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Proof of TDAP Shot Required for Middle Schoolers

LAWTON Okla_ Seventh graders enrolled at any of Lawton's middle schools should bring a very important document with them when they check in at their schools on Wednesday, especially if they want their class schedules or locker assignments.

Oklahoma law requires students entering grades 7-9 in any public school in the state to provide proof they have received one dose of the Tdap vaccine – a combination vaccine that provides a booster against diptheria, tetanus and pertussis, better known as "whooping cough."

State law does not provide a grace period, so Central Middle School, Eisenhower Middle, MacArthur Middle and Tomlinson Middle all require proof of immunization for incoming seventh graders before the start of the school year.  Officials at all four schools will not provide a class schedule or locker assignment to any student who fails to provide an immunization record verifying a Tdap vaccination has been received.

New eighth grade enrollees at CMS, EMS, MMS and TMS, along with new freshmen entering Eisenhower High, Lawton High and MacArthur High must also provide proof of immunization.

The only exception to this policy is for families that do not want their child vaccinated for medical, religious or personal reasons.  In that case, it will be necessary to obtain an exemption from the Oklahoma State Department of Health by contacting 405/271-4073.  Proof of exemption must be provided to the school before schedules or locker assignments can be released.

Middle school officials highly recommend that parents accompany their student to check-in, since adult signatures are required on such documents as the annual student technology release and receipt of student handbooks.  They estimate that the time necessary to complete check-in ranges from 45 minutes to an hour, so failure to bring along immunization paperwork will greatly lengthen the process.

Schools are also asking parents to sign applications for free and reduced price lunches, even if the family doesn't think it will qualify, since those documents are useful in helping the school district qualify for funding for additional classroom resources.

Check-in at LPS middle schools is Tuesday, Aug. 6, for eighth graders; Wednesday, Aug. 7, for seventh graders; and Thursday, Aug. 8, for sixth graders.  Check-in runs from 8-11:15 a.m.

High school check-in is Tuesday, Aug. 6, for seniors; Wednesday, Aug. 7, for juniors; Thursday, Aug. 8, for sophomores; and Friday, Aug. 9, for freshmen.  Check-in runs from 8-11:45 a.m.

Gateway Success Center will hold check-in for all students in grades 9-12 on Wednesday, Aug. 7, from 8-11:15 a.m.

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