New York State Guidelines and Requirements
1. Health Appraisals
Education Law and Regulations of the Commissioner of Education require physical examinations of children when they:
v Enter the school district for the first time
v Are in grades K, 2, 4, 7, and 10
v Participate in interscholastic sports
v Need working papers
v Are referred by/to the Committee on Special Education
v Are deemed necessary by school authorities to determine a child’s education program.
The physical needs to be dated within one year from the beginning of the previous school year. All students who do not produce a record of a physical examination by their private physician will be scheduled for a health appraisal with the school physician. Dental examinations are requested at the same intervals.
In New York State immunization requirements are set forth in Public Health Law Section 2164. All students in New York State are required to have a physician’s certificate indicating that they have been immunized in accordance with the regulations defined within this law. All students must be vaccinated against Measles, Polio, Rubella, Mumps, Diphtheria, Hepatitis B, Pertussis and Varicella. Other immunizations may be given by your physician as determined by present recommendations. A full schedule of immunizations is available at http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2370.pdf.
Students who do not present proof of immunization after 14 days of school attendance may be excluded from school. This grace period can be extended to 30 days for students entering from out-of-state or out-of-country if a good faith effort is being shown to obtain the records.
Students may only be exempt from immunizations with acceptable documentation of a parents’ genuine and sincere religious belief that precludes immunization, or documentation from a physician that a sincere threat to a child’s health exists with immunization. These issues need to be discussed with the school nurse and the school administration.
Screenings are mandated supplemental evaluations conducted by school nursing personnel. The results of the screenings are kept in the student’s cumulative health record. Any significant findings are reported to the parent/guardian in writing to facilitate further evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment as needed. The areas that are screened are as follows:
1. Vision – All students in grades K,1,2,3,7, and 10 will be screened for distance acuity. In addition, new entrants will be screened for near vision and color vision.
2. Hearing – All students in grades K,1,3,5,7, and 10 will have threshold screening to identify any degree of hearing loss that may be interfering with communication and learning. Students who fail the test will be rescreened one time to rule out any interfering factors.
3. Scoliosis – Scoliosis screening is done in the schools from grades 5 through grades 9. The purpose of scoliosis screening is to identify students with developing spinal deformities early so intervention can be initiated to halt the progression of the disorder. Families will be notified prior to screening to allow the students to come to school dressed appropriately for the screening procedure.
In addition, every other year our school district is required to participate in a BMI (Body Mass Index) survey by New York State. The purpose is for the state to collect data on childhood obesity and risk factors associated with obesity in our school children. No identifying information is used when submitting this information to the state; however parents have the right to have their children’s data excluded from the survey.