First and foremost, the screenings are regulated not by the DE, but by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Specific questions should be directed to IDPH, whose web site is http://www.idph.state.ia.us/.
The dental screening rules require schools to receive both proofs of screening and exemptions. While these screenings (or exemptions) are required of “all persons enrolled or attempting to enroll in a public or accredited nonpublic elementary school or high school in Iowa,” there no longer is a requirement – as there is for immunizations – that a child be prohibited from enrolling in school. IDPH auditors will obtain information from schools much as they do for immunizations, and if a child has neither the screening nor the exemption on file, IDPH will deal with the matter. This screening is not required of CPI (home schooled) students.
The proof of screening will be a form provided by IDPH, and must be signed by a provider. For elementary students, the provider signature must be from a physician, nurse, physician assistant, dental hygienist or dentist. For high school students, the provider signature must be from a dentist or dental hygienist.
The exemption, also on a form from IDPH, is available for either religious reasons or financial hardship. If a parent or guardian claims that the dental screening conflicts with a “genuine and sincere religious belief,” the parent/guardian must sign the exemption in the presence of a notary. If claiming a financial hardship (i.e., that the family is unduly burdened by the cost of a dental screening, the exemption must be signed by a provider. For elementary students, the provider signature must be from a physician, nurse, physician assistant, dental hygienist or dentist. For high school students, the provider signature must be from a dentist or dental hygienist.
The lead screening rules just require schools to collect exemptions, and not proof of the screening. Also, DPH will ask schools for lists of kindergarten students only that DPH will cross-check against its list of who has the lead screen. This screening is required of CPI students.