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Letter to Administrators

Letter to Administrators requiring New York State public schools to request, or ask, for a dental health certificate of students

Dear School Administrator:

A law passed in 2007 requires New York State public schools to request, or ask, for a dental health certificate of students, at the time of school entry and in grades K, 2, 4, 7, and 10, declaring their dental health condition. Beginning in school year 2008 - 2009, schools must notify parents or guardians to request a dental health certificate and must provide a list of registered dental hygienists upon request to which students who need dental assessments may be referred on a free or reduced cost basis.

What specifically does this new law require?

Education Law §903 requires students to furnish a health certificate upon entry into a school, or upon entry into grades K, 2, 4, 7 and 10. Chapter 281 of the Laws of 2007 amended §903 to require school districts to request dental health certificates upon a student’s entrance into school, or upon entry into grades K, 2, 4, 7, and 10. Failure to provide such a certificate does not preclude a student’s attendance at school.

  • Each dental health certificate must be signed by a duly licensed dentist or dental hygienist and shall describe the dental health condition of the student when the assessment was conducted. This examination must be made no more than twelve months prior to the beginning of the school year in which such examination is requested.
  • Within 30 days after the student's entrance in such school or grades, the dental health certificate, if obtained, shall be filed in the student’s cumulative health record.
  • Assessment and dental health history of any student may be requested by the local school authorities at any time in their discretion to promote the educational interests of such student.
  • A notice of request for dental health certificates shall  be distributed at the same time that parents or persons in parental relationship to students are notified of health examination requirements.
  • The notice shall include a statement that a list of dental hygienists to which students who need comprehensive dental assessments may be referred for treatment on a free or reduced cost basis is available upon request at the student's schools.  Such list shall be made available to all public schools, and made available to parents or guardians upon request.

What is the role of schools?

  • Distribute a sample Dental Health Certificate form to students.
  • Provide a list of dental hygienists upon request
  • Keep checking the Department of Health’s website for more updated information.

What if a student is not in fit condition to attend school?

  • This does not preclude a student from attending school.

What should the school do with the dental health certificate form?

  • File it in the cumulative health record.