Exemption Review Checklist for Schools

Step Description

1.Gather a list of students who are exempt from one or more vaccines.

Students who are exempt from one or more vaccines must have a current Certificate of Exemption on file.

There are several ways to gather a list of students depending on how a school stores immunization information.

For schools that are using paper, staff will need to manually go through and determine those exempt. According to Washington state law, a school must keep a current list of exempted students.

Sometimes it is helpful to put them in categories by grade or school.

Determine from which vaccines a student has an exemption- this step is especially critical for case management and notification during a potential vaccine-preventable disease outbreak (i.e measles or chickenpox).

For schools that use a computer system, there should be a report that can be printed to show students who are exempt for one or more vaccines.

It is still important for you to verify the accuracy of this information, as computers are not perfect.

2. Develop a tracking system.

Once you know who to contact, it is important to track progress and attempts at contacting parents. Find Sample Tracking Sheet here.

Developing a system to keep track of who and when in terms of contacting parents is critical to the follow-up process.

TIPS: Some school nurses use their Outlook calendars to remind them who they need to follow-up with that day.

For districts that have computerized records, there may be a place to put notes on a student’s record.

In Skyward, some schools use the “office visit section” to make notes and run reports.

3. Cross-reference the Washington State Immunization Information System (WAIIS).

If a school has access to the Washington State Immunization Information System (WAIIS), staff can cross-reference a child’s school exemption with immunization data in the WAIIS (formerly known as Child Profile).

4. Start calling parents.

The purpose of these calls is to see if the information a school has on file is correct.

Having an exemption for one or more vaccines is within the law to attend school; however, many times students eventually receive vaccines after an exemption was signed. Sample phone scripts to call parents can be found here.

5. Determine end date.

Give ample time to the follow-up process. Although it may be tedious, it is the backbone to ensuring success of this process. Allow 3-4 weeks to follow-up with parents by phone to inquire about the accuracy of exemptions on files.

Please note that a school cannot exclude students who have a current and correctly-signed Certificate of Exemption. These students are permitted to attend school with this signed document except as directed by the local health officer during an outbreak.