Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. c.71, s.57) require that all public school students in grades five through nine be screened annually for the early detection of spinal problems. This is not a diagnostic service but a screening program to identify children who should have further medical evaluation.
The screening consists of observations of the student’s back when standing and bending forward and will be done by a school nurse or Physical Education, Health and Wellness teacher. Boys and girls are screened separately and privately. The results are recorded in the confidential school health record. If your child has any unusual findings, you will be notified and asked to have your child seen by a health care provider.
Students are asked to remove their shirts. Girls should wear a bra or halter top to permit more accurate observation of the back. If students do not have the type of clothing that permits observation of the back or refuse screening, they will not be screened and a notice will be sent to parents/guardians that screening was not done. Follow up should be with the student’s health care provider with documentation submitted to the school nurse.
If you choose not to have your child participate in the Postural Screening Program, please notify the school nurse and submit documentation of postural screening by your child’s health care provider.
Please feel free to contact the school nurse with any questions about postural screening.
Gail Kramer, R.N., School Nurse