Screening Programs: Falmouth Public Schools follows the MA Department of Public health policy regarding mandatory screenings as follows:
Vision and Hearing: Vision screening is done yearly in grades K through 5, and in grades 7 and 10. Hearing screening is done yearly in grades K through 3, and then grades 6 and 10. Parents will be notified of any problems that necessitate a medical follow-up.
Postural: 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 fifth grade. Parents will be notified of any screening results that necessitate a physician referral.
Growth and Development: The state of Massachusetts mandates that yearly height, weight, and Body Mass Indexes (BMI) be calculated on children in grades 1, 4, 7 and 10 (or of comparable age).
The BMI provides a guideline based on the height, weight, age and sex of the child or adolescent to assess the risk of overweight and underweight in children and adolescents. For children the BMI is then looked at as a percentile number, much like the height and growth percentiles that pediatricians use to watch a baby or child’s growth. The BMI is a screening tool and not a diagnostic tool.
The guidelines used by the State of MA that identify norms and children at risk are as follows:
- Underweight-less than the 5th percentile
- Healthy weight-5th percentile to under 85th percentile
- Overweight-85th percentile to less than 95th percentile
- Obese-95th percentile or greater
Physical Exams: Physical exams performed by your child’s pediatrician are required upon entry and every 3 years thereafter. Physical Exams are required every 13 months for participation in interscholastic sports. The physical must be current for the entire season.
If you do not wish to have your child participate in any of these screening programs, please send a written request stating so to your child’s Health Office. Your school nurse can help with referrals. Please feel free to contact your child’s school nurse with any questions or concerns.