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Townhall 2019 – Meeting Minutes

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Townhall 2019

15 October 2019/ 6:00-7:30 pm / Gym

Meeting Facilitator: Margaret Mc Donald

Minute Taker: Katie Baucom

Time Keeper: Britney Peterson

Objective: The purpose of this townhall is  to inform and engage stakeholders in regards to the progress being made in revisiting the MCS Immunization Policy, the refinement of best practices for health and safety purposes, and to solicit input in the Accreditation process.

Meeting Norms: Contribute to meeting’s goals; Listen with an open mind; Challenge the problem, not the person.

In attendance: Approximately 8 Elementary parents, 19 Early Childhood parents, 7 Toddler parents. 20 attendees were staff members, some who are also MCS parents.


Agenda Item Description & Minutes Duration
Welcome Introductions 0:05
Action Item #1

Brandi Allen

Background information was provided: At the beginning of the year parents raised concerns about vaccines and allergies at school.

These concerns have been discussed in the context of 3 committees that were created:

  • Vaccination Policy Review Committee
  • Infectious Disease Committee
  • Educating the Community on Best Practices for Health and Safety Measures Committee
Action Item #2

Margaret Mc Donald

Based on Vaccination Policy Review Committee, MCS is reviewing its Immunization Policy. Leadership is consulting with their lawyer as well as parents with expertise in this area. MCS noted that parents have the power to change the policy.

  • Three options were presented

MCS is aware of the need for herd immunity (having ~95% vaccinated rate per group). MCS currently has 3 students (1.4%) with personal exemptions, and no medical exemptions.

Concerns were raised by parents about the potential risks placed on the community, and parents with professional expertise noted that there is no scientific support for personal exemptions are not supported by science. It was noted that U of U and Catholic schools do not allow non-medical exemptions. It was also noted that pregnant women and infants are immunocompromised, which many may not know.

Parents raised concerns about how option 3 would be implemented – what criteria would be used, etc.

  • Annual Immunization Assessment Report

MCS is working closely with Utah Dept of Health and will meet the 11/30 deadline for reporting immunization data on all students at the school. Documentation of vaccinations going forward will be incorporated into the FACTS  re-enrollment process.

  • Staff Immunizations

There is not currently a staff immunization policy. MCS is working to gather data from staff to determine vaccination status. A staff vaccination policy is planned.

Action Item #3

Britney Peterson

Health and Safety Advisory Committee:

  • Infection Control Protocol
  • Blog posts & Parent Education events

Many illnesses spread very quickly. As MCS staff are not health care professionals, the goal of this committee is to have people to provide extra support for how to respond to situations related to health and safety that may arise.

The committee wouldn’t meet on a regular basis, but these people would be invited to advise the school. Committee members do not need to be health care providers.

When something comes up, those who are able to weigh in can do so, but MCS recognizes parents are busy and may not always be available.

There was a question about the “safety” side of this committee and it was mentioned that there is also an Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Food Allergy Action Plan & Waiver

There is consideration of a waiver for parents of children with allergies, which would be implemented along with annual meetings with parents of children with allergies to review food plans (i.e., how environments are kept safe for the child) and make sure expectations are manageable, reasonable, and able to be accommodated.

A parent asked if there was a way for parents to have more notice about allergies. MCS is looking into how allergy information can be incorporated into the admissions process so that information can be shared as early as possible. However, it was noted that if necessary to keep a child with a new allergy safe, it is always possible there may be a need to be a mid-year change.


Action Item #4

Ramira Alamilla


Historical context was provided. Robyn brought all to this campus in 2006 to form MCS. Overarching vision was to have as authentic a Montessori school as possible. Many decisions made related back to that goal. Over the past 10-15 yrs the school has been transitioning from a small family business to a larger, broader leadership (as evidenced in organizational chart). More stakeholders have been included, more transparency is being provided.

  • Strategic Plan Council

Moving forward, MCS wants to put together a Strategic Plan Council that would be a committee option as part of the Parent School Alliance for 2020-2021. This is a way for parents, teachers, other stakeholders to weigh in as objectives and benchmarks are finalized.


Margaret Mc Donald

Poll and minutes published in 10/24 newsletter

  • Weigh in on 3 vaccination policy options & availability to serve on committees

Parents will be asked what program child(ren) are in, to rank order vaccination policies (if don’t rank MCS will assume policy option is not desired), and to indicate interest in committee participation.

Results of this poll will guide MCS’s decision. It is expected it will be at least another month before a final decision is made.

Q & A

Brandi Allen

  • Will there be updated info about immunizations in time to meet DoH deadline? Yes
  • Have parents been providing updated info about immunizations each year? Not consistently
  • Lots of questions about practicality and implementation of vaccination policy option 3
  • Would we know if there’s an unvaccinated child in that parent’s child’s class? Yes
  • Are we getting vaccination info from parents or doctors? Parents hand in health care provider info
  • Need to consider not only immunocompromised members of community but also the fact that the same folks are all in the same space for a long time; need to think about staff/teachers bringing in disease from outside if not vaccinated
  • What is the disclosure policy? Particularly for toddlers who are all around each other
  • Option 3 may be a false choice; will there be complete info before poll goes out
  • The state is not correct about everything
  • Concern about whether information needed to make an informed decision on poll is readily available
Closing & Gratitude

Robyn Eriwata-Buchanan