New York State Adopts Legislation Eliminating Religious Exemptions for Vaccinations Required for School Attendance, Effective Immediately

On June 13, 2019, Governor Cuomo enacted legislation that eliminated the religious exemption from immunizations for school children in public, private and parochial schools (for students in pre-k through 12thgrade), as well as in child day care programs, due to public health concerns. The requirements of this legislation are effective immediately.

As a result, starting with the 2019-2020 school year, all students, including those who were previously granted religious exemptions from required immunizations, now must receive those immunizations as required by New York State Health Law, unless the student’s parent can obtain a certification from a treating physician that the required immunization(s) would be detrimental to the child’s health.

Prior to the start of the 2019-2020 school year, absent a doctor’s certification (as provided above), ALL students must receive or have received, the following required immunizations:







Hepatitis B





Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

Pneumococcal disease


If your child plans to attend a summer school program, (s)he must begin all of the required immunizations before they can be admitted.  The New York State Department of Health (“DOH”), the Office of Children and Family Services (“OCFS”), and the New York State Department of Education (“SED”) issued a memorandum stating that children must receive their first age appropriate dose of the required immunizations by June 28, 2019, and by July 14, 2019, parents/guardians must provide documentation to the school that appointments for the child has been scheduled for all required follow-up doses of the immunizations.

If the child is NOT enrolled in summer school, (s)he must receive the required immunizations no later than fourteen (14) days after the first day of school.  Within thirty (30) days of the first day of school, the child’s parent/guardian must show that he/she has made appointments for the child to receive all required follow-up doses of the immunizations.  

If the child does not receive the required immunizations within the time frames set forth above, or if the parent/guardian fails to provide the District with documentation of a valid medical exemption from a doctor, the child is required to be excluded from the District’s schools. 

If there are any questions or concerns, parents/guardians should not hesitate to contact the child's Principal or School Nurse.


845.871.5520 - District
845.871.5520 ext. 5527 - Transportation
845.871.5570 ext. 6560 - Registration
845.871.5570 ext. 6551 - Special Education
845.871.5570 ext. 6560 - Curriculum & Instruction


Mailing: P.O. Box 351, Rhinebeck, NY 12572
Physical: 45 N. Park Rd., Rhinebeck, NY 12572


845.871.5570 - Chancellor Livingston Elementary
845.871.5500 - Bulkeley Middle School
845.871.5500 - Rhinebeck High School