The purpose of the Health Services Program is to help children to function at their maximum capacity, protect them from disease, and to administer first aid. The program is helpful to both teachers and parents in keeping them aware of the health needs of children. In District 62, there are two certified school nurses who coordinate school health services at each school and provide consultation and direct service for children with special needs, two registered nurses who provide direct services to students with significant medical needs and a health clerk at each school.
New Illinois Law Requires Student Eye Examinations
Effective January 1, 2008, the Illinois School Code require eye examinations of certain children. All children enrolling in kindergarten after January 1, 2008, and any children enrolling for the first time in a public, private, or parochial school after January 1, 2008, must have an eye examination and present proof of the eye examination to the school before October 15th of the school year. If not, the school may hold the child’s report card, but may not deny school attendance to the child. The Department of Public Health will establish, by rule, waivers for children who show an undue burden or lack of access to a licensed physician or optometrist. Religious objectors also are exempt from the eye examination in accordance with other health examination religious objections in subsection 8 of Section 27-8.1.
Every school must give notice of the eye examination requirement to parents and guardians of students in compliance with the rules to be prepared by the Department of Public Health. The eye examinations shall at a minimum include history, visual acuity, subjective refraction, internal and external examination, and a glaucoma evaluation. Every school shall report to ISBE by June 30, in the manner that ISBE requires, the numbers of children receiving eye examinations, those with religious exemptions, those with waivers, and those in noncompliance.
Physical Exams Required for 6th Graders
Beginning with the 2008-2009 school year, a new law, PA 95-422, takes effect that changes the age for a physical exam from fifth grade to sixth grade. This means that students who are entering fifth grade for the 2008-2009 school year do not need a physical exam for entry into school. However, entering fifth grade students will still need to have the complete Hepatitis B vaccination series.
In addition, Illinois House Bill 5717 amends the school code for the 2008-2009 school year. Those students who had a physical exam for entry into fifth grade for the 2007-2008 school year do not need to have another one for entry into sixth grade. However, any student who did not have a fifth grade physical for 2007-2008 or any student attending school in Illinois for the first time will have to have a physical for entry into sixth grade for the 2008-2009 school year.
For additional information, please write to Donna Zenger, Health Services Department Chair,