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2023/24 Back-to-School Countdown

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Early July is a good time to schedule appointments for well-child exams, vaccinations, and sports physicals. It may be challenging to schedule an appointment in the few weeks before school starts – so take a moment to call your child's providers and read the important details below.

 

1. Vaccinations

child getting a shot from a nurse

We know you’re thinking of all the things you need to do to make sure your student is ready for school. Getting vaccinated is an important part of their school readiness and keeps children from catching and spreading diseases that can make them sick and potentially disrupt learning. We wish you and your student a healthy school year! 

Required and recommended vaccines 
Colorado law requires students who attend a public, private, or parochial kindergarten - 12th grade school to be vaccinated against many of the diseases that vaccines can prevent, unless a Certificate of Exemption is filed. For more information, visit cdphe.colorado.gov/schoolrequiredvaccines. 

Your student must be vaccinated against:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP, DTP, Tdap). 
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B). 
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). 
  •  Polio (IPV). 
  • Varicella (chickenpox). 

Colorado follows recommendations set by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Students must receive their final doses of DTaP, IPV, MMR, and varicella prior to kindergarten entry. Students entering sixth grade must receive one dose of Tdap vaccine prior to entry, even if they are younger than 11 years old. You can view recommended vaccine schedules at cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/parents-adults/resources-parents.html. 

Vaccines are recommended for hepatitis A, influenza, meningococcal disease, and human papillomavirus, but are not required for school entry.

Exclusion from school
Your student may be excluded from school if your school does not have an up-to-date Certificate of Immunization, Certificate of Exemption, or in-process plan on file for your student. 

If someone gets sick with a vaccine-preventable disease or there is an outbreak at your student’s school and your student has not received the vaccine for that disease, they may be excluded from school activities. That could mean lost learning time for them and lost work and wages for you. For example, if your student has not received an MMR vaccine, they may be excluded from school for 21 days after someone gets sick with measles. Have questions? Talk with a healthcare provider licensed to give vaccines or your local public health agency (LPHA) about which vaccines your student needs or if you have questions. You can read about the safety and importance of vaccines at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/FAQs.htmlhttps://childvaccineco.org/, ImmunizeForGood.com, and cdphe.colorado.gov/immunization-education

Paying for vaccinations
If you need help finding free or low-cost vaccines and providers who give them, go to COVax4Kids.org, contact your LPHA, or call the Mile High Family Health Line at 303-692-2229 or 1-800-688-7777 to ask about Medicaid contact information. You can find your LPHA at cdphe.colorado.gov/find-your-local-public-health-agency

Vaccination records 
Please take your student’s updated Certificate of Immunization to school every time they receive a vaccine. 

Need to find your student’s vaccine record? It may be available from the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS). Visit COVaxRecords.org for more information, including directions for how to use the CIIS Public Portal to view and print your student’s vaccine record. 

Exemptions 
If your student cannot get vaccines because of medical reasons, you must submit a Certificate of Medical Exemption to your school, signed by a health care provider licensed to give vaccines. You only need to submit this certificate once, unless your student’s information or school changes. You can get the form at cdphe.colorado.gov/vaccine-exemptions

If you choose not to have your student vaccinated according to the current recommended schedule, you must submit a Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption to your school. Nonmedical exemptions must be submitted annually at every new school year (July 1st through June 30th of the following year). For Fall 2023, you must submit a new Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption with a date after June 30, 2023. We cannot accept a certificate completed before that date for the following school year. There are two ways to file a nonmedical exemption: 

  • File the Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption WITH a signature from an immunizing provider, OR\
  • File the Certificate of Nonmedical Exemption received upon the completion of our online education module.
Downloadable certificates and our online education module are available at cdphe.colorado.gov/vaccine-exemptions.

 How’s your school doing on vaccinations? 
Some parents, especially those with students who have weakened immune systems, may want to know which schools have the highest percentage of vaccinated students. Schools must report immunization and exemption numbers (but not student names or birth dates) to the state health department annually. Schools do not control their specific immunization and exemption rates or establish the Vaccinated Children Standard described in §25-4-911, CRS. Schools must include their MMR immunization and exemption rates from the most recently completed school year in this letter. Schools may choose to also include immunization and exemption rates for other school-required vaccines. Additional immunization and exemption rates can be found at COVaxRates.org

 

2. Well-Child Visits

child talking with doctor

 

What is a well-child visit?
A well-child visit is a yearly chance to make sure your kid is healthy, just like an annual or physical exam for adults. Because children change rapidly as they grow, younger children need well-child visits more often than once a year. But after age 3, healthy children can stick to one well-child visit a year. Regular well-child visits build your child’s health records, which can help pediatricians discover any underlying issues and also are important for new pediatricians if you move or change insurance and need to switch doctors.

What to expect at a well-child visit
Just like a physical for an adult, doctors use well-child visits to check that your child is healthy. You will likely get information on sleep, safety for your child, any childhood diseases you should watch for, and other information about what to expect in the next year or so as your child grows. Well-child visits are focused on 3 major tasks:

  • Prevention: Getting scheduled immunizations are vital to preventing illness and keeping your child healthy. Annual well-child visits also help your pediatrician catch any other illnesses before they become larger
  • Growth & development: Your pediatrician will track your child’s mental development and how much your child has grown since the last visit, including height and weight, blood pressure and heart rate, reflexes, spinal alignment, and there will also be time to discuss social behaviors and learning.
  • Concerns: There will always be time for you to discuss any concerns you have about your child with your pediatrician. It can be helpful to come with a list of prioritized topics to make sure you get through them all, like sleep, eating, or behavioral concerns.
 
 

3. Sports Physicals

girls basketball player shooting from free throw line

 

We are about halfway through summer and wanted to remind all of our families and community that Fall Athletics are just over a month away from starting. Do not wait until the last second to register for this fall and get cleared by the athletics office! Registration and physicals are due by July 31. Aug. 8 is the first official day of practice and we cannot guarantee that your student athlete will be able to participate or attend on the first day if registration takes place after July 31. 

Click here to visit our registration page for athletics/activities. You will register and upload your physical on this site. To get to the payment site click here

Fall sports include - Girls Volleyball, Football, Boys Golf, Boys Tennis, Boys Soccer, Boys & Girls Cross-Country, Softball, Dance Team, and Cheerleading

Fall activities include - Esports, Marching Band, Knowledge Bowl, DECA, Choir, Theater, Orchestra, FCCLA, FFA, Skills USA, and Speech & Debate.

Contact information for coaches/advisors for our fall activities are below. Please also reach out to these contacts with questions regarding summer camps or pre-season opportunities.