Massachusetts - Preventive health screenings in HS: Standards

Area: 
Standards
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute
Summary: 

State law requires a health screening prior to entry (which may or may not specifically include one of the exams listed below).

Code of Massachusetts Regulations 105 CMR 200.400: Vision and Hearing Screenings

(B) The school committee or board of health shall cause the vision of each student in the public schools to be screened in the year of school entry, annually through grade 5 (or by age 11 in ungraded classrooms), once in grades 6 through 8 (or ages 12 through 14 in ungraded classrooms) and once in grades 9 through 12 (or ages 15 through 18 in ungraded classrooms). The vision of each student shall be tested by means of the Massachusetts Vision Test or other comparable method approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.


Code of Massachusetts Regulations 105 CMR 200.400: Vision and Hearing Screenings

(C) The school committee or board of health shall cause the hearing of each student in the public schools to be screened in the year of school entry and annually through grade 3 (or by age nine in the case of ungraded classrooms), once in grades 6 through 8 (ages 12 through 14 in the case of ungraded classrooms), and once in grades 9 through 12 (ages 15 through 18 in the case of ungraded classrooms). The hearing of each student shall be tested by means-of some form of discrete frequency hearing test such as the Massachusetts Hearing Test or comparable method approved by the Department of Public Health.


General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 71. Section 57: Physical examination of pupils

Section 57. The committee, or the board of health in those municipalities where school health services are the responsibility of the board of health, shall cause every child in the public schools, and at the individual request of a parent or guardian of a pupil in a private school which has been approved under section one of chapter seventy–six, and which does not discriminate in its entrance requirements on the basis of race or color cause such pupil to be separately and carefully examined in such manner and at such intervals, including original entry, as may be determined by the department of public health after consultation with the department of education and the medical profession, to ascertain defects in sight or hearing, postural and other physical defects tending to prevent his receiving the full benefit of his school work, or requiring a modification of the same in order to prevent injury to the child or to secure the best education results, and to ascertain defects of the feet which might unfavorably influence the child’s health or physical efficiency, or both, during childhood, adolescence and adult years, and shall require a physical record of each child to be kept in such forms as prescribed by the provisions of section one hundred and eighty–five A of chapter one hundred and eleven. Tests ascertaining postural defects shall be administered at least once annually in grades five through nine. Tests of sight and hearing and postural defects shall be performed by teachers, physicians, optometrists, nurses or other personnel who are approved by the department of public health for the purpose, and the examination of feet shall be made by the school physicians or by podiatrists, in accordance with regulations set up by the department. Upon entering kindergarten or within 30 days of the start of the school year, the parent or guardian of each child shall present to school health personnel certification that the child within the previous 12 months has passed a vision screening conducted by personnel approved by the department of public health and trained in vision screening techniques to be developed by the department of public health in consultation with the department of education. For children who fail to pass the vision screening and for children diagnosed with neurodevelopmental delay, proof of a comprehensive eye examination performed by a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist chosen by the child’s parent or guardian indicating any pertinent diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, recommendation and evidence of follow–up treatment, if necessary, shall be provided. Any child shall be exempt on religious grounds from these examinations upon written request of parent or guardian on condition that the laws and regulations relating to communicable diseases shall not be violated.
General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


**Code of Massachusetts Regulations 105 CMR 200.200: School Physicians

(A) The school committee or the board of health shall provide the services of a school physician to carry out physical examinations on such children who, because of hardship, do not have this service performed by the student's physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Every reasonable effort shall be made to link such students with a primary care provider.

(B) The school committee or the board of health shall ensure that a student in the public schools, if not examined by the student's primary care provider, is examined by the school physician under following circumstances:

  • (1) frequent absences due to unexplained illness;

  • (2) known or suspected physical disabilities or medical conditions that require appraisal;

  • (3) referral from a teacher-nurse conference because the student is not making expected progress in school or because of signs of illness noted by the teacher or nurse; and

  • (4) referral by the school nurse.

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