Health Screenings

Mountain Lakes High School Health Services
Health Screenings

Auditory Screening:

The purpose of a school auditory screening program is to identify students with any hearing loss that may impact their intellectual, emotional, social, speech, or language development.

High School Auditory Screenings are conducted for students who are:

  • Enrolled in grade 10
  • Entering the district with no recent record of audiometric screening
  • Referred to the child study team for evaluation
  • Referred for screening by a teacher, a parent/guardian, or at the student's own request
  • At risk for noise exposure

Blood Pressure Screening:

High blood pressure in children can signal the possibility of serious underlying problems, such as heart or kidney disease. The American Heart Association and the Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend annual blood pressure checks for all children above the age of three. Identification of children who have elevated blood pressure allows their healthcare provider to evaluate the cause and institute proper treatment to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease as they grow into adulthood.

High School Blood Pressure Screenings are conducted for all students as per protocol. When a referral is necessary for additional evaluation by a healthcare provider, the parent/guardian will be notified in writing. The results of the school screenings will be included in this notification.

Measurement of Height and Weight:

Annual height and weight measurements provide a simple, effective method of identifying significant childhood health problems. Deviation in normal growth patterns can result from any of the following:

  • Systemic disorders (malnutrition)
  • Intestinal conditions
  • Psychosocial conditions (eating disorders)
  • Congenital disorders
  • Conditions of the endocrine system (hypothyroidism, growth hormone deficiency)

In addition, yearly height and weight measurements can be used as an educational tool for parents/guardians, students and school personnel by:

  • Creating an awareness of the relationship between good nutrition and growth and good health practices and growth
  • Stimulating interest in an individual's sense of responsibility for his or her own growth and development

The American Medical Association recommends screening adolescents annually for eating disorders and obesity by measuring height and weight and by asking about body image and dieting patterns.

High School Height and Weight Measurements are performed on all students annually per protocol and when screening results deviate from the norm, the parents/guardians will be notified in writing of these results and of the need for additional evaluation by a healthcare provider.

The following conditions will be referred by the nurse:

  • Weight for age or height greater than the 95th percentile
  • Weight for age or height, or height for age, less than the 5th percentile
  • Dramatic change in student growth pattern for example a student who has been consistently at the 50th percentile drops to the 10th percentile or rises above to the 90th percentile
  • Significant weight loss (10% or more of body weight)

Scoliosis Screening:

Scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine most commonly detected during the adolescent growth period. It is estimated that between 5% and 10% of school children have such a curvature to varying degrees. However, only about 2% of these curvatures are significant. If someone else in the family has scoliosis, the likelihood of incidence is much higher—approximately 20%. The effect of scoliosis depends upon its severity, how early it is detected, and how promptly it is treated.

By law, every school in New Jersey must provide scoliosis screening of every student between the ages of 10 and 18 every two years. The goal of this mass screening is to identify scoliosis in its earliest stages, because curvatures can often be controlled if detected early. Students diagnosed with scoliosis should be under the care and supervision of a healthcare provider.

All students in The Mountain Lakes School District will be screened for scoliosis in grades 5, 7, 9, and 11.

Prior to the scoliosis screening, all parents/guardians are notified in writing. At the high school level, a general letter explaining the health screenings and specifically the scoliosis screenings is sent home at the end of the summer. Any student may be exempt from the scoliosis examination upon the written request of a parent/guardian. Please see the exemption letter that may be submitted to the school nurse at anytime.

Scoliosis screening is performed as per protocol and when screening results deviate from the norm, the parents/guardians are notified in writing of these results and of the need for additional evaluation by a healthcare provider.

Vision Screening:

In order to detect visual impairment, the vision screening process is essential for all students enrolled in school.

Impaired vision in children can:

  • Seriously affect their learning abilities, leading to educational problems and limited academic success
  • Lead to poor self-esteem and social isolation
  • Result in emotional and behavioral problems
  • Negatively impact on the student's educational and vocational choices

National studies indicate that among 15-19 year olds, 30% of students have vision problems that require professional eye care. School screening programs generally focus on visual acuity and are designed only to identify students who may need further evaluation.

Vision Screenings for High School Students are performed annually.

Additionally, the following students should be screened for vision problems:

  • All new students
  • All students registering for driver education
  • All teacher referred students who show signs or symptoms of visual problems
  • All students at high risk of having vision disorders that is students with disabilities and special needs
  • All students referred to child study team

Visual Acuity Screening is performed using Snellen Eye Charts as per protocol. When screening results deviate from the normal, parents/guardians are notified in writing of these results and of the need for additional evaluation by a healthcare provider.

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