The Benton School District is reminding parents that no matter which avenue they choose for learning this fall, immunizations are still required.
“Whether you choose blended learning or virtual, your student is required to be up to date on their immunizations,” the district said in a social media post.
In compliance with Arkansas State Immunization Laws, students are required to have a number of immunizations for the 2020-2021 school year. Before the first day of school, parents or guardians are required to provide immunization records to the student’s school nurse. The first day of school for BSD students is Aug. 24.
Kindergarten students require the following:
• DTaP (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) - four or five doses, with the last dose on or after the students fourth birthday.
• Polio - three or four doses with the dose on or after the students fourth birthday.
• Hepatitis A - one dose required, two recommended.
• Hepatitis B - three doses.
• MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) — two doses.
• Varicella (Chicken pox) — two doses.
The immunization schedule is set by the Arkansas Department of Health and must be followed. A physical is also required for kindergarten students.
Students ages 11 through 16 years old require the following:
• Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis booster) — required for all students turning 11 years old by Sept. 1. The vaccine must be given after the child’s 11th birthday to be valid.
• MCV4 #1 (Meningococcal vaccine) — required for all students prior to entering 7th grade. It may be administered with the Tdap at age 11.
• MCV4 #2 (Meningococcal vaccine) — required for students turning 16-years-old by Sept. 1. It must be given after the student’s 16th birthday to be valid.
A parent or guardian may apply for an exemption by contacting the ADH for an application. Once a parent or guardian completes the process and receives an exemption letter from the ADH, it is their responsibility to submit that information to the student’s school nurse. Like the immunization records, the exemption letter is required before the student begins school. An application for an exemption is not a substitution for an exemption letter and will not be accepted.
All exemptions must be renewed yearly for any immunizations the parent or guardian wishes their child to exempt from and it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to have the exemptions renewed and provide the exemption letter to the school.
Appointments for immunizations can be made through the child’s doctor or through the ADH. To schedule an immunization appointment through the ADH, call 501-303-5650.