There are no longer non-medical exemptions from school vaccinations
On June 13, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation removing non-medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements for children.
The United States is currently experiencing the worst outbreak of measles in more than 25 years, with outbreaks in pockets of New York primarily driving the crisis. As a result of non-medical vaccination exemptions, many communities across New York have unacceptably low rates of vaccination, and those unvaccinated children can often attend school where they may spread the disease to other unvaccinated students, some of whom cannot receive vaccines due to medical conditions. This new law will help protect the public amid this ongoing outbreak.
What did the new law do?
As of June 13, 2019, there is no longer a religious exemption to the requirement that children be vaccinated against measles and other diseases to attend either:
• public, private or parochial school (for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade), or
• child day care settings.
For those children who had a religious exemption to vaccination, what are the deadlines for being vaccinated?
Children who are attending child day care or public, private or parochial school, and who had a religious exemption to required immunizations, must now receive the first age appropriate dose in each immunization series by June 28, 2019, to attend or remain in school or child day care. Also, by July 14, 2019,
parents and guardians of such children must show that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses. The deadlines for follow-up doses depend on the vaccine. The New York State Department of Health follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices catch-up immunization schedule and expects children to receive required doses consistent with Table 2 at the following link in order to continue to attend school or child day care:https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf
What is the deadline for first dose vaccinations if my child is not attending school until September?
Parents and guardians of all children who do not have their required immunizations are encouraged to have them receive the first dose as soon as possible. The deadline for obtaining first dose vaccinations for children attending school in the fall is 14 days from the first day of school. Within 30 days of the first day of school, parents and guardians of such children must show that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses.
NYSED Announcement Regarding Health Exam Forms
The NYS Education Department (NYSED) has asked us to share the following information regarding Health Exams:
Schools districts should continue to accept ANY health exam form received as NYSED and medical providers’ organizations continue to partner to revise the NYS Required Health Exam Form and develop an electronic record compatible version.
School districts SHOULD NOT REQUIRE health care providers to use a particular form. District should accept any health exam form received.
School districts can choose to use the NYS Health Exam Form currently on the NYSCSH/NYSED website. The fact that the form is not required should be communicated when it is shared.
The NYSED will notify school districts when the new revised NYS Required Health Exam Form is ready for use and when it will be required.
Student Health Requirements
All NEW students to the district and those currently enrolled in grades K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11, must have and submit a recent physical examination (acceptable if conducted within 12 months prior to the commencement of the school year) to the school nurse. This must include an assessment of Body Mass Index and a determination of weight status category, based on BMI for age percentile. Download a Physical Form.
A dental health certificate, completed by the child’s dentist, is requested, but not required and should be returned to the appropriate school nurse. Download a Dental Health Certificate.
Provide an up-to-date immunization record, which complies with New York State Department of Health requirements.
For more information on immunization requirements, including frequently asked questions, view the Department of Health’s immunization page. Please also feel free to contact your child’s school nurse.
To be completed by the school nurse if not recorded on a student’s physical exam.
Near and Distance vision screenings: All new students and those in grades: K, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 11.
Color vision screening: All new students and those in K.
Hearing screening: All new students and those in grades K, 1, 3, 5, 7, and 11.
Scoliosis Screening: Girls in grades 5 and 7. Boys in grade 9.
Health Topics & Resources
Dispensing Medication in School
In order for a school nurse to give a student medication (prescription or over the counter) during school hours, all of the following requirements must be met. Medication must be in its original pharmacy container with the following information: the student’s name, name of the medication, the prescribing doctor, dose and time to be given; a signed note from the prescribing physician containing all the information above; and a signed note from the parent/guardian giving the school nurse permission to dispense the medication. All medication must be hand-delivered to the school nurse or principal by a parent or responsible adult. Students should not carry medications to and from school.
Sick Students & Reporting an Absence
To ensure the health of all of our students, school policy regarding sick students is as follows:
- A minimum of 24 hours of antibiotic therapy for conditions such as Strep Throat, Pink Eye and Impetigo before returning to school.
- Temperature has to be normal (98.6) for 24 hours without medication before returning to school.
- If your child is experiencing diarrhea on the morning of school, they should remain at home for the day.
- Children who are experiencing vomiting should remain at home until they are healthy enough to return to school (preferably 24 hours after the last vomiting episode).
If a student is going to be absent or tardy, parents/guardians are expected to contact the child’s school directly on the morning of the absence. Please be prepared to indicate your name, the child’s name, his/her grade and a reason for the absence. Calls should be directed to the following individuals, as identified below by school building. Please make every effort to call before 9 a.m. on the morning of the absence.
- Schalmont High School Attendance Office: 518-355-6110, ext. 3001
- Schalmont Middle School Nurse’s Office: Cheryl Glindmyer, 355-6255, ext. 2062 or Guidance: 355-6255, ext. 2001
- Jefferson Elementary Main Office: Catherine Pray 518-355-1342 ext. 5080
Medical Clearance for Sports
Students are required to go to the health office on a specific date/time with their completed paperwork for sports clearance. At that time, the school nurse will review the student’s latest physical date and their interval health history form. If the student is approved, a sports participation form will be issued to the student, which should be given to the coach on the first day of practice. Learn more about what is required to participate in interscholastic sports.
Reporting Injuries & Supplemental Insurance
All injuries should be reported to the coach and athletic trainer. An accident report will be completed by the coach who will submit it to the school nurse. The nurse can send a copy of the accident report to those requiring them.
If your child is injured, it is his/her responsibility to report the injury to their coach, who will, in turn, notify the school nurse, who will fill out an incident report. The school district carries a supplemental insurance plan to cover incidents that occur in school-related activities. If an accident requires medical attention, the parent must submit his or her own insurance first. If the claim is not payable or in excess of the parent’s coverage, parents should contact Assistant Superintendent for Business Joseph Karas at 355-9200, Ext. 4002 or email@example.com.
For elementary students, injuries or accidents should be reported to the Health Office so a school nurse can fill out an incident report.
Children and the Grieving Process
It is very difficult for all of us to face the death of a young person, and it can generate a high level of anxiety and distress in our children. Your child may be affected by a death even if they didn’t know the person who passed away. We encourage you to talk with your child. Discussing thoughts and feelings about death is important in helping your child work through a difficult situation. Read some tips for talking to your child about grief.
Body Mass Index
Physical exams must include an assessment of Body Mass Index and a determination of weight status category, based on BMI for age percentile. A sample of school districts will be selected to take part in a survey by the New York State Department of Health, which includes reporting information about students’ weight status groups. Only summary information is sent—no names or information about individual students. However, you may choose to have your child’s information excluded from this survey report by contacting your child’s school nurse.
Student Emergency Cards
Student Emergency Cards are distributed to students at each school level during the first few days of school in September. These cards are very important because they are used to keep the school nurse aware of students’ up-to-date medical information and emergency contacts. These must be signed and dated by a student’s parent. A new card must be completed and returned each school year.
Talking to children about social media safety
There’s no question that social media has radically changed the way we communicate. In just over five years, the opportunities and advantages for those who use it properly have exploded. However, when not used wisely, social media can have damaging consequences. That’s why parents can’t talk enough to their children about social media safety. To help facilitate those conversations, the following information and resources are being provided.