Health & Safety

IMS is taking all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, while also ensuring that our students continue to be enriched with a rigorous academic curriculum. More information can be found below in our Health & Safety Plan Summary.

As we work to reopen our schools, we are following medical and health guidelines from Center for Disease Control, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and other governmental health organizations. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep you informed of our actions.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Currently, there are two authorized and recommended vaccines to prevent COVID-19 which are being distributed throughout Pennsylvania. Both vaccines require two doses for full effectiveness. A second shot is given three weeks after the first shot in order to provide the most protection against COVID-19. Vaccines are safe, effective, and a key strategy to protect all residents from serious illness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ensured the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. The requirements to show that the vaccines are functional and safe have been met, with a quicker process and an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).  More information on the vaccine approval process can be found here. The COVID-19 vaccine will not be a cure for the virus. It is another tool in the fight against COVID-19. Residents must continue to practice other proven mitigation efforts, including wearing a mask, hand washing, and physical distancing.

Vaccination Interest Forms by County

Information for Staff: Independence Mission Schools is in regular contact with the Philadelphia Health Department to ensure we have the most up-to-date information regarding the scheduling of vaccinations for IMS employees, including what is required as proof of ID for eligibility as an Educator/Education staff. Currently, following CDC guidelines, counties are still in Phase 1A, which prioritizes healthcare workers, EMS workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and medical examiner and funeral staff. Educators & Education Staff are in Phase 1B, which will be next.

In order to plan accordingly, counties have begun to collect data in the form of Interest Forms. These forms are done by individuals and do NOT hold a space in a line, nor is it a formal registration. By submitting your information, you are stating your interest and allowing counties to plan logistics. It will also put you on a list to be contacted when Phase 1B is in motion. Counties are rolling these surveys out independently however, so know they are not uniform in how they work or the follow-up you will or will not receive. If you live outside of Philadelphia, it is recommended that you fill out an interest form in both your county of residence and Philadelphia.

Information for Families: Families interested in getting the vaccine can also declare their interest by filling out an Interest Form (please see details in the section above). Please note that priority will depend on each family’s individual situation.

Click your county to be taken to the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Form:

IMS Health & Safety Updates:

COVID-19: What Families Need to Know

  • If your child is sick or has a fever, please do not send them to school until they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicines – including Tylenol or Ibuprofen.
  • Inform your school’s leadership team, including the principal, if your child has been diagnosed with the flu or another contagious disease.
  • Notify the principal if your child is planning to travel internationally.
  • Please encourage frequent hand washing and remind your child to cover coughs or sneezes in their elbow.

How is COVID-19 Spread & What Are the Symptoms?


How Can I Help Protect Myself?

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • If you are sick, stay home until you are fever free for 24-hours
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

COVID-19 Resources: