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Health Screening Basics

Texas public, private, and charter schools are required to screen children at specific grade or age levels for certain conditions. These screenings include:

Fitness Testing


The Texas Legislature requires that School Districts assess the physical fitness of students in grades 3- 12. Students will be tested in the following categories:

  • Body composition
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Abdominal strength and endurance
  • Upper body strength and endurance
  • Flexibility

A physical fitness report card will be provided at the end of the school year for the students that complete the test.

Vision and Hearing

Chapter 36 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, requires that children  4 years old by Sept. 1st, Kindergartners and any other first time entrants (4-12th grades)and 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th grades be screened for vision and hearing.

Spinal Deformities


The Texas State Legislature passed a law in 1985 that requires all sixth and ninth grade students (or grades 5 and 8) to be screened for spinal deformities. Early detection of abnormal spinal curvature can prevent serious health problems. This is a problem that may begin during the early adolescent years (from 10 – 14 years of age), with an estimated 1 in 10 adolescents having some degree of abnormal curvature. Curves that are detected early may only require periodic observation by a specialist. Moderate curves may require the wearing of a brace, which is usually supervised by an orthopedic specialist. In most cases, the need for major surgery for this deformity can be eliminated through early detection. 

Children will be screened for two types of spinal deformities: scoliosis and kyphosis. Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine is twisted, causing misalignment of the upper body or lower back. This condition can worsen and lead to much pain, as well as complications of the heart and lungs. Kyphosis is an exaggerated rounding of the spine. Progression of these two conditions can often be arrested if detected early. 

Acanthosis Nigricans

Senate Bill 415 requires that schools screen for Texas Risk Assessment for Type 2 Diabetes in Children grades 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th.  AN is a light brown-black, velvety, rough or thickened lesion on the surface of the skin.  It can be a primary marker that may signal high insulin levels, which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes.