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Policy 3413P

Procedure Student Immunization and Life Threatening Health Conditions

Required Immunization Documentation

Immediately upon enrollment in the district, the student’s parent or legal guardian must provide proof of the required immunizations as specified by the Department of Health, and/or an exemption with a completed Certificate of Exemption (COE) form approved by the Washington Department of Health . The student cannot start attending school until the completed CIS and/or COE is on file at the school or the Conditional Immunization Status conditions have been met. Students experiencing homelessness, including migratory and refugee children and children in out-of-home (foster) care, who have not provided the required documentation will be allowed to enroll, attend classes, and participate fully, despite being out of compliance with immunization requirements.

The CIS and/or COE will be made a part of the student’s permanent record. The district will provide access to immunization records of each student enrolled to agents of the state or local health department. The district will return the CIS and/or COE or a legible copy to the parent or legal guardian upon their request if the child is withdrawn or transferred from the district. The district may not withhold the CIS and/or COE for any reasons, including nonpayment of school fees.

If by a student’s first day of attendance the student does not have documentation of all of the required immunizations, the student may be permitted to start school in a temporary “conditional immunization status” provided that the student has received all of the immunizations that he/she is eligible to receive and is waiting for the recommended date of the next vaccine dose according to the national immunization catch-up schedule. The parent or legal guardian must sign the CIS acknowledging the conditional status rules and times lines that follow. Once the next dose comes due, the student can remain in conditional status for thirty (30) calendar days to have time to turn in the required documentation. If additional vaccines are needed, conditional status continues in a similar manner until all of the vaccine series are complete. If the thirty (30) calendar day period expires and documentation has not been given to the school, the student will be excluded from further attendance. Valid documentation includes medical records showing vaccination, evidence of immunity to the disease in question, or a completed Certificate of Exemption (COE) form.

Exemptions from Immunization

Any and all exemptions will be processed and recorded on a Certificate of Exemption (COE) as provided by the Washington Department of Health (DOH).  All exemptions requested on a COE must be signed by the parent or legal guardian. Additionally, with the exception of a religious membership exemption, all COE forms presented on or after July 22, 2011, must also have the signature of a health care practitioner (HCP) saying they have given the parent or guardian information about the benefits and risks of immunizations. The form may be signed by a HCP at any time prior to the enrollment of the child in a school. Photocopies of the signed form or a letter from the HCP referencing the child’s name shall be accepted in lieu of the original form. Such a letter should be attached to the COE signed by the parent or legal guardian. Only a health care practitioner who is a physician (MD), physician assistant (PA), osteopath (DO), naturopath (ND), or advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) licensed in Washington State may sign the COE.

The district will grant medical exemptions from one or more of the required immunizations if the HCP indicates on the COE that in their opinion the vaccine is not advisable for the student. If the HCP indicates the medical exemption is temporary, an expiration date must be documented on the COE.

When a temporary medical exemption expires, the student can attend school in “conditional immunization status” for thirty (30) calendar days to get the missing immunization or another exemption. If the thirty (30) calendar day period expires and documentation has not been given to the school, the student will be excluded from further attendance. Valid documentation includes medical records showing vaccination, evidence of immunity to the disease in question, or a completed Certificate of Exemption (COE) form.

The district will grant religious exemptions from one or more of the required immunizations if the parent or legal guardian completes the religious exemption section of the COE .

The district will grant religious membership exemptions from one or more of the required immunizations if the parent or legal guardian completes the religious membership section of the COE and signs affirming they are a member in a religious body or church with beliefs or teachings that preclude a child from receiving medical treatment from a HCP. The HCP signature is not required for a religious membership exemption. 

The district will grant personal/philosophical exemptions from one or more of the required immunizations, except measles, mumps or rubella, if the parent completes the personal/philosophical exemption section on the COE. The district will not grant an exemption for philosophical or personal reasons from the measles, mumps, or rubella immunization requirements. 

Exclusion from School

The school principal will exclude students from further attendance who are out of compliance with the immunization requirements as required in RCW 28A.210.120.

When excluding students, the school will provide written notification as required in WAC 392-380-050. Written notification will:

  • Order that the student is excluded immediately, and
  • Be delivered in person or by certified mail, and
  • Be in the parent’s native language if possible, and
  • Include a copy of the applicable laws and rules (RCW 28A.210.010-160, 246-105 WAC, and 392-182 WAC sections 005, 020, 045, 050, 080), and
  • Provide information regarding immunization services available through local health or other public agencies, and
  • Include notice that the parent/legal guardian and student has a right to a hearing provided they notify the school within three (3) days after receiving the exclusion order from the school principal, and
  • Describe the hearing process, and
  • Explain that the exclusion continues until either the required immunization documentation or a completed Certificate of Exemption form is turned in to the school, or a hearing officer determines that the student is no longer excluded from school.

If the parent requests a hearing, the district will notify in writing the parent or guardian and school principal of the time and place for the hearing and will present the case to a hearing officer appointed by the superintendent.

List of Students Not Fully Immunized

The district will keep or be able to produce within twenty-four hours a current list of children who are not fully immunized. This list must be transmitted to the local health department upon request. The local health officer may use this list for easy identification  of students to be excluded from school temporarily during a disease outbreak.

 

Adoption Date: November 28, 2017; Revised: August 25, 2020

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