Avery County Schools Policy Policy Code: 4110
IMMUNIZATION AND HEALTH REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL ADMISSION
The Avery County Board of Education requires all students to meet the eligibility requirements for school admission established by the State and the board, including immunization and health assessments. The principal or designee shall maintain on file immunization and health assessment records for all students, and these records may be inspected by officials of the county or state health departments in accordance with state and federal law. Each school principal shall file required reports with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Public Instruction.
A. Immunization 1. Requirements for Initial Entry
Within 30 calendar days of his or her first day of attendance in the school system, each student must show evidence of age-appropriate vaccination in accordance with state law and regulation, including the following vaccines as applicable: a. DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis); b. poliomyelitis (polio); c. measles (rubeola); d. rubella (German measles); e. mumps; f. Haemophilus influenzae, type b (Hib); g. hepatitis B; h. varicella (chickenpox); and i. any other vaccine as may be required by law or regulation. The current required vaccination schedule is available from the N.C. Immunization Branch online at http://www.immunize.nc.gov/. 2. Additional Requirements All students entering seventh grade or who have reached age 12, whichever comes first, are required to receive the following: a. a booster dose of Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine), if they have not previously received it; and b. the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV). 3. Certificate of Immunization a. Evidence of immunizations must be shown in the form of a certificate furnished by a licensed physician or by the health department. A student who received immunizations in a state other than North Carolina must present an official certificate that meets the immunizations requirements of G.S. 130A-154(b). b. Principals are required to refuse admittance to any child whose parent or guardian does not present a medical certification of proper immunizations within the allotted time. If, following approved medical practice, the administration of a vaccine requires more than 30 calendar days to complete, upon certification of this fact by a physician, additional days may be allowed in order to obtain the required immunizations. c. Exceptions to the immunization requirements will be made only for religious reasons or for medical reasons approved by a physician pursuant to state law and regulation.
B. Health Assessment/Vision Screening
Within 30 calendar days of the first day of school entry, all kindergarten students and, beginning with the 2016-17 school year, all students entering public school for the first time, regardless of grade level, must furnish to the principal a form that meets the requirements of state law indicating that the student has received a health assessment pursuant to G.S. 130A-440. A student who fails to meet this requirement will not be permitted to attend school until the required health assessment form has been presented. Such absences will not be considered suspensions, and the student will be given an opportunity to make up work missed during the absence as described below. The principal or designee shall, at the time of enrollment, notify the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis that the completed health assessment form is needed on or before the child’s first day of attendance. The date the student’s health assessment form is received will be recorded in the student’s official record, and the form will be maintained on file in the school. The assessment must include a medical history and physical examination with screening for vision and hearing and, if appropriate, testing for anemia and tuberculosis. The health assessment must be conducted no more than 12 months prior to the date of school entry. Exception to the health assessment requirement will be made only for religious reasons. Vision screening must comply with the vision screening standards adopted by the Governor’s Commission on Early Childhood Vision Care. Within 180 days of the start of the school year, the parent of the child must present to the principal or his/her designee certification that within the past 12 months, the child has obtained a comprehensive eye examination performed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist or has obtained a vision screening conducted by a licensed physician, optometrist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, orthoptist, or a vision screener certified by Prevent Blindness North Carolina. Children who receive and fail to pass the required vision screening must obtain a comprehensive eye exam conducted by a duly licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. The provider of the exam shall present to the parent a signed transmittal form which the parent must submit to the school. If a member of the school staff has reason to believe that a child enrolled in kindergarten through third grade is having problems with vision, the staff member may recommend to the child’s parent that the child have a comprehensive eye examination. No child will be excluded from attending school for a parent’s failure to obtain a comprehensive eye exam. If a parent fails or refuses to obtain a comprehensive eye exam or to provide the certification of a comprehensive eye exam, the school officials shall send a written reminder to the parent of required eye exams. Upon request, the teacher(s) of a student subject to an absence from school for failure to provide the health assessment form required by this section shall provide to the student all missed assignments, and to the extent practicable, the materials distributed to students in connection with the assignments. The principal or designee shall arrange for the student to take home textbooks and school-furnished digital devices for the duration of the absence and shall permit the student to take any quarterly, semester, or grading period examinations missed during the absence period.
C. Homeless Students
Notwithstanding the provisions of this policy, admissions for homeless students will not be prohibited or delayed due to the inability to provide documentation of immunizations or health assessments. The homeless liaison will work with the student, parent/guardian, school personnel or other agencies to obtain documentation of immunization and/or the health assessment or to arrange for such immunizations and/or assessments in a timely manner.
D. Foster Children
Notwithstanding the provisions of this policy, admissions for students in foster care will not be prohibited or delayed due to the student’s inability to provide documentation of immunizations or health assessments. The enrolling school will immediately contact the school last attended by the foster child to obtain any relevant documentation.
DE. Children of Military Families
The board acknowledges that immunization requirements for newly enrolling military children are governed by the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. Children of military families, as defined in policy 4050, Children of Military Families, will have 30 days from the date of enrollment or within such time as reasonably determined by the rules of the Interstate Commission to obtain any required immunization. For a series of immunizations, initial vaccinations must be obtained within 30 days or within such time as is reasonably determined under the Interstate Commission.
Legal References: Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 6311(g)(1)(E); McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.; G.S. 115C-309.2(1), -407.5; 130A-152 to -157, -440 to -443; 143B-216.75; 10A N.C.A.C. 41A .0401
Cross References: Children of Military Families (policy 4050), Homeless Students (policy 4125) Attendance (policy 4400)
Other References: N.C. Immunization Branch, available at http://www.immunize.nc.gov/
Adopted: 9/11/00 Revised: 9/24/99, 01/08/01, 02/05/07, 12/03/07, 09/01/15; 7/14/16; 5/09/17