Atlanta Public Schools has implemented a comprehensive immunization plan for Day One in response to the increased number of measles cases and the risk of other communicable, yet preventable diseases. We will strictly enforce these immunization requirements as a condition for enrollment. As a reminder, students who are not in compliance will be withdrawn Friday, August 9.
Our proactive immunization plan this school year has been designed to ensure that we are in compliance with state law and to prevent mid-semester withdrawals that typically happen for students who have not updated their immunizations. Several months ago, we started a communication campaign for rising 7th graders which included competitions across schools and various resources for parents to easily access immunization services.
We are still closely monitoring our immunization compliance, but we still have too many students who are not in compliance for the first day of school. In addition to personal outreach to these families, we have arranged for AM/PM pickups at each of our middle schools for those families who may be in need of transportation to a local health center. These pickups will run twice a day (8:00 AM and 12:30 PM) starting today and throughout tomorrow. We have also coordinated with our community health partners to provide vaccinations at our school-based health clinics at the following locations: Whitefoord Clinic at King Middle School on Friday, August 9 and The Healing Community Centers at Hollis Academy and Miles Elementary beginning on Monday, August 12. In addition to these efforts, we have continued our robo-calls and have implemented an APS Immunizations Hotline staffed by student services to address any inquiries from parents.
For your information, the Official Code of Georgia provides for only two types of exemptions from immunization requirements:
- Medical: Medical exemption for a vaccine should be submitted on the advice of a child’s physician. Medical exemptions must be submitted each year.
- Religious: For a child to be exempt from immunizations on religious grounds, the parent or guardian must provide the school with a notarized Affidavit of Religious Objection to Immunization (DPH Form 2208). The affidavit does not expire and can be found online HERE.
Through these efforts and continued outreach from our schools, we remain confident that we have communicated expectations regarding immunizations to our parents. To ensure the continued health and safety of our students, and in compliance with State of Georgia Law (O.C.G.A. 20-2-771), we will proceed with plans to withdraw impacted students. Of course, we expect that some students will still show up on the first day of school, and we will allow them to report to class. However, parents will be contacted by phone and a notice of withdrawal letter will be sent home by designated school staff. Students may return to school when one of the following actions takes place:
- Students are immunized and an up-to-date Certificate of Immunization (DPH Form 3231) has been submitted to his/her school; OR
- A completed DPH Affidavit of Religious Objection to Immunization Form has been submitted to the school
We will continue to work with affected families following Day One. It is our hope is that all students will be in compliance and enroll back in their school as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please call or email our immunizations hotline at 404-802-2280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.