3413 Procedure – Student Immunization and Life Threatening Health Conditions

Required Immunization Documentation

Upon enrollment in Bellingham Public Schools, the student’s parent/guardian must provide proof of the required immunizations as specified by the Washington Department of Health (DOH) with a completed Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) approved by DOH and/or an exemption with a completed Certificate of Exemption (COE) form approved by DOH. The student cannot start attending school until the completed CIS and/or COE is on file at the school or the Conditional Immunization Status conditions have been met. Students experiencing homelessness, including migratory and refugee children and children in out-of-home (foster) care who have not provided the required documentation will be allowed to enroll, attend classes and participate fully despite being of out of compliance with immunization requirements.


The CIS and/or COE will be a part of the student’s permanent record. The district will provide access to immunization records of each student enrolled to agents of the state or local health department. The district will return the CIS and/or COE or a legible copy to the parent/guardian if the student is withdrawn or transferred from the district. The district may not withhold the CIS and/or COE for any reasons, including nonpayment of school fees.


Certificate of Immunization

School staff may verify that the student’s immunizations are complete in the WA Immunization Information System (IIS), in this situation a CIS is not required to be on file. School staff will document this verification in the student’s cumulative school record. If the immunizations are not complete in the IIS, the immunization status of students must be documented on a completed CIS form.


All immunization information documented on a CIS by new enrollees starting school after August 1, 2020, must be medically verified. A CIS printed from the IIS with immunization information prepopulated is considered medically verified by the IIS. A hard copy CIS completed by the parent/guardian must be verified as accurate with either a health care provider signature or by a school administrator, school nurse or designee’s signature after verifying that the information on the CIS is accurate when compared the medical records attached to the CIS.


For currently enrolled students, all new immunization documentation submitted on or after August 1, 2020, must be on a medical immunization record. School staff may use the information on the medical immunization record to update the student’s existing CIS on file. A district school nurse or their delegate, with parent/guardian permission, may use the information on the medial immunization record to update the student’s immunization information in the IIS.


Conditional Immunization Status Attendance

If, by the student’s first day of attendance, the student does not have documentation of all the required immunizations, the student may be permitted to start school in a temporary “conditional immunization status” provided that the student has received all the immunizations that they are eligible to receive and are waiting for the recommended date of the next vaccine dose according to the national immunization catch up schedule. The parent/guardian must sign the CIS acknowledging the conditional status rules and timelines that follow. Once the next dose comes due the student can remain in conditional status for thirty calendar days to have time to turn in the required documentation. If additional vaccines are needed conditional status continues in a similar manner until all the vaccine series are complete. If the thirty-calendar day period expires and documentation has not been given to the school, the student will be excluded from further attendance. Valid documentation includes medical records showing vaccination, evidence of immunity to the disease in question or a completed COE form.


Exemptions from Immunization

Any and all exemptions will be processed and recorded on a COE form approved by DOH. All exemptions requested on a COE must be signed by the parent/guardian. Additionally, with the exception of a religious membership exemption, all COE forms presented on or after July 22, 2011, must also have the signature of a Licensed Healthcare Provider (LHP) saying they have given the parent/guardian information about the benefits and risks of immunizations. The form may be signed by a LHP at any time prior to the enrollment of the student in school. Photocopies of the signed form or a letter from the LHP referencing the student’s name shall be accepted in lieu of the original form. Such a letter should be attached to the COE signed by the parent/guardian. Only a LHP who is a physician (MD), physician assistant (PA), osteopath (DO), naturopath (ND) or advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) licensed in Washington State may sign the COE.


The district will grant medical exemptions from one or more of the required immunizations if the LHP indicates on the COE that in their opinion the vaccine is not advisable for the student. If the LHP indicates the medical exemption is temporary an expiration date must be documented on the COE. When the temporary medical exemption expires the student can attend school in a “conditional immunization status” 30 calendar days to get the missing immunization or another exemption. If the 30-day calendar day period expires and documentation has not been given to the school, the student will be excluded from further attendance. Valid documentation includes medical records showing vaccination, evidence of immunity to the disease in question or a completed COE form.


The district will grant religious membership exemptions from one or more of the required immunizations if the parent/guardian completes the religious membership section of the COE and signs affirming they are a member in a religious body or church with beliefs or teachings that preclude a child from receiving medical treatment from a LHP. The LHP signature is not required for a religious membership exemption.

The district will grant personal/philosophical exemptions from one or more of the required immunizations except measles, mumps or rubella if the parent/guardian completes the personal/philosophical exemption section on the COE.


Exclusion from School

The school principal will exclude students from further attendance who are out of compliance with the immunization requirements as required in RCW 28A.210.120. When excluding students, the school will provide written notification as required in WAC 392-380-050. Written notification will:

A. Order that the student is excluded immediately, and

B. Be delivered in person or by certified mail, and

C. Be in the parent/guardian’s native language if possible, and

D. Include a copy of the applicable laws and rules (RCW 28A.210.010-160, 246-105 WAC, and 392-182 WAC sections 005, 020, 045, 050, 080), and

E. Provide information regarding immunization services available through local health or other public agencies, and

F. Include notice that the parent/guardian and student have a right to a hearing provided they notify the school within three days after receiving the exclusion order from the school principal, and

G. Describe the hearing process, and

H. Explain that the exclusion continues until either the required immunization documentation, or a completed COE form is turned in to the school or a hearing officer determines that the student is no longer excluded from school.


If the parent/guardian requests a hearing, the district will notify in writing the parent/guardian and school principal of the time and place for the hearing and will present the case to a hearing officer appointed by the superintendent.


List of Students Not Fully Immunized

The school principal will keep or be able to produce within 24 hours a current list of children who are not fully immunized. This list must be transmitted to the local health jurisdiction upon request. The local health officer may use this list for easy identification of students to be excluded from school temporarily during a disease outbreak.

Approved By: Greg Baker, Superintendent
Adopted/Previous Revisions: 10/20/14; 10/1/2019
Updated: 11/1/2022
Superintendent or Board Approved: Superintendent Approved