Late on April 20, we learned that California’s Statewide MyTurn system, which allows people to register for vaccine clinics, was having technical difficulties. As a result, Community Hospital offered the School the opportunity for qualified students (16+ and with parental permission) to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Marina on Wednesday. Though some of our students have already been able to source vaccinations locally, this circumstance allowed us to secure appointments for all qualified students, both boarding and day, and thus greatly accelerate the process of fully vaccinating our School community.

With no time to spare, the School’s chief information officer, Nathan Gault, quickly devised a process by which students could express interest and instantly secure their parents’ or guardians’ electronic permission. More than fifty students took advantage of this unique and unanticipated opportunity, and the School provided a caravan of buses to transport boarding students in keeping with state guidance for safe travel. Students who missed classes in order to participate were given permission to take their afternoon classes asynchronously.

The plan went off without a hitch. “We just dropped everything on Tuesday night and made organizing for these Wednesday vaccinations our top priority,” explains Dean of Students Erik Olson. “The students were great. They showed up right on time, did as directed, and were very excited to be getting the shot. Rachel, the administrative contact at the Marina facility was extremely helpful. It was a great energy to be around.” As Fliss Francese ’22 observed while she waited to board the first bus: “I’m so excited! I feel like we are one step closer to protecting ourselves and others!”