Massachusetts Mandated Screening Program


Massachusetts Mandated Screening Program

In accordance with the Mass Department of Public Health (MDPH), schools are required by law to perform vision, hearing, height, weight and body mass index (BMI) screenings for students in grade 1,4,7 & 10.

SBIRT - Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment for Substance Use

SBIRT screening, required by MA Law (chapter 52, Acts of 2016), An Act Relative to Substance Use, Treatment, Education and Prevention is an acronym for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment.  It is a public health model aimed at preventing the use of alcohol, marijuana and/or other substances.  Our primary goal is to let students know that their school nurse and counseling staff are available daily to reinforce healthy decision making behaviors and to assist them in obtaining additional support for any substance use or related issue if needed. The screenings are conducted in a confidential, one-on-one session with each student utilizing the CRAFFT substance and behavioral health screening tool. The tool is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and widely used with adolescents in Massachusetts. It is a short, effective, screening tool meant to assess whether a longer conversation about the context of use, frequency, and other risks and consequences of alcohol and drug use is warranted.


For more information visit the SBIRT website at http://www.masbirt.org.


Vision and Hearing Screening
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 completed in conjunction with BMI screening at NAHS during grade 10 English classes in January of each school year.

Body Mass Index Program
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. If you prefer not to have your child participate in the BMI Screening Program, please send a written note to the Health Office.

Please visit the MDPH website at www.mass.gov for Frequently Asked Questions about BMI and Mass in Motion.
Parents/guardians can view the results of their student's BMI screening on the Parent Portal of Powerschool.

For more information: Letter to parents/guardians regarding BMI screening

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 in the 9th grade at NAHS. This screening takes place during 9th grade Fundamentals of Fitness classes over the course of the school year. Each 9th grade student will be screened during the trimester in which they have Fundamentals of Fitness class. 

If you prefer not to have your child participate in the Postural Screening Program, please send a written note to the Health Office.