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Schools prepare for new year

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

(Photo)
Zhane Robinson responds to Sikeston kindergartan teacher Sherrie Odum's questions Tuesday morning.
SIKESTON -- School officials are preparing for the start of the new school year with several enrollments and screenings planned over the next week.

For example, on Aug. 11 the Sikeston Kindergarten Center is conducting a late enrollment/screening for its new kindergartners.

Among items parents/guardians should bring are their child's shot records, birth certificate, Social Security card and, if applicable, Medicaid cards.

Failure to provide appropriate documentation could result in missed school for some students, noted Jenny Hobeck, Sikeston Kindergarten Center principal.

"A lot of people don't realize they have to have a state issued birth certificate -- and it can't be the one with the footprints they got from the hospital," Hobeck said.

For many area schools like Sikeston, the last enrollment dates are approaching, and kindergartners must go through the enrollment screening in order to attend school, which begins Aug. 18, Hobeck said.

"We offered a screening in May and a lot of people missed it or couldn't make appointments, and this gives them a developmental indicator on the child's motor concepts, language, speech, hearing, vision and health," Hobeck said.

Part of enrolling at a new school includes providing immunization records. So doctor's offices and local health departments are also busy the weeks prior to school starting.

"There are always several who moved here and their shots aren't up-to- date," said Registered Nurse Jeanne Stalker of the Scott County Health Department in Sikeston.

The Scott County Health Department conducts immunization clinics from 8 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday, Stalker noted.

"We're very busy this time of year," Stalker said.

Children entering kindergarten who are up-to-date on their immunizations, typically need a DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis) vaccine, polio vaccine and an MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine, Stalker said. And they may need a varicella (chicken pox) vaccine if they have not had chicken pox or a chicken pox immunization, s he said.

For older students, the rule in Missouri is they must have a tetanus-

diphtheria, or T-D, shot 10 years after their DTaP, Stalker said.

"There may be kids who needed theirs (T-D) over the summer, and we've given a lot (of boosters), but it depends on when they received their DTaP," Stalker said about older children. "If they've had tetanus-diphtheria because they cut their hand since they had the DTaP, then they may not need one yet."

All children under 18 who come for immunizations at the health department must have an immunization record, Stalker noted, adding the health department doesn't have time to locate the records during its clinics.

"Shot records can be obtained from a family doctor or the school," Stalker said. "And a person coming from another state should bring their records with them."

A parent or guardian must also be present. If a parent is not available, a responsible adult may accompany the child with written permission from the parent or guardian, Stalker noted.

A $5 administration fee is appreciated for children and adults over 2 years, but no one will be denied services. Missouri birth certificates are also available at health departments for $15 each.

"A lot of people wait until the last minute so please be patient with us," Stalker said.

The Scott County Health Department office at Benton is now closed, Stalker reminded. Immunizations will be given from 9 a.m. until noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Benton Library and from 9 until 11 a.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Scott City First Assembly of God.

A late immunization clinic will also be held at the Sikeston office from 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 15. For dates of other health department immunization clinics, contact the offices in those counties.