School Health Screenings

Growth Screening

  • All children enrolled in Pennsylvania schools have their height and weight measured annually.  This information is then used to calculate their body mass index (BMI).  BMI is a screening tool used to determine whether a child is overweight or underweight.  Your child's BMI is based on the ratio of height to weight.  BMI is reported as a percentile ranking based on the child's age and gender.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) created the percentile ranges to identify children who may be at risk for serious health conditions such as insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) and heart disease.

    Like all screening tools, BMI can produce some false positives or negatives.  For example, a student may have an artificially high BMI due to a high level of lean body tissue or muscle, as may be found in a well-conditioned athlete.  Checking a child's growth over time is more important than a one time measurement.  If your child's weight is not in the healthy weight category, it is recommended that you schedule a visit with your healthcare provider to discuss the results. 
     







Vision Screening

  • The purpose of vision screening is to separate those children who probably have no vision problems from those who should be examined by an eye doctor for potential problems and possible treatment. Periodic vision screening during the school years is important for school-aged children because refractive errors and other visual problems may emerge for the first time throughout these years. Visual problems can affect the educational, social and emotional development of children. Early detection of vision problems helps the child take the best advantage of his/her educational opportunities.

    Because screening is not diagnostic, children who do not pass the test are referred to an eye specialist for a diagnostic examination. Parents are asked to have their health care provider complete the back of the referral form and return it to the school nurse as soon as possible after the exam.

    The National Eye Institute provides tips for children on how to take care of their eyes and other information on eye health and safety. Additional guidance for parents is provided by Prevent Blindness America.

Hearing Screening

  • Hearing screening is done with all students in Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 11th grades. Hearing screening tells us if a student might have hearing loss. All children who do not pass a hearing screening are referred to have a full hearing test. Hearing loss can affect a child's ability to develop communication, language, and social skills. The earlier children with hearing loss start getting services, the more likely they are to reach their full potential.

    Three important tips on taking care of your hearing.

Scoliosis Screening

  • Scoliosis screening involves the direct systematic observation of the spine to detect deviations from normal.  Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that affects two to three percent of the population, or an estimated 7 million people in the United States.  Scoliosis is most commonly found during the adolescent growth period.  The effect of scoliosis depends upon its severity, how early it is detected, and how promptly it is treated.  Early identification and management of scoliosis is the purpose of the state screening program.  Scoliosis screening is done with all students in 6th and 7th grades.  Screening done by private healthcare providers may be accepted in lieu of  school screening.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Health provides an educational pamphlet for families.  Below you may also see a video on scoliosis screening, diagnosis and treatment provided by the National Scoliosis Foundation.
     

Dental Exams

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health has directed that all students entering school for the first time (kindergarten, first grade, or transferring from out-of-state or out-of-country) shall have a dental examination performed by a dentist in the state of Pennsylvania. This regulation also applies to students transferring into our School District from in state where transferred School Health Records do not meet this criteria. Examinations are required again for all student in third grade and in seventh grade.

    We encourage you to have this examination completed by your family dentist who is familiar with your child's health history. Dental examinations done within the year prior to school admission will meet the state health regulations. Please ask your dentist to complete the dental form and then return the completed form to your child's assigned school in an envelope marked "Attention School Nurse."

    Students who do not provide an examination report form from their private dentist will be examined by the school dentist. Parents will be notified prior to the exam and be given an opportunity to attend.

Physical Exams

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health has directed that all students entering school for the first time (kindergarten, first grade, or transferring from out-of-state or out-of-country) shall have a physical examination performed by a physician in the state of Pennsylvania.  This regulation also applies to students transferring into our School District from in state where transferred School Health Records do not meet this criteria.  Examinations are required again for all students in sixth grade and in eleventh grade. 
    We encourage you to have this examination completed by your family doctor who is familiar with your child's health history.  Physical examinations done within the year prior to school admission will meet the state health regulations.  Please ask your healthcare provider to complete the physical form and then return the completed form to your child's assigned school in an envelope marked "Attention School Nurse."

    Students who do not provide an examination report form from their private health care provider will be examined by the school doctor.  Parents will be notified prior to the exam and be given the opportunity to attend.