Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
I hated to get shots in my arm while growing up. Even today, I just look the other way and close my eyes when I’m about to get one. However, we all realize that immunizations are important to protect the health of our students.
Close monitoring of vaccination records protects everyone in our community from diseases. When 95 percent of the population is fully inoculated, this reaches a safe threshold of immunity. With contagious diseases such as pertussis, measles, mumps and the chicken pox, the more individuals who are immunized, the smaller the likelihood of an infectious disease outbreak.
Clearly, immunizations are an important requirement for all of our students. Inoculations help assure children the rewards of not only a healthy life but also increased school attendance rates, which ultimately leads to improved academic skills.
Outbreaks such as the measles and whooping cough still occur. However, making sure children stay up-to-date with vaccinations is the best way to protect your communities and schools from outbreaks, which can cause unnecessary illnesses and loss of valuable instructional time.
Parents are required to submit shot records upon enrolling their children. Our secretarial staff then provides copies to the clinic staff. This increases our compliance rate, which is reported annually to the Indiana Department of Education.
There are new requirements this year: booster shots for children entering kindergarten or sixth or 12th grade. Students who still need the required immunizations are encouraged to make an appointment at their doctor’s office or with the Marion County Public Health Department.
The department provides free vaccinations for people who qualify and a flat fee of $10 for all others. There are walk-in and appointment-only hours at 505 E. National Ave., 783-2474, and 2532 E. Stop 11 Road, 883-3165
On Monday, Aug. 17, students who are not current with their vaccinations will be excluded from attending school. This is in accordance with Indiana state law.
The health of our children is important in Perry Township. The district has policies and procedures in place not only for immunizations but also for the use of medications at school, self-administered medications, accidents that may occur and medical emergencies. EpiPens (adult and junior) are stocked in all clinics for cases of suspected anaphylactic reaction.
In the elementary schools a form must be completed by staff anytime a student is sent to the clinic for unscheduled reasons. The form promotes the safety of our students by documenting the visit and monitoring for possible health issues. It is important to know who is being evaluated for medical reasons and why.
Nurses and clinic assistants complete clinical documentation by computer in Skyward, the district’s student management system. This process tracks the work completed and may help discover undiagnosed conditions by tracking patterns of students visiting the clinic. All schools have clinics that are staffed and under the direction of registered nurse Esther Moeller.
In summary, healthy kids are happier kids, and happier kids tend to do better in school.
Thanks to our families who ensure their children are current with their immunizations.