graders (students under age 12) are fully vaccinated.
  • 100% of 7th and 8th graders are fully vaccinated.
  • 99.6% of high school students are fully vaccinated.

Looking for a vaccine?

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From the CDC

Learn more about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines and how they work.

Join the Vaxxed Club

98.9% of eligible GDS adults are fully vaccinated! 98.6% of eligible GDS students are fully vaccinated! (updated 10/28/21)

Russell Shaw, Head of School
Cami Okubo, Lower School Principal
Chris Levy, Director of Enrollment Management & Financial Aid
Katie Gibson, High School Principal
Azureé Harrison, 2nd Grade Teacher
Vida Rivera, Middle School Office Manager
Bryan Williams, 5th Grade Teacher and Softball Coach
Peg Schultz, Lower School Physical Education Teacher
Andrew Berman, 1st Grade Teacher
Mary Petras, Middle School Math Teacher
Lauren Thompson, Middle School Math Teacher
Michelle McKeever, Admissions and Marketing Specialist
Danny Stock, Storyteller