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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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School Health

Florida Department of Health in Gadsden County

In cooperation with the Department of Education, the School Health Services Program provides the services mandated in Florida statute sections 381.0056, 381.0057, and 402.3026. School health services are intended to minimize health barriers to learning for public school students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

To help ensure the provision of safe and appropriate county level school health services, the Department of Health school health program office provides funding, technical assistance, and oversight of health services provided in Florida's public schools.

State funding for the school health services program is supplemented by funding from local school districts and community partners and consists of three components: Basic School Health Services, Comprehensive School Health Services, and Full Service Schools. 

School Enrollment

To be eligible for school enrollment in a Florida (Pre-K-12) every child must present the following health documents:  A record of physical examination completed within the past 12 months and an up-to-date immunizations record (680 Form).  Other requirements for school entry can be found through the Florida Department of Education or the local school district.

Immunization Records

Prior to entry, attendance or transfer to preschools, schools (Pre K-12), licensed childcare facilities, and family daycare homes, each child shall have on file a Florida Certification of Immunization, DH 680.  Information on School Entry Immunization requirements is available at the Florida Health School Enrollment Web Page.

Physical Examination

Students in grades Pre K-12th who are making their initial entry into a Florida school must present a record of a physical examination completed within the past 12 months. The exam record should be taken to the child's school upon enrollment.

Although a specific form is not required, it is recommended that Florida's Standardized School Entry Exam Form (DH 3040) be used to document completion of a physical examination.  It must be completed by a health care provider licensed to perform physical examinations.|

Students transferring from outside the State of Florida must provide proof of physical exam completed by a U.S. doctor not older than 12 month prior school registration.  Additional information on School Entry Health Examinations is available at the Florida Health School Enrollment Web Page.

Screenings

Vision

To identify children with potential vision problems and eye defects that may cause difficulty in learning. The screening is a guide and is not a substitute for a regular eye examination.
A Vision Screening is not an eye examination; however, it is a tool used to identify a potential vision problem. It can help discover eye defects early in children which may cause difficulty in their learning.
Students in grades K, 1st, 3rd, and 6th grade are screened. A student's visual acuity number is the last line read correctly (one more than half of the symbols / letters).

To pass the vision screening:

  • Students younger than age 6 must demonstrate 20/40 acuity or better in each eye.
  • Students age 6 and older must demonstrate 20/30 acuity or better in each eye.
  • Students that fail the initial screening are re-screened by the DOH-Gadsden Registered Nurse. This will be done on the same day or as deemed appropriate. If the student's re-screening confirms the initial screening results a referral for medical evaluation will be sent home.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is a condition that involves complex lateral and rotational curvature and deformity of the spine. This condition tends to appear before and during adolescence and it may be corrected if detected early.

To identify children who are at risk for scoliosis (this initially is a symptom for lateral curvature of the spine) trained school personnel along with Registered Nurses from the School Health program will screened students in grade 6th. Students enrolled in other grades may be screened when a problem is suspected.

Symptoms can include:

  • Uneven musculature on one side of the spine
  • A rib hump and / or prominent shoulder blade, caused by a rotation of the ribcage in thoracic scoliosis
  • Uneven hip and shoulder levels
  • Asymmetric size or location of breast in females
  • Unequal distance between arms and body
  • Clothes that do not hang right such as uneven hemlines

Students should wear clothing in which their top can be easily removed. Girls must wear a sports bra or bathing suit top underneath their clothing on the day of the screening. Following a review of the screening results with the Department of Health school nurse, re-screening may be performed on students with suspected abnormal findings. After re-screening, referral forms may be sent to parents notifying them of a suspected problem.

Height, Weigh & Body Mass Index (BMI)

Florida schools are required to do BMI screenings for students in 1st, 3rd, and 6th grade to identify children who are at risk for obesity which may lead to other health problems. Some schools elect to do an additional screening for students in 9th grade. The screening uses the child's age, height, and weight to determine body density. It does not take into account muscle mass or bone structure.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

To calculate your child's BMI use the following formula:

  • Weight (lb.) ÷ height (in) ÷ height (in) x 703
  • or use the CDC's BMI calculator

What your results mean:

  • If your child's BMI is less than or equal to 5% on the CDC graph your child  is considered to be below average weight for his height and age.
  • If your child's BMI is greater than or equal to 95% on the CDC graph your child is at increased risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes.  Additional risk factors such as a family history of high blood pressure, or high cholesterol may increase risk.

Note: Results do not take into account muscle mass or bone structure. It is solely based on numbers obtained from height, weight, and age

Additional Services:

  • Hearing Screenings
  • First Aid
  • Medication Administration
  • Health assessments, referral, and counseling parents regarding student health problems
  • Immunization Record Review
  • Review of student health records for immunization and physical exam compliance and follow-up with parents
  • Provide immunization referral or immunization services at selected locations

Resources

Gadsden County Schools

Florida Department of Education

Florida Health-School Health