We’re only half way through the 2014/2015 school year, but it’s already time to start planning for the next school year.
February 15th is the cut off date San Diego Unified uses each year for families interested in their vast magnet and charter programs. Most private schools are holding their open houses now and will close their registration process by end of March.
You may have already started visiting campuses and getting feedback from friends on everything from the availability of art and P.E. classes to the schools’ policies on bullying and homework. But in the midst of San Diego’s measles outbreak, there’s one more thing you might consider when trying to find the perfect school… vaccination rates.
Dr. Richard Besser on Good Morning America mentioned that families who choose not to vaccinate tend to be found in clusters; in the same parts of town and attending the same schools. While vaccines are “required” to attend school, families are able to object for medical reasons, personal or religious beliefs and avoid having their children vaccinated.
Whether you want to be supported in your anti-vaccination stance or send your children to a school where almost all of the families abide by state mandated vaccination schedules, there’s a school for you! Californians can find the vaccination rates of private schools, public schools and childcare centers on the California Department of Health’s website.
Would you rather send your child to Santa Fe Montessori in Solana Beach with only 9% of the 2014 kindergarten students being vaccinated, or Solana Highlands Elementary with 96% of 2014 kindergartners vaccinated? It depends on your personal beliefs, but, clearly, choosing a school is not just about great teachers and the programs being offered.
Dr. Besser says, “If you have a choice, put your child into a school where the vaccine rates are high to keep them safer.” Since no vaccine is 100% safe, even those who are “protected” are at risk when around unvaccinated children.