In order to safeguard the school community from the spread of certain communicable diseases and in recognition that prevention is a means of combating the spread of disease, the School Board requires all students to be immunized against poliomyelitis, measles, diphtheria, rubella (German measles), pertussis, tetanus, mumps, and others legally designated in accordance with State statutes, unless specifically exempt for medical or other reasons. The Board also requires that students who start kindergarten during or after the school year beginning in 2001 be immunized against Varicella (chicken pox) or show proof that the student had chicken pox. This policy pertains to both students who currently attend school in the District and those eligible to attend.
The health department may exempt a student from being immunized if the student presents a signed statement from a parent indicating that the parent chooses not to have their child immunized. The student will be allowed to attend school only if a health care provider's statement indicates there is no danger of contagion. In case of an outbreak of the disease for which the student has not been immunized or an epidemic, the Superintendent shall not allow the student to attend school.
The health department may also exempt a student from immunization if a physician certifies in writing that immunization from a particular disease is medically contraindicated. Florida statutes require that school districts grant homeless children a temporary exemption for thirty (30) school days to submit the certification of immunization.
A student may also be exempted from immunization if a parent or legal guardian objects for good cause, including religious conviction. This exemption is available only at the Hillsborough County Department of Health.
A student who has not completed immunization may not be admitted to school, except as is consistent with the law.