From our Superintendent, Michelle Reynolds
Beginning July 1, 2016, schools will be required to verify students' immunization records before the start of kindergarten and seventh grade. For more information please see this question and answer article at:
As you are probably aware, on June 30, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 277 (Pan, D-Sacramento, and Allen, D- Santa Monica) into law. This bill eliminates new personal belief exemptions from the requirement that children receive vaccines for certain infectious diseases prior to being admitted to any public or private elementary or secondary school or day care center. Some of our families have been inquiring about how Senate Bill (SB) 277, the new vaccination law signed by the Governor, will impact students at BCS. From all that we understand about this issue, our families and students are impacted by this law in that they will be held to the same requirements as students attending public school.
All Children are required to be vaccinated before entering kindergarten. The law allows for medical exemptions, however, it does not allow for exemptions based upon personal or religious beliefs. Additionally the Senators proposed an amendment to “grandfather in” students whose parents have claimed personal belief exemptions. Parents who chose not to immunize their children, and whose children are already enrolled, will be able to keep them enrolled under their current exempt status until the next vaccine checkpoint. The checkpoints for students are kindergarten and 7th grade, as well as, if they transfer from another school.
There are exemptions for pupils with disabilities, stating it “does not prohibit a pupil who qualifies for an individualized education program, pursuant to federal law and Section 56026 of the Education Code, from accessing any special education and related services required by his or her individualized education program.” This primarily applies to students in public school because we do not offer a special education program that provides services to students on an IEP. Additionally, home schooled students and those enrolled in non-classroom based independent study programs, are exempted. Medical exemptions remain in law under SB 277.
We realize that this could impact some of our families who have chosen to exercise their right not to vaccinate. We will continue to keep you posted as we become aware of any new information.