ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: 51
POLICY CODE: JC
In accordance with Maine law, Title 20-A, M.R.S.A. Sections 6352 to 6356 and Maine Department of Education rule, Code of Maine Regulations (05-071 CMR Chap. 126), all children in grades K-12 must have proof of immunization against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, polio, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), and varicella (chicken pox) or acceptable evidence of immunity against these diseases in order to be present in school. Unvaccinated students will be excluded from school in the event of an outbreak of one of these diseases for which they have not been vaccinated.
Parents have the option to write a letter requesting that their child be exempt from this law on very specific grounds, including religious, philosophical or medical grounds, as defined in the law. See Title 20-A M.R.S.A. Section 6355.
If parents are granted an exemption, the law states that the unvaccinated child will be excluded from school if there is evidence of the relevant disease in the school or the child’s community. See Title 20-A M.R.S.A. Section 6356. Under such circumstances, the unvaccinated child will be excluded from school until such time as the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) determines it is safe for the child to return to school. The length of time is determined by the Maine CDC and varies based on the type and period of outbreak. Each new case triggers a new exclusion timeline.
When an unvaccinated child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a Section 504 accommodation plan, the school administrative unit (SAU) must convene a meeting to discuss and develop a plan for meeting the child’s educational needs during the exclusion period.
Any changes to the IEP or Section 504 plan during the time of exclusion would require a Written Notice to be issued to the parents by the SAU. Any special education services provided in the child’s home or a neutral setting must be provided by a certified special education teacher, a certified regular education teacher, or by an educational technician III per Chapter 101, Maine Unified Special Education Regulations Sect. X.2.A(4).