Return to Headlines

State-Required Screenings for all Students

The Texas Department of State Health Services requires students in designated grades who attend public, private, or charter schools to be screened for specific conditions that could impact their ability to learn or impact their health and well-being in the future. The state-required screenings will be performed during the school year by a certified screener who has received additional training and certification to perform the screening.

A screening is not a diagnostic test and cannot identify the specific problem or suggest treatment options. A screening is a very simple test and can indicate if a student would benefit from further evaluation. Any potential problems or concerns identified during the screening will be reported to the parent/guardian and the student will be referred to a professional for further evaluation.

If you do not wish the district nursing staff/certified screeners to perform the screenings, you may substitute a professional examination by a health care provider of your choice. You may also provide an Affidavit of Religious Exemption.  Please contact your campus nurse for information on when the assessments and screenings are conducted so that your student can timely coordinate his or her examination/screening by the health care provider of your choice.

The privacy and dignity of your student will be protected and preserved at all times. Because these screenings are state mandated, your consent to these procedures is automatic unless you notify the school district in advance.

Vision and Hearing Screenings

Kindergarten, 1st grade, 3rd grade, 5th grade, 7th grade

Type II Diabetes Risk Assessment (AN) Acanthosis Nigricans

1st grade, 3rd grade, 5th grade, 7th grade

Acanthosis Nigricans is a skin condition that signals high insulin levels in the body. It appears as a light brown or black, velvety, rough or thickened lesion on the surface of the skin. It can be found on the neck, armpits, and over the knuckles. Children who have the Acanthosis Nigricans marker on their skin may be at-risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. The AN marker does not mean the student has diabetes. A student who is identified as having evidence of the marker will be referred to their health care provider for evaluation.

Postural or Spinal Screenings

School-based spinal screening helps to identify adolescents with abnormal spinal curves and refer them for appropriate follow-up by their primary care physician. Screening can detect scoliosis at an early stage, when the curve is mild and may go unnoticed. Early detection is key to controlling spinal deformities.

In compliance with Health and Safety Code, Chapter 37, all children shall undergo screening for abnormal spinal curvature in accordance with the following schedule: 

  • Girls will be screened two times, in 5th grade and 7th grade.
  • Boys will be screened one time, in 8th grade.

Students should wear or bring shorts or pants for the exam.  All students must remove their shirt for this exam.  For this reason, we request that grls wear a halter top, tube top, sports bra or swim suit top underneath their shirt on exam day.

EXCEPTIONS AND EXEMPTIONS A student may be exempt from screening if:

  • The student is already actively under medical care by an appropriately licensed professional for one or more of the spinal problems for which spinal screening is performed. To claim this exception, the student must submit signed and dated documentation from the licensed professional to the school. The documentation must state that the student is under active, ongoing medical care for specific spinal problems.
  • A student’s parent or legal guardian executes an affidavit stating that spinal screening will be conducted by an individual other than the screener used by the school. The school may admit the student on a provisional basis for up to 60 days. The school may deny admission until the screening record of the student is provided.
  • The screening conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination of which the individual is a member. The parent or legal guardian must submit to the school an affidavit in lieu of the screening record stating the conflict. The affidavit must be submitted on or before the date spinal screening is scheduled


Dear Parent/Guardian:

Our school will do spinal screenings on_________________ 

State law requires that schools must screen students for abnormal spinal curvature in accordance with the following schedule:

* Girls will be screened two times, once at age 10 (or fall semester of grade 5) and again at age 12 (or fall semester of grade 7).

* Boys will be screened one time at age 13 or 14 (or fall semester of grade 8).

Trained screeners will check your child for signs of spinal problems like scoliosis.

Catching a spinal problem early can make the treatment much easier. Not treating spinal problems can lead to serious health problems.

The screening is simple. Screeners will look at your child’s back while he or she stands and bends forward.

 Important Recommendations:

  • Students should wear or bring shorts to school for the exam.
  • Girls should wear a thin t-shirt or a sports bra or a two-piece swimsuit top underneath their shirt on exam day.
  • If girls are wearing a sports bra or a two-piece swimsuit top underneath their shirt, it is recommended they remove their shirt for the screening.
  • Boys and girls will be screened separately and one at a time.

The school will send you a letter if your child does not pass the screening. The letter will tell you how to follow up with a doctor.

This screening is not a medical exam. Your child still needs to see a doctor for checkups.

If you do not wish to have your child screened for religious reasons, you must submit an exemption to the school no later than _____________.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Your School Nurse

Contact your school nurse for questions or concerns.