Warwick, MC students return next week

By on August 30, 2017

The week entering Labor Day weekend marks the return of school for all but two public school districts in Lancaster County: Warwick and Manheim Central.

As usual, Warwick students will go back the latest in the county, returning Wednesday, Sept. 6, while Manheim Central goes back Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Warwick will likely begin the first semester following a trend in lower enrollment as student body numbers over the past 10 years posted a 12.3 percent decline in enrollment from 2007-08.

The district ended the 2016-17 school year with 4,151 students and at the moment has an enrollment of 4,134, a difference of 17 students.

“This number will continue to change over the next five days,” Jill M. Kramer, Warwick School District child accounting coordinator, said Tuesday.

Warwick administrators are confident the district will not be adversely affected by a new rule on the state’s new school immunization requirement. The changes cut the grace period from eight months to five days.

While Warwick Superintendent April Hershey did not have the exact numbers of students who have not met the new requirements, she said in an e-mail Tuesday, “we do not anticipate any issues.”

But the new vaccination rules have been a concern for other districts.

For instance, students in the Columbia school district had to meet the deadline by last Friday since it started school Aug. 21. Going into the opening week of school, more than 100 students had not completed the paperwork. As of Tuesday, 35 Columbia students faced a second day of no classes due to the new immunization requirements.

Similarly, Ephrata Area School District, which started school on Monday, had as many as 200 students who’ve not completed the paperwork (due by Friday). After the grace period, students have to get the shots to attend or, if they need sequential doses that cannot be completed within the grace period, a form from a doctor certifying that the doses have been scheduled.

Hershey said Warwick has communicated with families since the new regulations were announced.

“Each year, we do have students who need to complete parts of the enrollment process, including updating vaccinations,” she noted. “We work directly with those families and have always been able to complete the process so that students can attend school.”

Senior students are particularly affected by the change because regulators also added a requirement for a second dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine, or MCV, by the start of 12th grade.

The changes do not affect Pennsylvania’s exemption policy, which allows children to go unvaccinated if their parents sign a form saying they have philosophical or religious objections to immunization.

WellSpan Health spokeswoman Cindy Stauffer said Dr. Vinitha Moopen, a pediatrician at WellSpan Family & Pediatric Medicine in Rothsville, reported “a very large increase in vaccine requests.”

Heather Stauffer, LNP staff writer, contributed to this story.

Patrick Burns is social media editor and staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

 

2 Comments

  1. Sonya Brenner

    August 31, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Great proof reading job. Since when does September 6 come before September 5??

    • mhunnefield

      August 31, 2017 at 11:37 am

      The sentence says that Warwick goes back latest in the county. It doesn’t imply that 9/5 comes after. It’s just listed after because we are a Lititz publication.

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