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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

121A.17 SCHOOL BOARD RESPONSIBILITIES.
    Subdivision 1. Early childhood developmental screening. Every school board must
provide for a mandatory program of early childhood developmental screening for children at
least once before school entrance, targeting children who are between three and four years old.
This screening program must be established either by one board, by two or more boards acting
in cooperation, by service cooperatives, by early childhood family education programs, or by
other existing programs. This screening examination is a mandatory requirement for a student
to continue attending kindergarten or first grade in a public school. A child need not submit to
developmental screening provided by a board if the child's health records indicate to the board
that the child has received comparable developmental screening from a public or private health
care organization or individual health care provider. A student identification number, as defined
by the commissioner of education, shall be assigned at the time of early childhood developmental
screening or at the time of the provision of health records indicating a comparable screening. Each
school district must provide the essential data in accordance with section 125B.07, subdivision
6
, to the Department of Education. Districts are encouraged to reduce the costs of preschool
developmental screening programs by utilizing volunteers and public or private health care
organizations or individual health care providers in implementing the program.
    Subd. 2. Screening required before kindergarten enrollment. A child must not be enrolled
in kindergarten in a public school unless the parent or guardian of the child submits to the
school principal or other person having general control and supervision of the school a record
indicating the months and year the child received developmental screening and the results of the
screening not later than 30 days after the first day of attendance. If a child is transferred from one
kindergarten to another, the parent or guardian of the child must be allowed 30 days to submit the
child's record, during which time the child may attend school.
    Subd. 3. Screening program. (a) A screening program must include at least the following
components: developmental assessments, hearing and vision screening or referral, immunization
review and referral, the child's height and weight, identification of risk factors that may influence
learning, an interview with the parent about the child, and referral for assessment, diagnosis,
and treatment when potential needs are identified. The district and the person performing or
supervising the screening must provide a parent or guardian with clear written notice that
the parent or guardian may decline to answer questions or provide information about family
circumstances that might affect development and identification of risk factors that may influence
learning. The notice must clearly state that declining to answer questions or provide information
does not prevent the child from being enrolled in kindergarten or first grade if all other screening
components are met. If a parent or guardian is not able to read and comprehend the written notice,
the district and the person performing or supervising the screening must convey the information
in another manner. The notice must also inform the parent or guardian that a child need not submit
to the district screening program if the child's health records indicate to the school that the child
has received comparable developmental screening performed within the preceding 365 days by a
public or private health care organization or individual health care provider. The notice must be
given to a parent or guardian at the time the district initially provides information to the parent or
guardian about screening and must be given again at the screening location.
(b) All screening components shall be consistent with the standards of the state commissioner
of health for early developmental screening programs. A developmental screening program must
not provide laboratory tests or a physical examination to any child. The district must request
from the public or private health care organization or the individual health care provider the
results of any laboratory test or physical examination within the 12 months preceding a child's
scheduled screening.
(c) If a child is without health coverage, the school district must refer the child to an
appropriate health care provider.
(d) A board may offer additional components such as nutritional, physical and dental
assessments, review of family circumstances that might affect development, blood pressure,
laboratory tests, and health history.
(e) If a statement signed by the child's parent or guardian is submitted to the administrator
or other person having general control and supervision of the school that the child has not been
screened because of conscientiously held beliefs of the parent or guardian, the screening is not
required.
    Subd. 4. Follow-up screening. If any child's screening indicates a condition which requires
diagnosis or treatment, the child's parents shall be notified of the condition and the board shall
ensure that an appropriate follow-up and referral process is available.
    Subd. 5. Developmental screening program information. The board must inform each
resident family with a child eligible to participate in the developmental screening program about
the availability of the program and the state's requirement that a child receive a developmental
screening or provide health records indicating that the child received a comparable developmental
screening from a public or private health care organization or individual health care provider not
later than 30 days after the first day of attending kindergarten in a public school. A school district
must inform all resident families with eligible children under age seven that their children may
receive a developmental screening conducted either by the school district or by a public or private
health care organization or individual health care provider.
    Subd. 6. Developmental screening services. A board may contract with or purchase
service from an approved early developmental screening program in the area. Developmental
screening must be conducted by either an individual who is licensed as, or has training that is
similar to a special education teacher, school psychologist, kindergarten teacher, prekindergarten
teacher, school nurse, public health nurse, registered nurse, or physician. The individual may
be a volunteer.
    Subd. 7. Screening record. The district must provide the parent or guardian of the child
screened with a record indicating the month and year the child received developmental screening
and the results of the screening. The district must keep a duplicate copy of the record of each
child screened.
    Subd. 8. Volunteer screening programs. Every board must integrate and utilize volunteer
screening programs in implementing sections 121A.17 to 121A.19 wherever possible.
    Subd. 9. Health care provider societies. A board may consult with local societies of health
care providers.
    Subd. 10. Priority to volunteers. In selecting personnel to implement the screening
program, the district must give priority first to qualified volunteers.
History: 1977 c 305 s 45; 1977 c 437 s 2; 1979 c 334 art 6 s 12,13; 1981 c 358 art 6 s 14;
1982 c 548 art 6 s 5; 1983 c 314 art 6 s 7; 1Sp1985 c 12 art 6 s 2; 1986 c 444; 1989 c 329 art 4 s
20; 1991 c 265 art 4 s 6,32; 1992 c 499 art 4 s 1-4; 1993 c 224 art 4 s 12-17; 1993 c 374 s 12;
1996 c 305 art 1 s 138; 1998 c 397 art 3 s 57-65,103; art 11 s 3; 1Sp2005 c 5 art 7 s 1,2