Health Screening Requirements
Florida Statute 381.0056 requires that health screenings be conducted at various grade levels. Nurses from the St. Johns County School District, in conjunction with trained school personnel and volunteers, conduct the screenings. Screenings will be completed during the first semester of school. Below are the grade level screenings, along with the required grade levels for these screenings:
- Vision: Students in kindergarten, first, third and sixth grades
- Hearing: Students in kindergarten, first and sixth grades
- Body Mass Index (BMI): Students in first, third and sixth grades
- Scoliosis: All sixth grade students
If a student does not pass the vision, hearing or scoliosis screening, a referral letter will be sent home indicating that further examination and corrective measures are needed. Health screening information is confidential and the results are filed in each student’s cumulative folder.
Parents need to know that they have the option to decline their child’s participation in the health screenings. Parents who do not wish their child to participate must complete the opt-out portion of the parent permission letter that is sent home by the schools. If parents have any questions about the screenings, please contact your school nurse.
The Importance of School Health Screenings
School health screenings are often the best way to detect problems that interfere with students’ education. The hearing and vision tests are important because difficulties with these senses are often subtle, and neither parents, teachers nor children may even recognize that a problem exists. For example, a child who has difficulty reading the blackboard may not know that she is seeing differently from anyone else.
The purpose of the screening for scoliosis in sixth grade is to detect signs of spinal curvature at the earliest stages so that the need for treatment can be determined. Scoliosis, the most common spinal abnormality, is a side-to-side curve of the spine. It is usually detected in childhood or early adolescence.