Changes to vaccination requirements by the PA Department of Health may cause some problems for families on the first day of school, Wallenpaupack Superintendent Michael Silsby states.

WALLENPAUPACK - Changes to vaccination requirements by the PA Department of Health may cause some problems for families on the first day of school, Wallenpaupack Superintendent Michael Silsby states. Assistant Superintendent Glen Gunuskey briefed the school board at the August 21st board meeting, looking towards the opening day of class, Tuesday, September 5.

The changes affect students in the 7th through 12th grades.

In the 2017-2018 school year, unless a child has a medical or religious/physiological exemption, the child must have had the vaccinations by the first day of school or risk being excluded from school.

Gunuskey stated that they tried to be proactive at the end of the last school year. School buses called families whose students were not up to date, and letters were sent. Administrators made calls over the summer.

In the past, if a student didn’t have the vaccinations completed, the district would develop a medical plan to arrange for the student to have it done. Silsby said what changed is the lack of a grace period.

“Unfortunately the timetable has shrunk to zero,” Gunskey said.

Students in any grade, kindergarten through 12th, including all public, private, parochial or nonpublic school in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must show proof of immunization before they can attend school.

Silsby stated, “That is going to present a problem at the school. We’re trying to head it off the best as possible with multiple phone calls… there’s still quite a few people who haven’t met the requirements.”

A pamphlet explaining the changes may be accessed at the school district’s web site homepage (www.wallenpaupack.org).