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Input sought in Forsyth on provisional enrollment policy change

FORSYTH COUNTY — A revision to school district policy that would allow provisional enrollment for students awaiting verification of immunizations and health screenings was presented Thursday to the Forsyth County Board of Education.

The proposal would align local policy with that of the state Department of Education in allowing provisional enrollment for students unable to provide evidence of nutritional screening and immunizations when they register.

The change would allow children to begin receiving their education without having to wait on medical records to be transferred or updated onto Georgia state forms, according to Mike Evans, director of information and instructional support systems for Forsyth County Schools.

Last August, Evans said, 43 of the 69 students who missed the first day of school were first-time Georgia students. Of the 277 students who missed the first week, 165 were enrolled in a Georgia public school for the first time.

When families transfer from out of the state or country, medical documentation must be provided before their children can enter school.

These health screenings or immunizations may have already been completed, Evans said, and students miss a critical time of their education because local doctors are booked.

If the revision is approved — it will sit on the table for 30 days so the school board can hear public comment before appearing on July’s consent agenda — the district would allow 120 days of provisional enrollment.

During that time frame, the student’s family must provide completed health screening forms (nutrition, vision, hearing and dental).

A 30 day-period would be allowed to provide evidence of immunizations, though 90 days would be allowed if the student can confirm from the health department or a physician that the immunization sequence has begun and can be completed within the 90 days.

The proposal also would allow the window to begin three weeks before the start of school to give parents more time to book doctors’ visits.

“Last year the health department and local physicians were booked solid in the weeks leading up to the start of school,” the proposal states. “Families had to travel to other counties in an attempt to find other health departments with availability. Many students missed the first few days of school as a result.

“Accepting provisional enrollments would lessen the burden on families and give them time to complete the health requirements once school has begun.”

All provisional enrollments would be tracked. Students whose families fail to meet the required deadline would be withdrawn from school.

To offer input, contact your local school board member:

* Ann Crow, District 1 — (770) 490-6316;

* Vice Chairwoman Kristin Morrissey, District 2 — (678) 250-4047;

* Tom Cleveland, District 3 — (770) 844-9901;

* Chairwoman Darla Sexton Light, District 4 — (770) 887-0678;

* Nancy Roche, District 5 — (770) 889-0229;