The Oakdale Joint Unified School District reported that the district has had excellent compliance for required Pertussis, also known as “whooping cough,” vaccinations to start the school year.
The State of California offered a 30-day extension or grace period to get the shots so that students could start school but some neighboring school districts have had a low compliance rate, some even lower than 50 percent.
OJUSD nurse Diane Stevenson reported that the district provided an exclusion letter for parents to sign at registration warning them that they had 30 days if they were unable to provide a Tdap (pertussis) vaccine record.
“We are down to only 13 letters of students we need to follow up on at the high school and 15 letters of students at the junior high,” Stevenson reported on Aug. 26. “Otherwise all our other students are compliant for the new law. I am extremely happy with how things turned out and the effort that our families made to take care of this new requirement.”
She said school staff members were instrumental in reminding families, asking for shot records, and making sure that families were well aware of what was required.
“Through the efforts of (Stevenson), our other District Nurse Nancy Adian, district staff Carol Todd and Debbie Galvan-Benbow, as well as our health clerks and secretaries at each site, Oakdale school district now stands at 99.98 percent compliant,” added OJUSD Director of Pupil Services Larry Mendonca.
He said that the district has until Sept. 8 to get the remaining students to meet the state requirement.
“This response was something that could have been considered as a ‘best possible scenario,’” Mendonca reported. “We are extremely pleased with the efforts of our staff in communicating to our families the details of the new requirement, as well as the response from the families in our community who took this requirement seriously and cooperated so well with the schools to get this compliance result. I’m pretty confident in saying we must have had one of the best, if not the best, responses in the state with districts comparable to our size or larger.”