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Bozeman School District updates health policy to comply with HB 702

Posted at 4:37 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 18:37:51-04

BOZEMAN — When Governor Gianforte signed new legislation a few months ago, it forced a lot of new changes and preventative measures, and now we’re seeing that in the Bozeman School District.

“We would need to continue to update the policy as we see legislative updates around requirements for vaccinations," said Chad Berg, director of Special Education & Student Health.

Which is why the school district needed to update their current health policies to comply with the updated health legislation.

“Just updating the policy that we have," said Berg. "A previous version of this policy had come out prior to the legislative implementation on July 1.”

A series of policies were updated, including 3413: student immunizations. So what’s the update?

“Implicative language is removed, and then additional legislative clarification regarding House Bill 702,” said Berg.

In other words, the student immunization health policy had to be updated so the district cannot make decisions regarding access to District services, based on COVID-19 vaccination status of students, employees, or visitors.

“The district will not provide differential treatment to individuals based on vaccination status - COVID-19 vaccination status.”

Another policy update was policy 3417 - communicable diseases.

“The policy now is more expansive to include any of the reportable diseases included in 3714-203 and those administrative rules,” said Berg.

Including COVID-19. The biggest update with this policy is how officials can handle a student showing symptoms or known to have a communicable disease versus a student who may just be a close contact. There were no public comments on the discussion.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 11th.

Bozeman School District updates health policy to comply with HB 702