COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 161

July 18, 2008

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Physical Examination and Immunization Requirements for School Enrollment

 

Physical examination and immunization requirements for school enrollment remain unchanged for the 2008-2009 school year. Pursuant to the Code of Virginia at 22.1-270, students shall not be permitted to attend school without documentation of a comprehensive physical exam performed within the 12 months prior to the date the student enters public kindergarten or elementary school. The Code does not extend a grace period for complying with this regulation. Two exceptions exist to this requirement: homeless students and those whose parents object due to religious belief. Homeless students are to be enrolled and immediately referred to the local school division homeless liaison for assistance in complying with entrance requirements. Parents objecting to a physical exam based upon religious belief must provide the school division with a written statement that the child is in good health and free from communicable or contagious disease.

 

Certain prescribed immunizations are required for a child to enroll or attend public school in Virginia as outlined in School & Day Care Minimum Immunization Requirements, Virginia Department of Health http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/immunization/requirements.htm. Parents are responsible for providing documentation that all required immunizations are up-to-date, completed, or a medical or religious exemption has been obtained. These include the required doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis), polio, hepatitis B, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and varicella.

 

A child whose immunizations are incomplete may be admitted conditionally, provided the parent or guardian has documentation at the time of enrollment indicating that the child has received at least one dose of the required immunizations and has a written schedule for completing the remaining doses within 90 calendar days of the opening of school. The 90-day grace period does not apply to the Tdap booster as outlined below (Code of Virginia 22.1-271.2B.)

 

Since the start of the 2006-2007 school year, a booster dose of pertussis-containing vaccine (Tdap) has been required for students entering the sixth grade unless the student has had a tetanus-containing vaccine within the last five years or has a medical or religious exemption. There is no grace period for compliance with this requirement because Tdap is a single dose vaccine, not a series.

 

Should you have further questions, please contact Tia Campbell, school health specialist, at 804-786-8671 or Tia.campbell@doe.virginia.gov.

 

BKCJr/tbc