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Doctor examining child's throatATTENTION PARENTS: Changes to School Health Exam and Immunization Requirements Effective January 31, 2021

Education Law requires all New York State (NYS) public school students to have a health exam when they are a new student in a school district and when they enter Pre-K or Kindergarten, and grades 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.   The examination must be completed by a New York State licensed physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.    Physical exams are valid for the twelve months prior to the start of the school year.
Beginning on 1/31/21, schools cannot accept the health exam if it is not on the required form or the required health record equivalent.
The required form is linked below. Please share the form at your child’s visit for a health exam with the health care provider (HCP); this will prevent you from having to request that it is re-written at a later date.

 You can download the physical exam form HERE. 

Athletes must have yearly physicals. The athlete physical is valid for 12 months, until the last day of the month in which the physical was performed. For example a sports physical performed 8/1/18 is valid until 8/31/19. If the student’s physical qualifies him/her on the first day of try-outs, he/she is set for that sport season.

It is suggested that the exam be performed by the family physician, who best knows the child. The family physician is better able to judge any change or deviation in the child’s state of health.

Why is the school nurse pushing me to make an appointment for a physical for my child with my own doctor? I thought that physicals were always done at school.

1. All physicals are best performed by your child’s own medical provider. The primary provider’s office has the history of all the medical events that have occurred through out the years, medications, consultation with specialists, labs, etc….. This comprehensive evaluation of the child’s health (and ability to safely participate in sports where appropriate), including preventive health teaching, provided by your own doctor, is critically important.

2. In contrast, the school health appraisal is focused on one point in time (10-15 minutes) in your child's life and is based on any history that the school may have received – however (in)complete that may be.

3. Further – our goal is to ensure that our students do not end up in the ER or urgent care for their next ear infection. If the you don't have a medical home, the school nurse can provide some guidance.

Required Vision, Hearing and Scoliosis Screenings

New York State requires schools to screen vision, hearing and for scoliosis on school children according to the information below (listed by grade level). The school nurse will contact you when there is a need for follow-up on screening results. 

New York State

  • HEARING: new entrants, K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 11
  • VISION: new entrants, K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 11
  • SCOLIOSIS: grade 9 for boys and grades 5 & 7 for girls.

Body Mass Index (BMI) reporting to the state is required every other year. Numbers are reported in aggregate format; there is absolutely no identification of individual student BMI data. Please contact your nurse with any screening questions.