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Religious exemptions removed from state vaccination law

photo of a gloved hand administering a vaccine to an arm

With the worst outbreak of measles in more than 25 years taking place in the United States and outbreaks in New York state primarily driving the crisis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 13, 2019, signed a bill into law that immediately removed the religious exemption for school vaccination requirements.

Per the amendment to Public Health Law Section 2164, children who attend child daycare or public, private or parochial school who previously had a religious exemption must now receive their first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series by June 28, 2019, in order to remain in daycare or school. Parents and/or guardians of these children must then show by July 14, 2019, that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses in order to remain in daycare or school.

All other children who do not have their required immunizations face a deadline of 14 days from the start of school in the fall for their first dose vaccinations. Parents/guardians of these children must show within 30 days of the first day of school that appointments have been made for follow-up doses.

The medical exemption for vaccine requirements remains in effect.

School nurses:

K.C. Heffernan Elementary School: Melissa Zacholl,
Driver Middle School: Mary Hughes,
Marcellus High School: Amy Steigerwald,


The registered nurses of the Marcellus Central School District believe a healthy child in a safe and healthy environment is the best learner. Our mission is: 

  • to support student success by helping them reach their maximum health potential in the school setting with: 
    • timely and accurate nursing assessment for students and staff.
    • intervention that is appropriate.
    • evaluation and referral for our students and colleagues.
  • to contribute to a healthy school environment for all through:
    • infection control.
    • accident prevention.
    • health promotion/education.
    • collaboration with school and community resources. 

Health concerns:

Please keep your school nurse updated on your child's health status, such as surgeries, medications, illness/diseases, new diagnoses or other conditions that might affect your child's school performance.  Please make sure the emergency card is completed, signed and updated as needed.

Medication in school:

If it is necessary for a child to take or use medicine (prescription or over-the-counter) during school hours, the following rules apply:

  • The parent or guardian must submit a signed request to the school nurse.
  • The family physician must also submit a written request, detailing the frequency and dosage of the medication and the purpose for which it is being taken.
  • All medicines must be delivered to the nurse by a parent or guardian.
  • The medication will be kept in the nurse’s office and will be administered by or under the supervision of the nurse, unless the student has an order from a physician to carry and self-administer medication (i.e., an inhaler).
  • The medication must be in the prescription bottle or over-the-counter container.


Click on this link to view the New York state immunizations requirements for school enrollment and attendance in 2019-20.

Water testing:

On Sept. 6, 2016, the governor signed into law Chapter 296 of the Laws of 2016. This law requires school districts and BOCES to conduct testing of school potable water sources in occupied buildings and to monitor for lead contamination and remediate where necessary.  This legislation also requires that we notify the general public of the test results and, when applicable, efforts to remedy sources of water containing lead levels greater than or equal to 15 parts per billion.

Results of testing of school potable water sources can be found by clicking on this link.

If you have difficulty accessing this document, please contact Business Administrator Anthony Sonnacchio at, who can provide the document/information in an alternative format.

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