Some DPS students still missing records

With school underway and flu season lurking around the corner, some Dickinson Public Schools may not have received all required documents for enrolled students.

With school underway and flu season lurking around the corner, some Dickinson Public Schools may not have received all required documents for enrolled students.

Dorothy Martinson, director of student services at Dickinson Public School's Central Office, said that except under extreme circumstances, such as homelessness, a student is required to have a birth certificate and immunization records before starting school.

"That is the way it is supposed to happen ... unless it is a homeless situation, they are supposed to have those things before they start," Martinson said.

While student records are requested at time of registration in the central office, Martinson said it "really becomes a building-level thing."

"Before any kids are entered into the system, in fact, before they're enrolled, they have to have proof of birth and they need immunization records," Reep said.


Gwyn Marback, assistant director of school approval and accreditation at the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, said by law, students need to be immunized or have documentation indicating rejection of immunization due to religious or personal beliefs.

Marback said, however, students cannot be denied schooling if a birth certificate and immunization records are not provided before entrance, but schools do not like to make it a habit.

"They need to have that in their file, yes," Marback said.

North Dakota Century Code, the state's governing literature, says that a child may not be admitted to any public, private, or parochial school, day care center, child care facility, head start program or nursery school "unless the child's parent or guardian presents to the institution authorities a certification from a licensed physician or authorized representative of the state department of health that the child has received age-appropriate immunization."

Such immunizations would include diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis B, influenza type b, chickenpox, meningococcal disease and hepatitis A.

However, according to the century code, a child can enter an institution with written proof from an authorized health professional stating that immunizations have commenced.

The Century Code states that enforcement of immunization laws are the responsibility of the institution's authority.

Martinson said she doesn't know exactly how many students the central office has the required information for, but assumes they have it for most.


Lincoln Elementary Principal Del Quigley said the school has about six immunization records to obtain and about two birth certificates.

Quigley said about two in 85 provide rejection of immunization documentation.

Randi Hochhalter, front office secretary at Dickinson High School, said the school will not know what records it has until an audit is done in December.

"Until we go through the records, we don't know if the immunization is there, so we haven't gone through all the new students and we haven't gone through the ninth grade yet," Hochhalter said.

Hochhalter said she believes immunization reports are due in December.

"It's probably close to December before we find out who we do and do not have, of all of our new students coming in and our freshman," Hochhalter said.

Students are to bring the information upon registration, but some do not, Hochhalter said.

"The central office lets them come here without having them, so when we have to have our report due, that is when we start going through and seeing who has got their immunization and who does not," Hochhalter said. "We just have to have that done before December, so right now we don't even have time to look for that sort of thing."


Tammy Praus, principal of Berg Elementary, said the school has received all immunization records and birth certificates.

Becky Meduna, principal of Jefferson Elementary, also said the school has all birth certificates and immunization records.

Sherry Libis, principal at Heart River, did not return phone calls.

Perry Braunagel, principal of Hagen Junior High, was not available for comment.

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