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Last updated: May 03. 2013 11:40PM - 3878 Views

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BEAR CREEK TWP. — Keeping immunizations up-to-date just got more important for parents and students at Bear Creek Community Charter School after the school’s board of trustees made that part of the school’s admission requirements.

The board voted Thursday to require that all documentation of state-mandated immunizations be submitted 10 days before the start of the school year, including any letters that document objectionss to immunizations for religious or medical reasons.

According to the new policy, any student whose paperwork is not in 10 days before school starts will lose their place to the next person on the waiting list of more than 200 prospective students.

Also approved was an admissions policy change that increases class size in kindergarten from 21 students to 25, the same as grades first through eighth.

School CEO Jim Smith said part of the reason for this was demand — the school has more than 100 students on the waiting list for a spot in kindergarten alone — but it was also driven by a desire to improve the overall education experience.

“Our teachers felt that it was better to have students be here for the entire nine years, rather than have some come to start in first grade. It provides uniformity in the education experience for the kids and gives the best education outcome,” Smith said.

In other business, the board heard an update on the building project from architects Hemmler & Camayd and learned that a preliminary cost estimate for the new school building should be available by the next board meeting on May 20.

The board also approved a number of conference requests and tuition reimbursements, along with a preliminary budget proposal for 2013-14 that pegged expenses at almost $5 million.

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