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The School District of Reedsburg came up slightly short against Department of Public Instruction requirements for immunization and is also dealing with multiple cases of bacterial pneumonia within its buildings.

The district’s immunization report showed 98.45% of students were compliant and received required immunizations with 42 students not compliant by the day 40 of the school year. The Department of Public Instruction has a 99% required threshold for immunizations.

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Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Jeff Bindl said at the school board’s Nov. 18 meeting most of the non-compliance comes at the sixth grade level because parents may not be aware of a new second dose requirement of the Tdap vaccine. The vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough, according to the Center’s for Disease Control website.

“We will make considerable efforts to inform families of this and to encourage them to either complete the waiver or get the immunizations as required,” Bindl said.

The report showed 191 parents signed a waiver allowing students to opt out of vaccinations due to personal, religious or medical reasons.

Non-vaccinated Portage and Baraboo students could miss school days

Bindl’s report said falling short of the state’s requirements will not have a significant impact this year. Next school year, if the district isn’t 99% compliant, it could mean all K-5 students who are not compliant with the required immunizations will be excluded from school for 10 school days, as required by state law, he said.

With the pneumonia cases, so far 25 students and at least two staff members were confirmed diagnosed with the infection and is in all school buildings except Ironton/La Valle Elementary School, Bindl said. He said in a Nov. 19 follow up interview cases of pneumonia have been going around the district for about the past month. He said public health officials told the school it is bacterial pneumonia affecting the district.

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He said a message was sent home to all families informing them of the outbreak and encouraging parents to keep their children home if showing symptoms. He said the school district’s nurses and the Sauk County Public Health Department are monitoring the situation. Buildings and grounds committee employees are also cleaning and sanitizing classrooms within the buildings and prevent transmission of the infection, he said.

Summer reading program

Data from the Kids Read Now summer reading program showed those who read more books over the summer maintained or grew in reading levels.

K-3 Instructional Coach Jenny Hynek said 57% of students maintained reading levels from the spring and grew one or more reading levels if they read 8-9 books or more throughout the summer and logged them. Those who read 5-7 books showed 63% maintained or increased by one or more levels.

Those who read four or fewer books showed 44% were able to maintain or grow one grade level or more. Participation rate shows 131 students from grades K-3 were in the program.

The program is to eliminate lost reading levels over the summer and not have to catch up once the school year starts, she said.

Other business

The board went into closed session to discuss strategies for employee compensation for all employee groups. District Administrator Tom Benson said in a Nov. 19 follow up interview the board took no action on the item when it reconvened into open session.

This article was updated Nov. 19 to clarify the type of pneumonia at the School District of Reedsburg. 

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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