at Advocates for Children
151 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001
Students are entitled to immediate enrollment in school, even if they don't have their immunization records or any other documentation needed for enrollment. It is the responsibility of the enrolling district to get the records, including immunization records, from the district where the student was last enrolled. The district where the student was last enrolled has five days to forward the records. If a student in temporary housing is missing any immunizations, the student should be referred to the district's McKinney-Vento liaison who must help the student obtain the necessary immunizations. Below are links with more information and resources about immunization records.
Find answers to commonly asked questions about immunization requirements and the McKinney-Vento Act.
Managed by the Puerto Rico Department of Health, this database allows parents to access copies of their family members' immunization records. This may be helpful for parents and students who have recently been displaced by Hurricane Maria.
This memo from former Surgeon General Dr. Elders discusses the importance of immediate enrollment and the harm that otherwise may impact students in temporary housing when they are denied immediate enrollment in school. It also points out that students can be enrolled, without immunization records, without endangering public health.
Local Departments of Health can provide information about where to find free or low-cost vaccinations. Click the link above for contact information by county.
The statewide technical support center for School Health Services and nurses.
The Center for Disease Control's (CDC) recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents aged 18 years or younger, updated in 2017.
The New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) is a registry of immunization information for children and youth 19 years old and younger. The system aims to establish a complete, accurate, secure, real-time immunization medical record that is easily accessible and promotes public health by fully immunizing all individuals appropriate to age and risk. Health care providers have access to the immunization information system. In addition, schools may access the immunization information system for verifying eligibility for admission.
Laws and Guidance
This March 2015 guidance memo from the NY State Education Department clarifies how the requirements for vaccinations apply to students in temporary housing.
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, Reauthorized by Title IX Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act [PDF]
This document is the full text of the federa reauthorization of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which went into effect on October 1, 2016. Immunizations are discussed in Section 11432(g)(3)(C).
Important changes to New York Education Law Section 3209 governing the rights of students in temporary housing went into effect on April 20, 2017. They reflect changes to the federal McKinney-VEnto Act that were made under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A clean version of Education Law Section 3209 is available here. A marked up version of Education Law Section 3209 is available here. Immediate enrollment and immunizations are discussed in sub-section (2)(e)-(f).
This New York State Public Health Law clarifies that all students have at least 14 days (which may be extended to 30 days) during which they may attend school before presenting proof of immunization.
Upcoming Workshops and Trainings
Stay tuned for our Fall 2018 workshop and training schedule.