Exceptions for the Immunization laws include:
Students who qualify as McKinney Vento (Policy 3115) or Foster Care (Policy 3116) may NOT be excluded from school for lack of compliance for immunization
Certificate of Immunization (CIS Form)
Immediately upon enrollment in the district, a Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS Form), distributed by the Washington Department of Health, shall be completed by all students’ parent/guardian. The certificate shall be made a part of the student's permanent record. This includes students who qualify as Foster care or McKinney-Vento as well.
If, by the student’s first day of enrollment, the student does not have the required immunization documentation, the student’s parent/guardian may submit evidence of having initiated an immunization schedule consistent with the national immunization guidelines described in WAC 246-105-040. With this, students qualify for a “conditional admittance” status and may attend school under conditional status for a limited time.
- Within thirty (30) calendar days of the student’s first day of attendance, under a conditional admittance, the parent/guardian must provide documentation needed to complete either the CIS, or show progress of obtaining the missing immunization.
- If a student needs additional doses to complete a vaccine series, he/she will remain in conditional admittance status for a maximum of thirty (30) calendar days after the next dose is due, until the series is complete. Failure to submit documentation within these timelines will be sufficient cause to exclude the student from school (See Exclusion process within this procedure).
Exemptions from Immunization
Exemptions will be processed and recorded on a Certificate of Exemption (COE) form as provided by the Washington Department of Health (DOH).
The district will grant exemptions from one or more vaccines for medical reason upon certification by a Licensed Healthcare Provider (LHP) that there is a medical reason for not administering the vaccine.
The district will grant exemptions for religious reasons upon the parent/legal guardian’s submission of a COE, as follows. If a COE states that the parent/legal guardian is a member in a religious body or church with beliefs or teachings that preclude a child from receiving medical treatment from a LHP, the LHP signature on the COE is not required. If the COE claims a religious reason, but does not state that the parent/legal guardian is a member in a religious body or church with beliefs or teachings that preclude a child from receiving medical treatment from a LHP, the LHP signature on the COE is required.
With the exception of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, the district will grant exemptions for philosophical or personal reasons upon the parent/legal guardian’s submission of a COE, signed by an LHP, stating that the parent/legal guardian has a philosophical or personal objection to the immunization of the child and the LHP has provided the parent/legal guardian with information about the benefits and risks of immunization. The district will not grant an exemption for philosophical or personal reasons from the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. The LHP may sign the form any time prior to the district’s enrollment of the child. The district will accept a photocopy of the signed form or a letter from LHP in lieu of the original form.
The district will mark the permanent file of students who have exemptions for easy identification, in the event that the local department of health order exempted students a temporary exclusion from school, during an outbreak or an epidemic.
If the district does not receive a COE upon the student’s enrollment in school, the principal or designee will provide written notice to the parent/guardian informing them of the immunization requirements. They will also inform the parent/guardian the potential of denied attendance if proper documentation, needed to complete the requirements, is not provided within thirty (30) calendar days of the student’s first day of attendance.
Procedure Process Roles and Responsibility for Student Immunizations
- The district will provide training for staff who are responsible for registering students to ensure completeness of records and following of district procedure.
- The person(s) assigned the responsibility of student registration (the registrar) must enter the provided immunizations into the electronic data system and determine if the student is in compliance at the time of registration. If not in compliance at this time, the registrar must explain that the student will be admitted under a conditional status and provide the registering parent/guardian of the following, in writing:
- The list of non-compliant immunizations
- Written notification, informing the parent/guardian that the student has thirty (30) calendar days to update their immunizations towards compliance or they may be excluded from school.
- Registrars are responsible for informing the school nurse of all newly enrolled students, withdrawals, and transfers.
- The school nurse will review all student immunization records for accuracy, compliance and completion of required state immunizations.
- If an enrolled student is not in compliance and has not been informed of their conditional status, in writing, the registrar or school nurse or their designee will inform the parent/guardian of their conditional status at that time, giving them thirty (30) calendar days to update their immunizations.
- The student’s conditional status will be tracked every thirty days for continued updating towards compliance.
- If the student fails to progress towards compliance after thirty days, the student may be excluded from school.
- If an enrolled student is not in compliance and has previously been informed of their conditional status, in writing, but has not shown progress towards compliance after thirty (30) calendar days, the registrar or school nurse will move forward toward exclusion of the student for non-compliance of immunizations.
- The staff person moving forward with the exclusion will provide proper written notification of the exclusion to the parent/guardian via certified mail per the exclusion process.
In-District and Out-of-District Enrollees
An original or copy of a completed Washington Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) form must be presented at the time of enrollment following the compliance requirements. Students under conditional status will still require a parent to complete the CIS form with as much information as possible at time of enrollment.
1. A request for records from previous school will not suffice.
2. A faxed copy of the student’s CIS form, if complete and a new signature by parent/guardian, is acceptable.
1. Special Education Students
Special education students must comply with immunization law requirements like all other students with no exceptions.
2. Alternative Program Students
If a student is dually enrolled, the immunizations shall be maintained at the home school (e.g. kindergarten students enrolled at an elementary school and attending school on another campus or students taking classes at a high school within HPS and at PSSC).
Upon student transfer, graduation, or withdrawal, the student should be given their original CIS form and instructed to take the form with them when they enroll in another institution. If a student withdraws, a copy may be placed in the student folder.
Age Based Immunization Requirements
Students can go from a compliant status to a non-compliant status when there are new age/grade based immunization requirements. (ie: Tdap at 11 years of age/with 5th graders going into 6th grade).These students become non-compliant at that time and are required to follow the requirements for school attendance in the following school year.
- The nurses working in conjunction with the office staff should provide notification to the parent/guardian of the new requirements.
- In the spring, prior to the new requirement, school nurses will provide letters to be sent home with the spring report cards.
- At the end of that school year, those students continuing to need immunizations, will receive an additional notification prior to the beginning of the next school year.
- School nurses will provide a list of students who are not in compliance for the coming school year to the office staff and principal.
i. Principals should develop a system for the fall of the coming school year to track immunization compliance with their school registrars and exclude those students who are not in compliance.
ii. Upon the start of the next school year, students who are non-compliant, have previously received notification of the new requirements and not yet been excluded, may be excluded from school per the exclusion process. Exclusions from School Related to Non-Compliance with Immunizations
Following proper notification, the school will exclude any student for non-compliance with the immunization law, subject to the appeal procedures for student expulsions (Policy 3241). Parents have a right to a hearing, provided they notify the school within three (3) days after receiving the exclusion order from the school principal. If the parent requests a hearing, the district will notify in writing the parent/guardian and school principal of the time and place for the hearing and will present the case to a hearing officer appointed by the superintendent.
Exclusion Process for Lack of Compliance with Immunizations at School
The principal or designee shall provide written notice of exclusion to parents or guardians in person or by certified mail informing them of:
- List on non-compliant immunizations.
- The denial of further attendance by the student.
- The procedural due process rights: Parent/guardian shall have a right to a hearing, provided they notify the school within 3 days after receiving the exclusion order from the school principal. If the parent/guardian requests a hearing, the parent/guardian and school principal shall be notified in writing of the time and place for the hearing and shall present the case to a hearing officer appointed by the superintendent.
Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS)
Certificate of Exemption (COE)
Student Health - Policy 3410
Medication in Schools - Policy 3416
Homeless Students Enrollment Rights and Services - Policy 3115
Students in Foster Care - Policy 3116
Health – Screening Requirements - RCW 28A.210
Immunization of child care and school children against certain vaccine-preventable diseases - WAC 246-105
Student – Health records - WAC 392-182
Public School Pupils – Immunization Requirement and life –threatening health condition - WAC 329-380
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Superintendent: August 1985
Revised by the Superintendent: 5.90, 5.11, 6.14, 4.17, 6.18, 10.19