School Health fosters the growth, development and educational achievement of Missouri’s students by:

  • Promoting their health and well being.
  • Monitoring health status in order to identify and address the unmet needs of students, families and school personnel.
  • Building public and private partnerships to ensure quality services that are effective, culturally appropriate, and responsive to the diverse, changing needs of students and their communities.
  • Collaborating with other disciplines, programs and agencies to integrate and improve services, develop policies, and provide information about health issues and needs.

All strategies, activities, and services offered by, in, or in association with schools that are designed to promote students’ physical, emotional, and social development make up a school health program.

When schools work with students, their families and their community to provide these strategies, activities and services in a coordinated, planned way, then we use the term coordinated school health program. Ideally, a coordinated school health program includes several, if not all of the following:

  • A healthful environment,
  • Nursing and other health services that students need to stay in school,
  • Nutritious and appealing school meals,
  • Opportunities for physical activity that include physical education,
  • Health education that covers a range of developmentally appropriate topics taught by knowledgeable teachers,
  • Programs that promote the health of school faculty and staff, and
  • Counseling, psychological and social services that promotes healthy social and emotional development and remove barriers to students’ learning.

Vision Screening

Beginning July 1, 2008, every child enrolling in kindergarten or first grade in a public elementary school in this state shall receive one comprehensive vision examination performed by a state licensed optometrist or physician. Evidence of the examination shall be submitted to the school no later than January first of the first year in which the student is enrolled at the school, provided that the evidence submitted in no way violates any provisions of Public Law 104-191, 42 U.S.C. 201, et seq, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

Beginning July 1, 2008, and continuing through the 2010-11 school year unless extended by act of the general assembly, all public school districts shall conduct an eye screening for each student once before the completion of first grade and again before the completion of third grade. The eye screening method utilized shall be one approved by the children’s vision commission and shall be performed by an appropriately trained school nurse or other trained and qualified employee of the school district.

For frequently asked questions, please click here.

Contagious Diseases

For guidelines follwed by schools regarding contagious diseases and school attendance, please click here.