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Where all students learn, grow and succeed
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Health Services
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What's New
 

Spinal Screening Changes Effective with the 2018-2019 School Year

The Texas Legislature has recently changed the guidelines for spinal screening and mandated that girls be screened for abnormal spinal curvature twice: once at age 10 and again at age 12 (or as close to these ages as is reasonably possible). Boys are to be screened once at age 13 or 14. This is a change from previous years when screening was conducted based on the student’s grade level. In order to meet this mandate, a system has been established in RISD to screen all students who begin the school year at age 10, 12, or 13 years respectively, as well as those students who will turn the appropriate age by March 1 of this school year.

The Spinal Screening Program detects abnormal curves of the spine. Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine. Kyphosis is a rounding of the upper back. Adolescents between the ages of 10 and 16 are especially vulnerable to scoliosis because of their rapid growth. If detected early, these curves can usually be corrected before extensive treatment is required.

The screening process consists of observing the spine from different angles. In order for the school nurse to observe the spine, it will be necessary for the student to remove his/her shirt. Girls should wear a shirt and pants/skirt with a swimsuit top or bra under the shirt. Each child will be screened individually to ensure privacy. Following the screening, a letter will be sent only to the parents of children whose results indicate the need for a further evaluation by a physician.

Spinal screening will take place in February, 2019. This screening procedure does not replace your child’s need for regular health care and check-ups.

If you do not wish to have your child participate in the mandated school screening process, please provide the school nurse or school principal with one of the following prior to the screening:

  • Documentation from a licensed professional that the child is actively under medical care for one or more spinal problems;
  • A physician-signed spinal evaluation completed at the required age (or reasonably close to that age); or
  • A signed affidavit from the parent, legal guardian, or managing conservator in lieu of the screening record(s) stating the screening conflicts with the tenets and practices of a church or religious denomination of which the affiant is an adherent or member.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your school nurse.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDS)

An AED is a small, portable device that analyzes the heart's rhythm and prompts the user to deliver a defibrillation shock if it determines one is needed. Once turned on, the AED guides the user through each step of the defibrillation process by providing voice and/or visual prompts.

AEDs are specially designed for easy use by a "first responder", who would be the first person to typically arrive on the scene of a medical emergency. A first responder can be an emergency medical services worker, a firefighter or police officer, or it can be a layperson with minimal AED training.

Time to defibrillation, the most critical factor in sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survival, can be reduced if an AED is "on-site" and can be brought to the victim quickly. This is one of the reasons that survival rates improve in communities with active AED programs. The goal is to improve SCA survival rates, and on-site AEDs can make the difference.

RISD has AEDs in all elementary, junior high, and high schools, as well as administrative offices. Additionally, each RISD campus has an Emergency Response Team (ERT) in place to ensure that every campus can respond quickly and appropriately to a sudden cardiac arrest event. The campus ERT is composed of at least 6 individuals (school staff, teachers and nurse), most of whom are certified in American Heart Association CPR/AED, who are able and willing to respond to events and participate in practice AED drills twice a year.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) governs the privacy of protected health information. Information regarding a student’s immunizations, health information, diagnosis, and medical treatments will not be released by your health care provider to your school nurse, who will require this information to meet district and state regulations. The responsibility will fall on our parents to obtain this information directly from their health care provider and bring it to their school nurse.

Your cooperation in expediently providing any health information that is requested by the school nurse will be greatly appreciated.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records, which also includes student health information such as immunizations and state-mandated screening results.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions:

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

For more information visit: www2.ed.gov

     
 
 
 
Health Services
701 W. Belt Line Rd.
Richardson, Texas 75080
469-593-7445
Fax 469-593-7407
Email
 
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