Within 30 calendar days of the first day of school entry, all kindergarten students and, beginning with the 2016-17 school year, all students entering public schools for the first time, regardless of grade level, must furnish to the principal a form that meets the requirements of state law indicating that the student has received a health assessment pursuant to G.S. 130A-440. A student who fails to meet this requirement will not be permitted to attend school until the required health assessment form has been presented. Such absences will not be considered suspensions, and the student will be given an opportunity to make up work missed during the absence as described below. The principal or designee shall, at the time of enrollment, notify the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis that the completed health assessment form is needed on or before the child’s first day of attendance. The date the student’s health assessment form is received will be recorded in the student’s official record, and the form will be maintained on file in the school.
The assessment must include a medical history and physical examination with screening for vision and hearing and, if appropriate, testing for anemia and tuberculosis. The health assessment must be conducted no more than 12 months prior to the date of school entry. Exceptions to the health assessment requirement will be made only for religious reasons.
Vision screening must comply with the vision screening standards adopted by the former Governor’s Commission on Early Childhood Vision Care. Within 180 days of the start of the school year, the parent of the child must present to the principal or designee certification that within the past 12 months, the child has obtained a comprehensive eye examination performed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist or has obtained a vision screening conducted by a licensed physician, an optometrist, a physician assistant, a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse, an orthoptist or a vision screener certified by Prevent Blindness North Carolina.
Children who receive and fail to pass the required vision screening must obtain a comprehensive eye exam conducted by a duly licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. The provider of the exam must present to the parent a signed transmittal form, which the parent must submit to the school. If a member of the school staff has reason to believe that a child enrolled in kindergarten through third grade is having problems with vision, the staff member may recommend to the child’s parent that the child have a comprehensive eye examination.
No child will be excluded from attending school solely for a parent’s failure to obtain a comprehensive eye exam. If a parent fails or refuses to obtain a comprehensive eye exam or to provide the certification of a comprehensive eye exam, school officials shall send a written reminder to the parent of required eye exams.
Upon request, the teacher(s) of a student subject to an absence from school for failure to provide the health assessment form required by this section shall provide to the student all missed assignments, and to the extent practicable, the materials distributed to students in connection with the assignments. The principal or designee shall arrange for the student to take home textbooks and school-furnished digital devices for the duration of the absence and shall permit the student to take any quarterly, semester, or grading period examinations missed during the absence period.