My first article on the topic of changes to Maine immunization laws was addressed to a general audience. The present article is intended to educate those who have administrative responsibilities for private schools that the Department of Education recognizes as providing equivalent instruction.

All private schools in Maine must follow the same laws regarding immunization issues. The laws apply just the same to state approved private schools as to state recognized private schools. 

The laws apply the same even if a private school student is instructed exclusively at home and is never present at a private school building or other facility. (Maine law does not recognize anything called an “umbrella school,” “pod school,” etc.)

A private school superintendent or administrator is not allowed to permit a student to attend—or even enroll—without obtaining a certificate of immunization (or comparable documentation) for the student. (Read here for important details.)

A superintendent or administrator must submit a report annually by December 15 to the director of the Bureau of Health, Department of Health and Human Services summarizing the immunization status of all students entering the school. The school official must keep uniform records that can be used for the annual report.

A superintendent or administrator should review important regulations on this subject and check often to keep abreast of changes. Regulation 10-144-261 in the Code of Maine Regulations is available here. (This version does not necessarily contain the most up-to-date version of the regulation.)

A superintendent or administrator who complies with the immunization laws and regulations is well on his way to being able to confidently affirm that the school is in compliance with state health laws when filing the annual optional letter that secures the school’s status as “recognized” by the state.