Policy 5065: Immunizations and Health Examinations
In order to safeguard the school community from the spread of certain communicable diseases and in recognition that prevention is a means of combating the spread of disease, the Board requires all students to be immunized against certain diseases in accordance with State statutes, regulations of the Commissioner of Education and rules of the State Department of Health.
The Board believes that immunization is the primary responsibility of the parent/guardian or person in parental relation. However, the District will refer those students who cannot afford such immunizations to the Westchester County Health Department.
Each child prior to entering or attending the schools of the District is required to present from a licensed health practitioner a record of immunization against poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella, varicella, pertussis, tetanus and hepatitis B, and where applicable, Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) and pneumococcal disease, and any other immunizations or booster immunizations as required pursuant to the provisions of Section 2164 of the Public Health Law. The District shall notify the Westchester County Health Department if a child is denied admission to or attendance in school due to lack of immunizations.
A student designated as homeless shall not be denied access to the District's schools due to lack of immunization or medical records. If a homeless student needs to obtain immunizations or immunization or medical records, the District shall immediately refer the parent/guardian or person in parental relation to the District's Homeless Liaison, who must assist in obtaining necessary immunization or medical records or immunizations.
An exception to these immunization requirements will be granted on the basis of the sincere and genuine religious beliefs of the parent/guardian or person in parental relation which are contrary to the practice of immunization, upon submission of a written and signed statement to the Principal on the School District form. The Principal may consult with appropriate school personnel and may request additional information from the parent/guardian or person in parental relationship, including requesting a face-to-face interview. The Principal's determination shall be in writing. If the Principal determines to deny a religious exemption, the denial shall be appealable directly to the Commissioner of Education pursuant to §310 of the Education Law. A Principal's denial must be immediately issued to the parent/legal guardian in writing setting forth the specific reason(s) for denial.
In addition, if a physician will certify that administering a vaccine to a particular child is detrimental to the child's health, the immunization requirement may be waived by the Superintendent until such immunization is found no longer to be detrimental to the child's health.
In accordance with Section 903 of the Education Law, each student must have a physical examination and present a health certificate to the Principal or designee describing the student's condition, signed by a duly licensed physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner, who is authorized by law to practice in the state of New York, and consistent with any written practice agreement, or authorized to practice in the jurisdiction in which the examination was given if the Commissioner has determined that the standards of license and practice are comparable to those in New York. Such health certificate shall be presented prior to his/her initial entrance to school in the District and within 30 days of his/her entry into the second, fourth, seventh, and tenth grades. The physical examination must not have been given more than 12 months prior to the commencement of the school year in which the examination is required and must describe the condition of the student when the examination was made, as well as whether such student is in a fit condition of health to permit his or her attendance in school. Each health certificate shall also state the student's body mass index (BMI) and weight status category.
If the required health certificate is not furnished at the required times, for second, fourth, seventh, and tenth grades, the Principal or designee shall notify the student's parent/guardian or person in parental relation, in writing, that if the required health certificate is not furnished within 30 days of such notice, the examination will be made of the student as directed by the School District Medical Director, with parental consent. If the parent/guardian or person in parental relation will not give consent to the examination, other than based upon sincere and genuine religious beliefs, the Westchester County Department of Health will be notified and a report will be made to Child Protective Services. The physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner performing the examination, as determined by the School District Medical Director, shall determine whether the student has defective sight or vision, or any other physical disability which may prevent the student from receiving full educational benefit and whether a one-time test for sickle cell anemia is necessary or desirable and, if so, the test shall be conducted and the certificate shall state the results of the test.
Effective September 1, 2008, a dental health certificate shall be requested from each student at the same time that health certificates are required.
An health examination or dental examination or dental health history of any child may be requested at any time by the School District, in its discretion, to promote the educational interests of the child, if it is suspected that a medical issue is interfering with the child's education. Such requests for examination shall be reviewed by the School District Medical Director.
All students participating in interscholastic athletics must be examined and approved by the School District health practitioners, as directed by the School District Medical Director, or examined by a private physician, subject to review and approval for participation by the School District Medical Director.
The District shall provide the following screenings:
- scoliosis screening at least once each school year for students in grades 5 through 9;
- vision screening to all students enrolled in school within six months of admission to school and distance acuity screening in grades kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10, and when deemed necessary;
- hearing screening to all students within six months of admission to school and in grades kindergarten, 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 and when deemed necessary;
- any other screenings required by law.
The parent/guardian or person in parental relation shall be notified, in writing, of the results of the screenings. The results of these health screenings shall be recorded on forms and kept on file in school.
No student shall be required to submit to a health examination, health history or screening examination where the parent/guardian, person in parental relation or student submits a written and signed statement to the Principal that such examination, health history or screening conflicts with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs.
Adopted by Board of Education: March 26, 1979
- January 24, 1990
- December 2, 1997
- December 2, 2008
- March 3, 2009