Health Screenings

Schools are required by Massachusetts General Law to provide health screenings for students (M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 57 and 105 CMR 200.000) and follow up with the results of these screenings with families and referrals to primary health care providers as necessary.

Vision and Hearing: Vision and hearing screening is done yearly in grades K through 5, and in grades 7 and 10. Parents will be notified of any problems that necessitate a medical follow-up. Vision and hearing screening is also offered to preschool students.

Postural Screening: The state of Massachusetts mandates that all students in grades 5 through 9 be screened for scoliosis. Your child's posture will be screened beginning in the fifth grade. Physician referrals will be made as needed.

Heights and Weights: The state of Massachusetts mandates that height, weight, and Body Mass Indexes (BMI) be calculated on children in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 (or of comparable age). Parents will be notified of the results.

In accordance with the Mass Dept of Public Health (MDPH), schools are required to perform height, weight and body mass index (BMI) screenings for students in grade 1,4,7 & 10 and send home the results to parents and guardians. The purpose of the screening program is to give parents additional information about their child’s weight status and ideas for living a healthy life. BMI is a measurement that is used to show a person’s “weight for height for age.” It is calculated using
a formula that includes an individual’s height and weight. Just like a blood pressure reading or an eye screening test, a BMI can be a useful tool in identifying possible health risks. BMI does not tell the whole story about a child’s health status. BMI does not distinguish between fat and muscle. For example, if a child is very athletic and has a lot of muscle, his or her BMI may be high even though he or she is not overweight. That is why parents are encouraged to share the results with their child’s health care provider and have them explain the results of their child’s BMI screening. They are in the best position to evaluate a child’s overall health. Please visit the MDPH website at www.mass.gov for Frequently Asked Questions about BMI and Mass in
Motion.

Parents and guardians may waive this student screening by submitting a written request to the school nurse.