Mandated School Health Program
The Pennsylvania Public School Code requires certain school health services for all children of school age, regardless of the school setting. This page focuses on the physical examinations and health screenings (growth, hearing, scoliosis, TB and vision). Information on dental health in schools can be found on the "Dental Health Program" page and information on school nurse issues can be found on the "Nurse Practice Issues in the School Setting" page.
School Health Forms Available in Multiple Languages
School Health forms are available in multiple languages through TransACT. TransACT is available free-of-charge to every school entity in Pennsylvania and provides a comprehensive set of forms and notices in a wide range of languages for both native English and limited-English speaking parents. Each school entity should have a TransACT Coordinator (typically the ESL or Special Education Coordinator). School nurses and dental hygienists should contact the TransACT Coordinator for your school entity to request an account.
The above link is to a grid that provides an overview of all the school health services mandated for school-age children along with the applicable grades. The term "ungraded" is no longer used by the Department of Education. Students receiving special education services are to receive screens and examinations according to the grade level on their IEP.
Effective February 9, 2017 the School Health Record is no longer available to order on line from the Division of School Health.
Schools will need to print copies of the Physical Examination Form, Progress Notes, School Health Record and School Personnel Health Record. Dental forms are available for printing from the Dental page of this website.
It is recommended that schools provide the physical and dental exam forms on their respective websites for parents or provider offices to print, as needed.
Modification Requests for Mandated School Health Services
Per the Public School Code, Article XIV, Section 1402(f), schools may request a modification to change the grades in which mandated examinations and screenings are completed. The minimum number of examinations/screenings must match those required by law/regulation. (For example, a school may request to complete physicals on original entry, in 6th grade and in 9th grade. This would be at each transition phase from elementary to middle school to high school).
Schools may also request to accept private physical and dental exams performed one year prior to the grade in which they are mandated. Exams by the school provider must be performed in the mandated grade.
To request a modification for TB testing of students The school entity must send a letter detailing the specific modification they are requesting to the Division of School Health (1) on school letterhead, (2) signed by the Superintendent/CEO, and (3) confirming that the requested change has been incorporated into the school entity's health policy/procedures with approval by the school board. The law does not contain a provision to allow modifications for school staff/volunteers. They must be tested "prior to working for the school." For more details on TB testing see the "Tuberculosis" page.
To request an approved modification: The school entity must send a letter detailing the specific modification they are requesting to the Division of School Health (1) on school letterhead, (2) signed by the Superintendent/CEO, and (3) confirming that the requested change has been incorporated into the school entity's health policy/procedures with approval by the school board. The letter must be sent to: Director, Division of School Health, 30 Kline Plaza, Harrisburg, PA 17104. Upon receipt of the request, the Division of School Health and the Secretary of Health will either deny or approve the request and inform the school entity of the decision in a hard copy letter sent to the Superintendent/CEO.
Requirements for School Physician and Dentist
Article XIV of the Pennsylvania Public School Code requires that public school entities hire a school physician and dentist. Appointments shall be approved by the Department of Health. To request approval for a school physician or dentist, the school entity must submit a request in writing on district letterhead and include: 1) name of the physician or dentist as it appears on their license; 2) their license number and 3) date of decision to contract with this physician or dentist. The letter is only required when contracting with a new physician or dentist. The request must be mailed to: Division of School Health, 30 Kline Plaza Harrisburg, PA 17104.
Updated: February 2018