DeKalb County school officials are reminding parents of children in kindergarten and seventh grade whose shot records are not up to date that those students will not be allowed to attend class unless they have the correct immunizations.
For those who have received a notification letter from the school system of non-compliance, you may obtain the required immunizations free of charge at the DeKalb County Health Department on Tuesday, September 13 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary
Director of Schools Mark Willoughby addressed this issue during Thursday night's school board meeting.."We have granted an extension (for meeting) these immunization requirements probably longer than we needed to. Parents of students at DeKalb West and Smithville Elementary School who have already had a notice sent to them, if those students do not have those immunizations complete then those students will not be admitted to school, after last Friday, September 9, until those immunizations are up to date. It is our decision on setting the deadline. Many school systems had their cut off dates earlier. Ours probably should have been earlier also. For those who won't be admitted to school, after last Friday, September 9, they have already had their second notice. Students at DeKalb Middle School, because of the time that their notice went out, they will have until Friday, September 16. The health department is doing those clinics for us and everybody has received notices about that. We hope to go over the immunization records next year during the month of May and actually give notices then and meet with parents at the beginning of school next year to let them know that their children can't attend school unless they get the immunizations complete," said Willoughby
Under state law, "No children shall be permitted to attend any public school...until proof of immunization is given the admissions officer of the school". The new Tennessee Department of Health immunization rule went into effect July 1, 2010
School Health Coordinator Dee Anna Reynolds said " This comes in with the new Tennessee Department of Health immunization rule that went into effect July 1. That is for children entering seventh grade to have a second varicella shot, which is the chicken pox shot, unless they can show that they have had the chicken pox and they have immunity to the chicken pox, then they don't need to have that second shot. Students also need to have a booster shot called the TDAP immunization (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis vaccine)," said Reynolds