The Texas Comprehensive School Health Network is a collaborative effort of the Texas Department of Health and Regional Education Service Centers. Through this project, each of the ESCs is staffed with a School Health Specialist who provides in-service training, workshops, and technical assistance to school districts. The school health program at Region 15 assists schools in locating resources and materials on a wide variety of health and wellness topics, works with district school health advisory councils, and assists school wellness programs. It is our mission to assist districts by being a central coordinating point for the many health education topics and assist districts in developing an integrated, coordinated approach to health and wellness programs.

    Legislative Update

    A summary of legislation which may have an impact on school health that has become law during this most recent session can be found at www.dshs.state.tx.us/schoolhealth/default.shtm under the heading “Of special interest within this site”.





    Mission Statement
    The mission of the Texas School Nurses Organization is to advance the practice of professional school nurses and enhance school nursing practice in ways that promote students optimal level of wellness and educational success.

    Vision Statement
    To become the leading resource for professional school nurse practice and quality school health services in Texas.



    School Health Advisory Councils

    What is a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)?

    A SHAC is a group of individuals representing segments of the community, appointed by the school district to serve at the district level, to provide advice to the district on coordinated school health programming and its impact on student health and learning.

    SHACs provide an efficient, effective structure for creating and implementing age-appropriate, sequential health education programs, and early intervention and prevention strategies that can easily be supported by local families and community stakeholders.

    Benefits of Having a SHAC

    1. Addressing the health needs of students through the work of the SHAC, helps meet district performance goals and alleviates financial constraints.
    2. SHACs play an important role in communicating the connection between health and learning to school administrators, parents and community stakeholders.
    3. SHACs can help parents and community stakeholders reinforce the health knowledge and skills children need to be healthy for a lifetime.

    SHAC Laws in Texas

    Every independent school system is required by law to have a School District Health Advisory Council; of which the majority of members must be parents who are not employed by the school district.  Title 2, Chapter 28, Section 28.004 of the Texas Education Code at http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.28.htm#28.004 details the specifics of this mandate.

    SHAC Resources

    Click on the following link to access the SHAC Guide for Texas School Districts:  http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/schoolhealth/SHACGuide2007.pdf

    SHAC Training

    To receive training to complement the information you will find in the SHAC guide contact Sarah Smith, Child Nutrition Specialist 325-481-4028


    School Health Services








    2013-2014 Immunization Requirements

    State law requires students in Texas schools tobe immunized against certain vaccine-preventable diseases.  Go to the Immunization Branch’s website at www.dshs.state.tx.us/immunize/school/default.shtmfor the latest immunization requirements for attendance in school.  The website also has additional informationsuch as related websites and resources; policies and the law; a letter toparents from Assistant Commissioner, Janna Zumbrun; and, exclusions fromimmunization requirements.

    2013-14 Texas Minimum State Vaccine Requirements for Students Grades K-12

    2013-14 Texas Minimum State Vaccine Requirements for Childcare Facilities

      Parent Letter - 2013-2014 Immunization Requirements for K-12



    Spinal Screening


    In 1985 the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 832 which requires screening for abnormal spinal curves for students in grades 6 and 9 attending public and private schools. The school is then required to notify the parents if a child shows any signs of a possible curvature. Screening should be done during the growth spurt years, ages 10-14 years (Grades 5-9), to detect spinal deformities early.

    The screening requirement for children entering grades 6 and 9 may be met if the child has been screened for spinal deformities by a physician and a record has been provided. Schools may implement a program that includes screening in the 5th and 8th grades, instead of grades 6 and 9.

    ESC-15 offers spinal certification classes throughout the year.   Go to www.esc15.net   to register.

    Spinal Screening Program Guidelines


    Vision and Hearing Screening


    The Vision and Hearing Screening Program, Texas Health and Safety Code requires that all children enrolled for the first time in any public, private, parochial, or denominational school or in a Department of Family and Protective Services licensed child-care center and licensed child care home in Texas, or who meet certain grade criteria (specified below), must be screened or have a professional examination for possible vision and hearing problems.

    • 4-years-old by September 1st
    • Kindergartners
    • Any other first-time entrants
    • (4 years* through 12th grade) must be screened within 120 days of admission
    • 1st-, 3rd-, 5th- and 7th--graders must be screened anytime within the school year (preferably within first semester)

    Elijah Brown, MPH
    Vision, Hearing and Spinal Screening Program
    Department of State Health Services
    Phone:  (512)776-6442

    Vision and Hearing Program Rules

    ESC-15 offers vision certification, hearing certification, and vision/hearing recertification classes throughout the year.  Go to www.esc15.net   to register.


    Acanthosis Nigricans
    (Risk Assessment for Type II Diabetes)


    FAQ on the Implementation of Laws on Screening for Acanthosis Nigricans

    School Information: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/Layouts/ContentPage.aspx?PageID=34556&id=4803&terms=acanthosis+nigricans

    UTPA Border Health Office ANTES Program:

    University of Texas - Pan American
    1201 W. University Dr, Edinburg TX 78539
    Phone: (956) 318 8900
    Fax: (956) 318 8903

    New! An online Acanthosis Nigricans Screening program is being created and is expected to go live in September 2012.  As new information becomes available, it will be posted on this page.


    UDCA Training


    Guidelines for Training School Employees Who Are Not Licensed Healthcare Professionals

    House Bill (HB) 984, 79[R], relates to the care of students with diabetes in schools. The bill mandates that principals identify unlicensed personnel to assist with caring for students during the regular school day or while participating in a school activity. The bill also mandates that the Texas Diabetes Council (TDC) develop guidelines for training school personnel to be diabetes care assistants.

    Guidelines for Training School Employees who are not Licensed Healthcare Professionals to implement House Bill 984 (79th Legislature) related to the Care of Elementary and Secondary School Students with diabetes

    Frequently Asked Questions related to implementing House Bill (HB) 984

    View resources for implementing HB 984

    ESC-15 offer UDCA trainings throughout the year.  Go to www.esc15.net  to register.


    Bloodborne Pathogen Control
    in Texas Schools


    As a result of legislation passed in 1999, Texas public school districts are required to implement bloodborne pathogen exposure control plans. The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) School Health Program compiled information and resources to assist public school districts in adapting policies to ensure compliance with Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 96 (Bloodborne Pathogen Control) of the Texas Administrative Code (§§96.101, 96.201-96.203, 96.301-96.304, 96.401-96.402, 96.501, 96.601) and Chapter 81 of the Health & Safety code (§§ 81.301- 81.306).  Click on the following link to access the resources: 





    Texas Guide to School Health Programs

    Texas School Nurse Consultant

    Texas School Nurse Organization

    National Association of School Nurses


    Helpful Resources and/or Websites

    Texas School Nurse Organization
    National Association of School Nurses
    Texas Department of Health
    Texas Education Agency
    Center for Disease Control and Prevention
    American Cancer Society
    Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
    Texas Health Steps Online Provider Education
    MacGILL Discount School Nurse Supplies
    School Health Corporation
    School Nurse Supply


    Food Allergies

    Guidelines for use by local Boards ofTrustees of school districts and governing bodies of open-enrollment charterschools have been developed to address the increase in students with diagnosedfood allergies at-risk for anaphylaxis. To access the Guidelines for Careof Students with Food Allergies at Risk for Anaphylaxis, go to www.dshs.state.tx.us/schoolhealth/Food-Allergies.aspx.


    Availability ofCommunicable Disease Chart and Notes for Schools and Child-Care Centers

    Themuch-anticipated and revised Communicable Disease Chart and Notes forSchools and Child-Care Centers from the Texas Department of StateHealth Services is ready.  It includes information about prevalentdiseases/conditions for school and child-care facility staff members to be usedin day-to-day operations.  The following information in included for 43conditions:

    ·        Incubation      ·        Transmission  ·        Signsand symptoms  ·        Exclusionand readmission criteria  ·        Whetherit’s a reportable condition

    ·        Immunization ·        Comments on prevention, treatment etc.


    Inthe “Notes” section there is information about when a communicable disease issuspected, hand washing, diapering, environmental surfaces and personal items,respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, standard precautions, immunization andantibiotic use. To order, go to https://secure.immunizetexasorderform.com/default.aspand request item number 6-30. 

    Do You Know Texas’ School HealthPolicies?
    With the increased media attention on studenthealth issues, it is more important than ever to stay up on the latest schoolhealth and safety policies in place where you live. Since 1998, the NationalAssociation of State Boards of Education has tracked state laws and policies onmore than 40 school health topics. Find what policies are in place in Texas byconsulting the State School Health Policy Database at www.nasbe.org/healthy_schools/hs.