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On June 13, 2019 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed new legislation removing non-medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements for children attending public, private, or parochial school (pre-kindergarten through 12th grade), or child day care settings. Religious exemptions are no longer valid in New York State. To attend or remain in school or day care, students must receive the first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series within 14 days of the first day of school or day care. In addition, parents/legal guardians are required to show proof that they have appointments in place for the required follow-up doses within 30 days after the first day of school or day care. The deadline for follow-up doses depends on the vaccine and must be in accordance with the vaccine recommendations and guidelines of the ACIP. If a child has a medical contraindication to a specific immunization(s), the parent/legal guardian must provide a valid medical exemption form that is signed and confirmed annually by a New York State licensed physician.
You are responsible for promptly notifying the local health department when a student is not in compliance with Public Health Law $2164. You are also required to maintain a current list of susceptible (unvaccinated or undervaccinated) students at all times. Each year, the New York State Department of Health conducts an audit of schools for compliance with PHL $2164. Audits may be conducted remotely or in person. If during an audit a student is found to be out of compliance, he/she will be required to be excluded from school until they come into compliance. Noncompliant schools may be subject to civil penalties depending on the reason for the violation or noncompliance. "Education Law $310 provides that persons considering themselves aggrieved by an action taken at a school district meeting or by school authorities may appeal to the Commissioner of Education for a review of such action." While an appeal is pending before the Commissioner, a request for a "stay may be submitted by the petitioner.
You may refer uninsured/underinsured students through 18 years of age to our Vaccines for Children (VFC) immunization clinics located in Goshen and Newburgh. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 845-360-6587. Please contact us if you need assistance reviewing medical exem translating immunization records. If you do not have a New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) or Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR) account, please contact us so that we may assist you. Thank you all for your continued work towards the health of the Orange County community.
Dr. Irina Gelman, DPM, MPH, PhDc Commissioner of Health
References:1. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Signed Legislation Removing Non-Medical Exemptions from
School Vaccination Requirements: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-signs
2. 2019-20 School Year New York State Immunization Requirements for School
3. NYSDOH Frequently Asked Questions About Legislation Removing Non-Medical
Exemptions from School Vaccination Requirements #1:
https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170/docs/nonmedical vaccine exemption faq.pdf
4. NYSDOH Frequently Asked Questions About Legislation Removing Non-Medical
Exemptions from School Vaccination Requirements #2:
https://health.ny.gov/publications/2170/docs/vaccine requirements faq.pdf
5. NYSDOH Medical Exemption Statement for Children 0-18 Years of Age Medical Exemption
Form for School Attendance: https://www.health.ny.gov/forms/doh-5077.pdf
6. The ACIP Catch-up Immunization Schedule:
7. General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization: Best Practices Guidance of the Advisory
Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) - Contraindications and Precautions:
8. Webinar from July 29, 2019 Regarding Non-medical Exemptions:
https://health.ny.gov/prevention/immunization/schools/school vaccines/docs/immunization la
9. Information Regarding Appeals to the Commissioner: http://www.counsel.nysed.gov/appeals/
PDF to Print - NYS DOH Vaccinations
Effective June 13, 2019, Chapter 35 of the Laws of 2019 repealed non-medical exemptions from vaccination for children attending school.
This document is in follow-up to FAQs issued on June 18, 2019 and on July 22, 2019. The Department of Health and the Office of Children and Family Services filed emergency regulations on August 13, 2019 to implement the statutory amendments to the Public Health Law and adhere to the legislative intent of the statutory amendments, which is to protect the public health. This guidance is intended to assist schools in implementing the statutory and regulatory amendments.
The 2019-20 School Year New York State Immunization Requirements for School Entrance/Attendance is available online.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) catch-up immunization schedule is available online.
VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO ALL STUDENTS
Public Health Law §2164, as amended by Chapter 35 of the Laws of 2019, applies to students attending all schools as defined in Public Health Law §2164 to include any public, private or parochial child-caring center, day nursery, day care agency, nursery school, kindergarten, elementary, intermediate, or secondary school.
Public Health Law §2164, as amended by Chapter 35 of the Laws of 2019, prohibits a school from permitting any child to be admitted to such school, or to attend such school, in excess of 14 days without sufficient evidence that the child has received all age- appropriate required vaccinations. The 14 days may be extended to not more than 30 days where the student is transferring from out of state or from another country and can show a good faith effort to get the necessary evidence or where the parent, guardian or any other person in parental relationship can demonstrate that a child has received the first age- appropriate dose in each immunization series and that they have age-appropriate scheduled appointments for follow-up doses to complete the immunization series in accordance with the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 through 18.
If you require transportation (children 5 years and over) please go on your districts website and click on their Transportation Department link to download and fill out their district form. All forms need to be submitted to the families district home by April 1st, prior to start of school year.
CHM Re-opening & MONTESSORI APPROACH
The social distancing of young children is certainly a daunting prospect. But as we have considered these issues, we have realised that the authentic Montessori approach we offer is uniquely suited to social distancing: both in terms of how children interact physically and in terms of their emotional well-being.
Spacious and well-ordered environment
Our classrooms offer an uncluttered and enticing environment specifically designed for children at each stage of their development. At our sites we are lucky that our children enjoy large spacious rooms with fewer pupils per room, but the careful use of the space is also key. Our classrooms are meticulously cared for, which encourages the children to take care of them too. The children return learning materials to the shelf after they have used them, so it would only be a small step to encourage children to clean materials after use too.
Independent and confident children
A central part of the Montessori approach is the focus on child-led learning which nurtures children’s independence and confidence. Our children are given greater freedoms and responsibilities which encourages them to take responsibility for their actions and be considerate to others, making it easier for them to comply with social distancing measures and more emotionally prepared for change. The focus on independence of mind has also stood our pupils in good stead for the remote learning we have offered at this time of “lockdown”.
Hygiene and self-care
From an early age our children are encouraged to practice good hygiene and to care for their own person. They remove outdoor shoes and put on slippers on arrival and hang up their own coats and bags. Children take it in turns to set up lunch and snack tables and to clear up after mealtimes. They are responsible for washing their hands and faces as necessary after eating, going to the toilet or playing outside or with art materials. As the Covid-19 crisis unfolded this March we increased our emphasis on good hygiene further with more frequent hand-washing and our children will be ready to continue these practices and adopt further measures as necessary.
One of the main pillars of the Montessori approach is a focus on integrating nature into children’s daily learning throughout the year. Our children are free to work outside as much as possible. They do specifically outdoor activities such as gardening and sports activities, but they are also encouraged to take their indoor learning outside – such as working with math materials, reading and art. As the children already see our outside spaces as learning zones as well as places for play, an increased focus on outdoor learning will be relatively seamless.
Calm and considered behaviour
Many visitors to our school are surprised by the atmosphere of calm they find and even our very young children’s ability to concentrate for long periods of time. This atmosphere is no happy accident but a carefully cultivated way of behaving and interacting with others. Our authentic approach to Montessori includes a focus on “Grace and Courtesy” – this is where we practice and model behaviour such as walking around the room, sharing materials or making an apology. From the age of 2½ years our children use breakable plates and glasses and learn to be careful with them; every one of our desks has a flower in a glass vase and the children carefully navigate the room and the vases are rarely knocked over. This greater self-awareness and self-control will make social distancing more achievable even with the youngest children.
Whatever the future holds, our children’s happiness and safety will always be our first priority but we are reassured that their Montessori education will help them and our staff to cope in these extraordinary times.
For the health & safety of our community, we will be implementing;
Small class sizes.
Large open classrooms (to allow for social distancing).
Less than 10 students per teacher.
Students will remain with their class/teacher for the duration of the day.
Workspaces will be set up/outlined to ensure social distancing is maintained.
Outdoor learning environments will be utilized and encouraged to amplify social distancing.
The children will be required to eat lunch in their classrooms.
Daily sanitation protocols of rooms and materials will be carried out durning and at the end of each day by staff.
Hand sanitizing stations will be available for everyone entering the building to sanitize their hands.
Drop off times will be staggered.
Parents will be required to wait outside the school at the pickup station to drop off and pick up their child.
Slippers will be worn in the classrooms. No outside shoes permitted past entry.
All beddings will be individually stored and will be sent home to be washed and brought back for use.
Children and staff will wash their hands as soon as they arrive at school, and routinely throughout the day.
Parents/visitors will not be permitted inside the school unless it is an emergency or its extremely necessary.
All visitors will be required to wear a face-mask and to take off their shoes.
Occupancy will be limited to <50% capacity at all times.
Over 100sf of indoor space per person will be available.
All teachers and staff will be encouraged to wear masks and/or face coverings in the limited circumstance when distancing is not feasible.
All staff will be trained in recognizing/detecting the signs of covid-19 infection.
In the case of suspected infection, students will be isolated until their immediate pick up from the school.
Children with temperature the 100ºF , coughing, sore throat, fast breathing, shaking, or chills, headaches, or lethargic will not be accepted back until fully recovered and fever free for 48 hours.
If a child/family had been out of the state of New York, the school must be to notified, and a 14 day self quarantine may be required.
Remote learning work will be provided to any student infected/exposed that will be quarantined at home.
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