New immunization laws, for every public school in Pennsylvania, made for a bumpy start to Crestwood’s school year. However, after nurses and staff at the district’s secondary campus worked furiously to ensure that each student would meet the new standards, the school’s co-principal reported that, as of Sept. 14, no student is out of compliance.
“All students [grades] 7-12 have completed all of the required immunizations,” stated Peg Foster, principal of academic affairs at the secondary campus. The new state laws pertain to seventh graders entering the secondary campus and to seniors embarking on their last year of school.
The vaccine needed is to prevent meningitis –students entering seventh grade must have had their first immunization to that disease before the first day of school and students entering twelfth grade were required to have a second meningitis vaccine by the fifth day of this school year. (In Pennsylvania, parents can still opt their children out of vaccinations, if they provide a note saying they have a philosophical or religious objection to vaccines. Also, students with medical conditions that prevent them from being vaccinated can be exempted with a doctor’s note.)
Meningitis is a viral or bacterial infection that is marked by intense headache and fever, sensitivity to light, and muscular rigidity. When the new state laws were announced, Crestwood officials informed parents in the spring, to avoid having to turn away students who were not in compliance by the start of the 2017-18 school year.
Still, when Crestwood’s school year began, 36 seventh graders and seven students in grade 12 were not vaccinated and therefore not allowed to attend school until they either got the required shots or brought in medical notes that their vaccinations were scheduled. Newspapers across the state have reported about school districts having to turn students away because they did not have the required immunizations this year.
Foster described the trial her staff faced at keeping track of each student’s immunization records. “It was a challenge, but with teamwork between the nurses, administration, and families, we were able to bring all students into compliance with the regulations,” she related. “It was a several-month process and we are happy that all students are now in school.”
FUTURE FIREFIGHTERS-Mt. Top Hose Co. #1 participated in the National Volunteer Fire Company open house weekend last Saturday. Residents has the opportunity to meet the firefighters that serve Fairview Township and the apparatus and equipment they use. Alivia Antosh, Isabella and Charlotte Orloski, Leilah Antosh and Rachael Kohl got the feel of where their Dads sit in the fire truck en route to a fire/ emergency. Anyone interested in becoming a member or firefighter may contact Jason Menghini at 570-500-5003 for information.