Take Action Now! All students must be up to date on their immunizations before next school year. In order to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, it is vital that all students are fully immunized before entering school. Immunizations are the best defense against some of the most common and sometimes deadly infectious diseases. Beginning school year 2020-21, all students must have up to date immunization certification on file with the school within the first 20 school days or they will not be allowed to attend school in-person. Review this page to guarantee your students are ready for next school year.
District law and regulations require all schools in the District of Columbia, including private and parochial schools, to verify student compliance with the immunization requirements as part of enrollment and attendance. If a student is not compliant, the school must immediately notify the parent, guardian, or adult student in writing of the missing immunization(s). If the student does not come into compliance within a 20-school day period, the school must remove the student from in-person attendance until the immunization certification is secured by the school.
Beginning in the 2020-21 school year, all public and public charter schools are required to implement the immunization policy for in-person attendance. OSSE has developed and revised the following resources to support schools with implementing the immunization attendance policy:
- Immunization Policy for In-Person Attendance
- Immunization Policy for In-Person Attendance Training
- FAQs for Schools
- One-Pager: Six Steps to a Fully Immunized School
- School Health Team
- Immunization Decision Tree
- Best Practices for School Leaders
- Letter to School Leaders (July 2020)
- Sample Notification Letters and Packet for Non-Compliant Students
In order to prepare for the 2020-21 school year, schools should begin notifying families of the new immunization attendance policy in summer 2020. Schools should also begin identifying and notifying non-compliant families in summer 2020 in order to give them ample time to come into compliance before the 2020-21 school year.
Immunizations and regular visits to the physician help protect a student’s health and readiness to learn. Schools are required to verify every student’s immunization compliance as part of enrollment and attendance. All students must be up to date on their immunizations or risk being removed from in-person attendance beginning in the 2020-21 school year. The following documents offer more information and resources for families:
- FAQs for Families (June 2020)
- One-Pager for Families: Español | Amharic (አማርኛ) | French (Français) | Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) | Korean (한국어) | Chinese (中文)
- Immunization Requirements
- Universal Health Certificate
- Pediatric Immunization Locations
- HPV Opt-Out Form
- Six Things YOU Need to Know about Vaccines
- Making the Vaccine Decision: Addressing Common Concerns
- Facts About HPV
If families need access to health insurance, please visit the DC Health Link website or contact the Citywide Call Center by dialing 3-1-1.
Schools may contact their local education agency (LEA) central office or OSSE at [email protected] with questions regarding the immunization attendance policy.
Schools may contact DC Health with questions regarding immunization certification requirements, data, and locations where students can receive immunizations. Schools participating in the DC Health School Health Services Program may rely on support from their health suite personnel to help communicate and implement immunization requirements.