Student Support Services

Education Law Section 903

Effective after September 1, 2008

§ 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 any applicable  written  practice  agreement, 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. 
    1. 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 examination  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 who is authorized by law  to  practice  in  this  state, and consistent  with any applicable written practice  agreement, or by a duly licensed dentist 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 dental health 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 requested, and shall state whether such student is in fit  condition of dental health to permit his or her attendance at the public schools. 
    2. 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 dentists to which children who need comprehensive dental examinations may be referred  for  treatment 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 dentists to  which  children  who need comprehensive dental examinations may be referred for treatment 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. 
    1. 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. 
    2. 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.  
  2. 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.    * NB Effective September 1, 2008
Last Updated: April 7, 2009