The BMI screenings that will be taking place with Nurse Rose soon come from a Massachusetts General Law that mandates schools provide health screenings for students (M.G.L. Chapter 71, Section 57 and 105 CMR 200.000). Regulations requiring BMI screening for students in grades 1, 4, 7, and 10 (or of comparable age) were implemented by the state for all public school districts about 7 years ago.
The purpose is to provide information that families may need to support their child’s health as well as provide the state ongoing data about health trends of children in the state to inform their work as well. The information reported by the schools helps MA Department of Public Health target necessary areas of education and resources.
Although we are required by state law to perform these screenings, families always have the option to opt-out (as it is written into the regulations as well!)
If you are curious to learn more, please feel free to check out the guidelines here: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/com-health/school/bmi-screening-guidelines-for-schools.pdf