QUINCY — Families have one more week to ensure students meet physical, immunization and vision exam requirements.
“Students should not be sent to school on Oct. 15 if they don’t have their requirements,” Quincy Public Schools compliance nurse Nancy Hill said. “That’s a state law that we have to exclude them if we don’t have the requirements that we need.”
Physicals are required for early childhood, kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade. All immunizations must be up to date, including a meningitis booster now required in 12th grade, and a vision exam must be done when children enter school either in early childhood or kindergarten.
“These are requirements people have had for many years. Parents are used to immunizations being part of the health requirements for schools,” Hill said.
Statewide, the exclusion date is Oct. 15.
“It’s a state law, and we have to follow those rules by the state, but primarily it’s important because we want to keep our children healthy,” she said. “A lot of childhood diseases were devastating back before immunizations began. Many now are rare, but are still out there — smallpox is the only one that has been eradicated — so the more children we can have protected, the less likely these childhood illnesses come back with a vengeance and affect our students.”
Reminder emails and letters, including a list of providers and walk-in clinic options, will be going out this week to families still needing to meet the requirements.
“A lot of times parents have had (older) children go through the system and don’t think anything changes, but it seems like we see a little tweak every year or two,” Hill said.
Hill, a long-time nurse at Baldwin Intermediate School and Thomas S. Baldwin Elementary, shifted this year to the new district compliance position.
“It’s going well,” she said. “Anytime you have a new position there’s some organization to do at the beginning, getting things straightened out, but I’m excited to be doing this.”
Each school building previously tracked health requirements for its students, but now that tracking is done by Hill.
“This is a change,” she said. “We’re going to try and see.”
Dental exams required in kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades must be completed by May 15.