MASSENA — A bill that was signed into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo this year will have an impact on 10 Massena Central School District students.
The new law ends religious exemptions for student immunizations, which means that all families must have their students immunized in order to attend school in the fall.
“There were many different laws that were passed by the state Legislature, particularly late in this session, that have a significant impact on schools. This one in particular will have an impact — the religious exemption for immunizations.
The bill that was signed into law by Gov. Cuomo ends religious exemptions for student immunizations, which means all families must have their students immunized in order to attend school, not only in the fall, but there would be summer sessions as well,” Superintendent Patrick Brady said.
“We have 10 students that would be impacted by this decision. None of them are in our summer school program. We don’t have any issue with the summer program. Students in there are immunized,” he said.
Mr. Brady said there were specific timelines that families would be required to follow in order to have their children attend school in September. He said the state Education Department was encouraging all parents whose students don’t have the required immunizations to receive the first dose as soon as possible.
According to the New York Department of Health, the deadline for at least the first dose of immunizations is 14 days from the first day of school. Within 30 days of the first day of school, parents and guardians must show that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses.
“Those are going to be hard deadlines,” Mr. Brady said.
Mr. Brady said they’ve sent letters to all of the parents who are impacted by the decision.
“It is explained in the letter that it is a state law. The only feedback so far is one parent is considering home schooling their child,” he said.
He said the new law is in response to a national measles outbreak.
The gist of it
n WHAT: All students entering the Massena Central School District in the fall will need to be immunized after a new law was signed that ends religious exemptions
n WHY: The bill signed into law by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is in response to a national measles outbreak
n THE TIMELINE: The deadline for taking the first dose vaccination for students coming back to school in the fall is 14 days from the first day of school or enrollment in child care