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Getting Ready For Back To School, More Than Just School Supplies

Updated: Thursday, July 17 2014, 04:21 PM CDT

It may be hard to believe, but the next school year is only about a month away! Aside from school supplies and back-to-school clothes, there's something else parents need to get ready for.

The first day is August 18th for District 186, but administrators are pleading with parents to get their child's physicals and vaccinations done now because the deadline this year is within the first two weeks of school.

Making sure kids are ready for the new school year, it's a problem that plagued District 186 last year.

"I was very frustrated with it. I had heard 2 weeks prior to the cutoff date of October 15 last year that we had numerous children that weren't in compliance," said Board President Mike Zimmers.

It turned out to be more than 500 students that didn't have the proper vaccinations or physicals. That means they had to miss class until they took a trip to the doctor.

"We had most of the students get those in within a week, but we had multiple students out multiple weeks," said Zimmers.

To prevent a similar situation District 186 has partnered with the county health department, Central Counties Health Centers and SIU School of Medicine.

"We have been very busy with school physicals in our office," said Dr. Tracy Milbrandt.

And that's good news considering the laundry list of requirements for some students.

"Specifically in Kindergarten they need boosters, chicken pox and MMR and DTAP and for kids who are starting 6th grade we recommend menactra and TDAP," said Dr. Milbrandt.

Those vaccinations can quickly add up for families without health insurance. CCHC specializes in helping those individuals. They recommend parents start making appointments now, before the end of season rush.

"People are just busy. People are working and enjoying their summer so they just forget about getting ready for the school year," said Heather Burton from Central Counties Health Centers.

But this year parents can't forget because the deadline for updated vaccinations is due on the 10th day of school.

"I think the numbers will be less because we have talked about it so much and publicized it so much," said Zimmers.

For parents who still can't find time to get to the doctor, District 186 will be hosting clinics at Washington and Jefferson Middle School on August 4th and 5th and Springfield High School on August 9th.

Getting Ready For Back To School, More Than Just School Supplies

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