New Health Examination Screening Requirements for 2017-2018 School Year

By June 29, 2017 News No Comments

P.A. 90-0927 was signed into law in January 2017 and became effective on June 1, 2017. It requires that beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, the required health examination for students include an age-appropriate developmental screening and an age-appropriate social and educational screening.

The law amended Section 27-8.1 of the Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-8.1) to incorporate these two new screening requirements as part of the required health examination for students at specified grades and entry to school. Consistent with the existing health examination and immunization requirements, proof of the two screenings is required by October 15 of the school year (or an earlier date if established by a school district). For the social and emotional screening, the student’s health care provider only has to indicate whether or not the screening was completed, not any results of the screening or recommended special services.

While proof is required by October 15, an important difference from the other health examination and immunization requirements is that a student cannot be excluded from attending school because of a parent/guardian’s failure to obtain either or both screenings for the student. However, if proof that the developmental screening or the social and emotional screening portions of the health examination is not provided by October 15, qualified school support personnel may, with consent of the student’s parent/guardian, offer the screenings to the student.

A notable inclusion in the law is that once a developmental screening or a social and emotional screening is completed and proof has been presented to the school, the school may, with consent of the student’s parent/guardian, make available appropriate school personnel to work with the parent/guardian, the student, and the health care provider who signed the screening form to obtain any appropriate evaluations and services as indicated on the form and in other information and documentation provided by the parent/guardian or health care provider to the school.

Each public, private, and parochial school must include the newly required developmental screening and social and emotional screening as part of its notice to parents/guardians regarding providing proof of the health examination and immunization requirements by October 15 of the school year (or an earlier date if established by a school district).

The Illinois Department of Public Health is to issue draft rules providing further direction on this new screening requirements and also is to revise the Child Health Examination form prior to the 2017-2018 school year. For school districts that subscribe to the Illinois Association of School Boards PRESS policy subscription service, IASB updated Policy 7:100, Health, Eye, and Dental Examinations; Immunizations; and Exclusion of Students, in March 2017 to include the new screening requirements.

For question regarding health examination and immunization requirements, please contact Jennifer Mueller.

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