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New York Education Section 903 - Students To Furnish Health Certificates; And Dental Health Certificates.

903. Students to furnish health certificates; and dental health certificates. 1. A health certificate shall be furnished by each student in the public schools upon his or her entrance in such schools and upon his or her entry into the grades prescribed by the commissioner in regulations, provided that such regulations shall require such certificates at least twice during the elementary grades and twice in the secondary grades. An examination and health history of any child may be required by the local school authorities at any time in their discretion to promote the educational interests of such child. Each certificate shall be signed by a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, who is authorized by law to practice in this state, and consistent with subdivision three of section six thousand nine hundred two of this chapter, or by a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction in which the examination was given, provided that the commissioner has determined that such jurisdiction has standards of licensure and practice comparable to those of New York. Each such certificate shall describe the condition of the student when the examination was made, which shall not be more than twelve months prior to the commencement of the school year in which the examination is required, and shall state whether such student is in a fit condition of health to permit his or her attendance at the public schools. Each such certificate shall also state the student's body mass index (BMI) and weight status category. For purposes of this section, BMI is computed as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters or the weight in pounds divided by the square of height in inches multiplied by a conversion factor of 703. Weight status categories for children and adolescents shall be as defined by the commissioner of health. In all school districts such physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner shall determine whether a one-time test for sickle cell anemia is necessary or desirable and he or she shall conduct such a test and the certificate shall state the results.

2. a. A dental health certificate shall be requested from each student. Each student is requested to furnish a dental health certificate at the same time that health certificates are required. An assessment and dental health history of any child may be requested by the local school authorities at any time in their discretion to promote the educational interests of such child. Each certificate shall be signed by a duly licensed dentist, or a registered dental hygienist who is authorized by law to practice in this state, and consistent with any applicable written practice agreement, or by a duly licensed dentist or registered dental hygienist who is authorized to practice in the jurisdiction in which the assessment was given, provided that the commissioner has determined that such jurisdiction has standards of licensure and practice comparable to those of New York. Each such certificate shall describe the dental health condition of the student when the assessment was made, which shall not be more than twelve months prior to the commencement of the school year in which the assessment is requested, and shall state whether such student is in fit condition of dental health to permit his or her attendance at the public schools.

b. A notice of request for dental health certificates shall be distributed at the same time that parents or person in parental relationship to students are notified of health examination requirements and shall state that a list of dental practices, dentists and registered dental hygienists to which children may be referred for dental services on a free or reduced cost basis is available upon request at the child's school. The department shall, in collaboration with the department of health, compile and maintain a list of dental practices, dentists and registered dental hygienists to which children may be referred for dental services on a free or reduced cost basis. Such list shall be made available to all public schools and be made available to parents or person in parental relationship upon request. The department shall promulgate regulations to ensure the gathering and dissemination of the proper information to interested parties.

3. a. Within thirty days after the student's entrance in such schools or grades, the health certificate shall be submitted to the principal or his or her designee and shall be filed in the student's cumulative health record. If such student does not present a health certificate as required in this section, unless he or she has been accommodated on religious grounds, the principal or the principal's designee shall cause a notice to be sent to the parents or person in parental relationship to such student that if the required health certificate is not furnished within thirty days from the date of such notice, an examination will be made of such student, as provided in this article. Each school and school district chosen as part of an appropriate sampling methodology shall participate in surveys directed by the commissioner of health pursuant to the public health law in relation to students' BMI and weight status categories as reported on the school health certificate and which shall be subject to audit by the commissioner of health. Such surveys shall contain the information required pursuant to subdivision one of this section in relation to students' BMI and weight status categories in aggregate. Parents or other persons in parental relation to a student may refuse to have the student's BMI and weight status category included in such survey. Each school and school district shall provide the commissioner of health with any information, records and reports he or she may require for the purpose of such audit. The BMI and weight status survey and audit as described in this subdivision shall be conducted consistent with confidentiality requirements imposed by federal law.

b. Within thirty days after the student's entrance in such schools or grades, the dental health certificate, if obtained, shall be filed in the student's cumulative health record.

4. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions one, two and three of this section, no examinations for a health certificate or health history shall be required or dental certificate requested, and no screening examinations for sickle cell anemia shall be required where a student or the parent or person in parental relation to such student objects thereto on the grounds that such examinations or health history conflict with their genuine and sincere religious beliefs.


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Last modified: September 11, 2016