What you need to know before Orlando-area students head back to school

Find out start dates, where to get vaccinated

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ORLANDO, Fla. – Although it seems like summer just started, the beginning of the school year is right around the corner, which means it's time to start preparing.

It can be tough for parents to keep dates, supply lists and everything else organized but luckily News 6 has you covered with all that information in one place.

Below is a gathering of all the need-to-know details about back-to-school requirements in Central Florida.

School start dates
Brevard County: Aug. 10
Flagler County: Aug. 10
Lake County: Aug. 13
Marion County: Aug. 13
Orange County: Aug. 13
Osceola County: Aug. 13
Polk County: Aug. 13
Seminole County: Aug. 10
Sumter County: Aug. 13
Volusia County: Aug. 13

Tax-free holiday
The best time to buy school supplies, including clothes, backpacks, notebooks and other required items, is during Florida's tax-free holiday, which runs Aug. 3 to Aug. 5. That weekend, there will be no sales tax collected on clothing, footwear and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item and certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item. For full details on the tax-free holiday, click here.

Families in need can also click here for a list of Central Florida locations that provide students with free school supplies.


What vaccines do my children need?
Any child attending a public school in Florida must obtain certain vaccines and meet other health requirements. 

Below is a list of needed vaccines based on the child's age and what facility they are entering.

Child care and/or family day care
Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP)
Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)
Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
Varicella (chickenpox)
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13)
Hepatitis B (Hep B)

Public/Non-public Preschool Entry
Hepatitis B (Hep B)

Public/non-public schools kindergarten through 12th grade
(Children entering, attending, or transferring to Florida schools)
Four or five doses of DTaP
Four or five doses of IPV
Two doses of MMR
Three doses of Hep B
One Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap)
Two doses of varicella (kindergarten effective with 2008–2009 school year, then an additional grade is added each year thereafter). Varicella vaccine is not required if there is a history of varicella disease documented by the health care provider.

Additional immunization requirements for 7th grade entry
One Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap)

For more information about required vaccines, click here to visit the Florida Department of Health's website.

Where can I get my children vaccinated?
The Florida Department of Health provides free immunizations to any child enrolled in elementary, middle or high school at any of its locations across Central Florida. Those facilities are generally open Monday through Friday and accept walk-ins if staffing permits, but appointments are highly encouraged, especially during the end-of-summer rush.

Parents should have their child's most recent immunization record and parents should bring their government-issued ID with a photo, date of birth and signature.

For specific information, click on your county below:
Brevard County
Flagler County
Lake County
Marion County
Orange County
Osceola County
Polk County
Seminole County
Sumter County
Volusia County

You can also click here for a full list of health department locations across Florida.


Applying for free lunch
To ensure that no child goes hungry, free and reduced lunches are available for certain students. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, any parent who earns at or below certain income eligibility requirements, who receives SNAP, also known as food stamps, or who participates in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program can get free or reduced-price lunch for their child.

Residents of Marion, Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties can click here to apply for free or reduced lunches through MySchoolApps.com.

Applications for other counties can be found at the links below:
Brevard County
Flagler County
Lake County
Osceola County
Polk County offers free lunch to all public school students
Sumter County offers free lunch to all public school students

While there's no doubt that back-to-school season can be stressful, keeping the above dates and details in your calendar will certainly help to keep you and your children organized.

For those parents whose children are starting college this semester, News 6 has you covered as well, just click here.


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