December 14th, 2018

Catholic board chair says bishop should be consulted ahead of any vaccination decisions

By Jeremy Appel on September 12, 2018.

The Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education held its first meeting of the 2018-19 school year Tuesday, where they discussed vaccination policy, text message alerts and the grand opening of the Ecole St. John Paul II School, among other issues.--NEWS PHOTO JEREMY APPEL


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The Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education discussed at its Tuesday meeting province-wide changes to vaccination schedules.

The province is moving toward a two-dose schedule for the Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus vaccinations in Grade 6 from a three-dose schedule in Grade 5, according to a letter sent to the board from the deputy minister.

The government says the change aligns with evidence that two doses separated by six months is more effective than three.

Associate superintendent of human resources Chuck Hellman said Alberta Health Services wants students to bring their immunization forms to school, as opposed to parents mailing them.

Trustee Peter Grad said the board should consult with their bishop before implementing any changes to its vaccination policy.

“I prefer bringing it up at a meeting and personally discussing it,” he said.

SchoolMessenger system discussed

The board also addressed its SchoolMessenger system, which notifies students and parents via text message about school events, closings and safety alerts.

“It’s useful for students and parents at this point, but we’re looking to expand it for staff,” said Della Dewald, the board’s executive assistant.

Currently, staff members can opt in, but they won’t receive alerts.

Grand opening for new school booked

The official grand opening for Medicine Hat’s newest school is scheduled for Oct. 22.

The festivities will begin at 1 p.m. with a prayer, grand opening celebration, school blessing and dedication, as well as a student performance.

The cake and ribbon cutting will occur at 2 p.m.

There will be an open house and school tours from 2:30-6 p.m.

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