Health Exams | Screening | Telemedicine

What information is available about physical exams?

NYSED Memo: School Health Examinations in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic (5/21/20)
Requests schools continue to accept any physical examination form from students for physicals conducted on or before January 30, 2021, regardless of the form used (5/21/20).

NYSCSH Clarification of School Health Examinations in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic 
Provides additional information on acceptable health exams for school entry, mandated years, interscholastic sports (including AAP), CSE/CPSE, and working papers. (NYSCSH 6/4/20)

What elements are required for student health exams for mandated grades for entry, interscholastic sports or CSE?
Education Law Article 19 and Regulations of the Commissioner of Education require physical examinations of public school students, to participate in strenuous physical activity, such as interscholastic athletics (8 NYCRR § 135.4(c)(7)(i)(e) and 136.3(a)(8)). The documentation of the exam must be completed on the form approved by the Commissioner of Education. Beginning, January 30, 2021, physical examinations for school are to be documented on the NYS Required Health Examination Form or an electronic health record equivalent form. The health examination needs to include the following:

  • A health history evaluation,
  • Record of height & weight along with corresponding BMI and weight status category;
  • Results of vision & hearing screenings;
  • Results of scoliosis screening(s) if age/grade appropriate;
  • Immunization record; and
  • Medical and dental reports
  • Physical examination, which includes a full-body screening conducted in both a seated and supine position
  • Tanner developmental stage is only required for 7th and 8th graders who are seeking a waiver to be permitted to participate in high school level interscholastic athletics, or high school students seeking a waiver to participate in lower level interscholastic athletics. 
  • The use of telemedicine must include all of the information stated above, and the proper use of telemedicine equipment to assess a student must be used, use of only a video chat is not acceptable. The district’s medical director should be consulted prior to accepting any telemedicine health examinations, the district medical director has final approval of all health examinations.


How can schools provide working papers during school closure?

During the period of school closures due to COVID-19, districts may elect to issue working papers using an alternative process. Working permits are not required for students 18 or older.  It is expected that school medical directors carry out their responsibility to perform the physical exams upon request, which can now be done virtually.  Students may be working to provide income to assist their family pay for the costs of shelter or food and is therefore essential.

The NYSED Working Papers-Employment of Minors Webpage has been updated to assist with the completion of working papers during school closure.

Relevant documents that have been updated and made fillable are:

The applicant must present a certificate of physical fitness from a school or private physician. The school district must provide the physical examination if the applicant so requests. The annual school examination, the examination given for sports, or any other complete physical examination is acceptable for employment purposes. In any case, the physical examination must have been given within twelve (12) months prior to the issuance of the employment certificate or permit.  

The NYS Board for Medicine has indicated that a virtual exam would be acceptable, as long as the provider documents a full history, attempts to get vitals, and tries to use a video chat method that allows them to see the person.(NYSED Board for Medicine, 4/09/20)
The exam can be documented on whatever form is approved by your district. Options may include, but are not limited to the forms on this website: 

New   Spanish Sample Recommended NYSED Interval Health History for Athletics (Word Updated 1/2021)

Virtual physical assessments are limited by what can be confirmed by the practitioner ie. alert and oriented times three (person place and time), in no acute distress, etc. It is recommended that the video-chat app used for any virtual exams be approved by the district to ensure they meet security and privacy standards. 

If students or families have trouble obtaining working papers they should contact

Information for those in NYC

The NYCDOE website has instructions on how to get working papers and how to connect to the  Family Support Coordinator(FSC).
In many cases, they’ve consolidated working papers in district offices and those FSCs are issuing working papers themselves. 

You can find instructions to apply for working papers in New York City here This is how to find who to contact for help by area:

If you need assistance, please contact Carri Manchester New York State Education Department - Office of Student Support Services
518-486-6090 or

Hearing, vision, and scoliosis screenings will be waived for the 2020-2021 school year due to the COVID-19 crisis,
unless such screening has otherwise been deemed necessary, pursuant to an amendment
to Commissioner’s Regulations section 136.3(e).

Updated 2/26/2021