FISD Student Health Screening Programs
The goal of conducting Health Screenings within a school setting is to detect possible health problems. Early identification and correction of these defects will further enable students to maximize educational opportunities during the school year.
The FISD screening program is intended to be well organized, run smoothly and rapidly; be acceptable to students and parents; utilize personnel effectively; have neither too many referrals nor too many not referred and is not intended to be diagnostic. All referrals need to be followed by physician.
VISION AND HEARING
The special Senses and Communication Disorders Act (Article 4419g, V.T.C.S.) was passed by the 68th Texas Legislature in 1983. In 1985, this was amended by HB 2004 in the 69th Texas Legislature. This law requires that any child enrolled in any public, private, parochial or denominational licensed facility or school in Texas for the first time, or meets the criteria outlined below must be screened or have a professional examination for possible vision and hearing problems. Vision and Hearing screening is also required for all special education candidates.
4 year olds, Kindergarten or other first-time entrants into Texas schools: Within 120 days of admission or before the end of the first semester.
1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th Graders: Anytime within the school year.
All Special Education Students: Anytime within the school year.
1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th graders: Anytime within the school year.
In compliance with Health and Safety Code, Chapter 37, all children shall undergo screening for abnormal spinal curvature in accordance with the following schedule:
- Girls will be screened two times, once at age 10 (or fall semester of grade 5)and again at age 12 (or fall semester of grade 7).
- Boys will be screened one time at age 13 or 14 (or fall semester of grade 8).
It is incumbent on schools to identify outliers (i.e., children promoted to higher grades or held back) and ensure their screenings align with appropriate ages rather than grades.
Current professional recommendation encourages screening performed in a medical home. Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 37, requires school administrations to ensure compliance with the screening requirement. Soliciting documentation from parents that spinal screening has been performed by a professional may reduce the number of students who need to be screened and prevent unnecessary additional screening.
School administrators may solicit documentation that spinal screening has been, or will be, performed in a medical home or that it is being declined based on religious tenets. Documentation includes an affidavit from a licensed professional or the parent, guardian, or managing conservator as described below:
- Documentation from a licensed professional that the individual is actively under medical care for one or more spinal problems [25 TAC §37.143(c)]; or
- A signed form from the parent, guardian, or managing conservator that screening for abnormal spinal curvature was, or will be, performed during a professional examination [25 TAC §37.144(d)]; or
- A signed form from the parent, legal guardian, or managing conservator in lieu of the screening record(s) stating the screening conflicts with the tenets and practices of a church or religious denomination of which the affiant is an adherent or member [25 TAC §37.144(e)].
If the parent, guardian, or managing conservator is unable to provide documentation, the school administrator must ensure spinal screening is performed according the procedures outlined below, in accordance with the Spinal Screening Guidelines Manual.
A student will be exempted from the screening requirements if the screening process conflicts with the teachings and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination of which the student is a believer or a member. The student or minor student's parent, managing conservator, or guardian shall submit to the principal on or before the day of admission an affidavit stating the objections to the screenings.
Each School Health Office will submit an annual report on the screening results to the Heatlh Coordinator. These reports are due in May of each school year and are then reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services.