Health & Safety Notices
Public Health Organizations:
June 14th: Statement on Legislation Removing Non-Medical Exemption from School Vaccination Requirements
On June 13, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation removing non-medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements for children. The United States is currently experiencing the worst outbreak of measles in more than 25 years, with outbreaks in pockets of New York primarily driving the crisis. As a result of non-medical vaccination exemptions, many communities across New York have unacceptably low rates of vaccination, and those unvaccinated children can often attend school where they may spread the disease to other unvaccinated students, some of whom cannot receive vaccines due to medical conditions. This new law will help protect the public amid this ongoing outbreak.
What did the new law do?
As of June 13, 2019, there is no longer a religious exemption to the requirement that children be vaccinated against measles and other diseases to attend either:
• public, private or parochial school (for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade), or
• child daycare settings.
For those children who had a religious exemption to vaccination, what are the deadlines for being vaccinated?
Children who are attending child daycare or public, private or parochial school, and who had a religious exemption to required immunizations, must now receive the first age-appropriate dose in each immunization series by June 28, 2019, to attend or remain in school or child daycare. Also, by July 14, 2019 parents and guardians of such children must show that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses. The deadlines for follow-up doses depend on the vaccine. The New York State Department of Health follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices catch-up immunization schedule and expects children to receive required doses consistent with Table 2 at the following link in order to continue to attend school or child daycare: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf
What is the deadline for first dose vaccinations if my child is not attending school until September?
Parents and guardians of all children who do not have their required immunizations are encouraged to have them receive the first dose as soon as possible. The deadline for obtaining first dose vaccinations for children attending school in the fall is 14 days from the first day of school. Within 30 days of the first day of school, parents and guardians of such children must show that they have made appointments for all required follow-up doses.
Additional information will be forthcoming.
Measles spreads easily and can be dangerous to anyone who is not vaccinated.
Information from Public Health Services:
- Informational Letter from Sullivan County Public Health Services
- Top 4 Things Parents Need to Know about Measles
- Top 4 Things Parents Need to Know about Measles - Spanish version
- Measles Questions and Answers
- Additional Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
If you have questions about measles or the measles vaccine, do not hesitate to call the New York State Measles Hotline at 888-364-4837.
- It's Spring–Time to Prevent Lyme Disease - CDC Guidance
- CDC Guidance for (K-12) School Administrators for School Responses to Influenza during the 2009-2010 School Year - Aug 7, 2009
Annual Asbestos Management Plan Notification
In accordance with the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) of 1987 (40 CFR Part 763), Sullivan County BOCES conducts all required inspections and staff training. Asbestos projects are performed by trained and licensed professionals in accordance with applicable local, state, and federal regulations. Details of activities are described in the district’s AHERA management plan, which is available for review during normal business hours in both the BOCES Administration Library and in the Maintenance Office of the Rubin Pollack Education Center.
For more information, please contact the Health & Safety Office at (845) 295-4110.
Lead Testing of School Drinking Water: October 16, 2023
Safe and healthy school environments can foster healthy and successful children. To protect public health, the Public Health Law and New York State Health Department (NYS DOH) regulations require that all public schools and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) test lead levels in water from every outlet that is being used, or could potentially be used, for drinking or cooking. If lead is found at any water outlet at levels above 5 parts per billion (ppb), which is equal to 5 micrograms per liter (ug/L), the NYS DOH requires that the school take action to reduce the exposure to lead.
The regulations require schools/BOCES to complete the testing in a prescribed manner. Using what’s called the “first draw testing method.”
What is first draw testing of school drinking water for lead?
The on again, off again nature of water use at most schools can raise lead levels in school drinking water. Water that remains in pipes overnight, over a weekend, or over vacation periods stays in contact with lead pipes or lead solder and, as a result, could contain higher levels of lead. This is why schools are required to collect a sample after the water has been sitting in the plumbing system for a certain period of time. This first draw sample is likely to show higher levels of lead for that outlet that what you would see if you sampled after using the water continuously. However, even if the first draw sample does not reflect what you would see with continuous usage, it is still important because it can identify outlets that have elevated lead levels.
What are the results of the first draw testing?
On September 22nd and again on September 29th, 2023, water sampling was conducted at the Sullivan BOCES Rubin Pollack Education Center Main Campus. Seventy-two outlets were tested for lead in drinking water, and only two outlets came back in exceedance of 5 ppb. They are:
Sample # Location Fixture Type Sample Results
M3 Special Education Kitchen 2 Bay Dishwash Sink, Right Faucet 17 ppb
M45 Culinary Kitchen Corner Coffee Sink by Pie Press 16 ppb
What is being done in response to the results?
Outlets M3 and M45 were immediately taken out of service upon receipt of the lab results. The water to both of these outlets has been turned off. M45 will be replaced with a new fixture, and we will re-sample the outlet to determine if replacement effectively lowered the lead level. M3 will remain out of service for the immediate future, until such time as it can be replaced. Outlets that tested with lead levels above the action level were removed from service. Outlets that tested below the action level remain in service with no restrictions.
What are the health effects of lead?
Lead is a metal that can harm children and adults when it gets into their bodies. Lead is a known neurotoxin, particularly harmful to the developing brain and nervous system of children under 6 years old. Lead can harm a young child’s growth, behavior and ability to learn. Lead exposure during pregnancy may contribute to low birth weight and developmental delays in infants. There are many sources of lead exposure in the environment, and it is important to reduce all lead exposures as much as possible. Water testing helps identify and correct possible sources of lead that contribute to exposure from drinking water.
What are the other sources of lead exposure?
Lead is a metal that has been used for centuries for many purposes, resulting in widespread distribution in the environment. Major sources of lead exposure include lead based paint in older housing, and lead that built up over decades in soil and dust due to historical use of lead in gasoline, paint and manufacturing. Lead can also be found in a number of consumer products, including certain types of pottery, pewter, brass fixtures, foods, plumbing materials and cosmetics. Lead seldom occurs naturally in water supplies but drinking water could become a possible source of lead exposure if the buildings plumbing contains lead. The primary source of lead exposure for most children with elevated blood lead levels is lead based paint.
Should your child be tested for lead?
The risk to an individual child from past exposure to elevated lead in drinking water depends on many factors including but not limited to, a child’s age, weight, amount of water consumed and the amount of lead in the water. Children may also be exposed to other significant sources of lead including paint, soil and dust. Since blood lead testing is the only way to determine a child’s blood lead level, parents should discuss their child’s health history with their child’s physician to determine if blood lead testing is appropriate. Pregnant women or women of childbearing age should also consider discussing this matter with their physician.
For more information regarding the testing program or sampling results, contact: Mr. Gary B. Bowers II at 845-295-4110,
For information about lead in school drinking water, go to:
For information about NYS DOH Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, go to:
For more information on blood lead testing and ways to reduce your child’s risk of exposure to lead, see “What Your Child’s Blood Lead Test Means” http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2526/