• Grace Valley Indian School celebrates a reduction in precautionary measures as vaccination rates exceed 85% among students physically attending school
• The first update to the Initiative reveals nine Private and Charter Schools have advanced through the Initiative's four tiers following an increase in student vaccination rates
• ADEK survey reveals that parents of 52,000 students across Abu Dhabi's Private and Charter Schools are interested in vaccinating their children
• ADEK is coordinating with relevant health authorities to provide dedicated vaccination centers for students
• Students aged between 3-15 can now opt for vaccination
Abu Dhabi, UAE- 23 November 2021: The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has celebrated the first school to reach the Blue Schools Initiative top Blue tier for achieving a vaccination rate of 85%+ among its students physically attending school, which allows the school to commence its gradual return to pre-pandemic school operations.
Grace Valley Indian School students will now be able to enjoy relaxing some of the COVID-19 precautionary measures. Starting today, the school's students are no longer required to wear masks in outdoor areas, physical distancing requirements are removed, all school events including assemblies and graduation ceremonies will be allowed, interschool extracurricular activities with other Blue tier schools including sports tournaments and competitions will be permitted, parents will be able to attend on-campus macro bubble level events whilst adhering to entry requirements, and field trips will be reinstated among other privileges.
Commenting on this remarkable achievement, HE Sara Musallam, ADEK Chairman said: “The efforts made by the Grace Valley Indian School community to return to normalcy stand as an exemplary role model to the Abu Dhabi education sector. I would like to personally thank all parents who chose to vaccinate their children, your decision has helped to protect the health and safety of your child's school community and contributed towards a return to pre-pandemic school operations. I call upon all Private and Charter Schools to continue working towards achieving the Blue tier to safeguard the health and safety of our entire Abu Dhabi education ecosystem”.
The announcement of the inaugural school to reach the Blue tier comes as ADEK provides the first Blue Schools Initiative update since its activation earlier this month. Nine Private and Charter Schools have advanced through the Initiative's four tiers following an increase in student vaccination rates.
The update shows that in addition to Grace Valley Indian School reaching the Blue tier, seven schools have progressed from Orange to Yellow tier, while one school has moved from Yellow to Green tier, with those in Green becoming a step closer to achieving the coveted top Blue tier.
“Since Blue Schools Initiative's activation just two weeks ago, we have seen a prominent increase in student vaccination rates. School community stakeholders, including students, parents, principals, and teachers have worked collectively to make this possible, and it is encouraging to see so many schools advance through the tiers due to an increase in student vaccination adoption. We look forward to celebrating more schools that advance to the Blue tier soon.” said HE Sara Musallam.
In line with the ongoing increase in vaccination rates, ADEK launched a survey in cooperation with schools to gauge parents' opinion on COVID-19 immunization. The survey results highlight 52,000 parents are interested in vaccinating their children, a decision that will allow more schools to advance through the Blue Schools Initiative tiers expediting a return to normalcy.
To date, a total of 107,000 students across Abu Dhabi schools have been vaccinated representing 39% of the total number of students; with 94% of students aged 16+, 70% of 12 to 15-year-olds, and 40% of under 12 have been vaccinated against COVID-19. The last category saw vaccination rates doubled in the last two weeks since the activation of the Blue Schools Initiative.
The survey results indicate an expected 21% increase in numbers of vaccinated students, bringing the percentage of vaccinated students to 59%.
In response to parents' interest in vaccinating their children, ADEK is coordinating with the relevant health authorities to provide dedicated vaccination locations for Abu Dhabi school students. Vaccination of students under 16 continues to remain voluntary, according to government protocols.