Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent George Arlotto said today that he will request the 45-day extension of the immunization deadline for students offered late Friday night by the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The request means that no students will be excluded from school on Monday, September 15, because documentation of required immunizations is not on file with their school.
State law requires that students for whom documentation of required immunizations by the 20th calendar day after school begins is not on file be excluded from school. Anne Arundel County Public Schools began classes on August 25, 2014, so prior to the extension request the deadline for documentation would have been September 13, 2014. That would have meant that students without documentation or bona fide exceptions would have been excluded from school beginning Monday, September 15.
As of Friday, approximately 1,000 Anne Arundel County Public Schools students did not have the required documentation on file with their school. The vast majority of those are seventh-graders, for whom new requirements were enacted this year.
The extension was offered to school systems across the state. Requests must be submitted by September 19, and school systems must also submit a plan outlining how they will ensure all students have required documentation on file with their school and monitor progress toward that goal.
In addition to notifications and special Anne Arundel County Department of Health clinics throughout the summer, school personnel and school nurses across the county have been notifying parents whose children still lack required immunizations through phone calls, letters and, in some cases, home visits.
Students who had all required immunizations in previous years and are not required to get additional vaccines this year should have all documentation on file, but parents with questions should contact their child’s school.
The Department of Health has set up a free walk-in clinic for students who still need the Tdap and meningococcal immunizations required of seventh-graders this school year. The clinic will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Monday, September 15, at Meade Middle School, located at 1103 26th St. on Fort Meade.
In addition to that clinic, Tdap and meningococcal immunizations will be administered to students from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the Glen Burnie and Parole health centers on September 15, 16, and 17, and 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 19. The Glen Burnie Health Center is located at 416 A Street, S.W. in Glen Burnie. The Parole Health Center is located at 1950 Drew St. in Annapolis. For information, call 410-222-6633 or 410-222-7247.
Parents or guardians must be present with their children at any of the clinics to sign consent forms.
The Department of Health will forward documentation of immunizations done at the clinics to the appropriate school.