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Pre-Enrollment Physicals


What NH laws/administrative rules mandate physical exams for students?

RSA 200:32 and Ed 311.03 are the regulations that relate to pre-enrollment physicals.

Please note: That the most recent version of the law may not yet be posted.

Which students need a physical examination prior to starting the school year?

All students that are entering the public school system for the first time must receive a physical exam except those who have a religious exemption. The local school authority can require additional exams as deemed necessary. For example, additional examinations might be most beneficial around grade 5 (prior to puberty) and grade 10 (prior to obtaining a driver's license or beginning employment.) Of course, a physical exam prior to participating in sports is always advised.

How does a student obtain religious exemption?

A parent or guardian objects to the physical exam in writing on the grounds that it is contrary to the child's religious beliefs. Many schools require this document be notarized.

Which healthcare providers can perform the exam?

A licensed physician, physician assistant, or advanced registered nurse practitioner can perform the exam.

Is there a specific form that their healthcare provider must use?

RSA 200:32 states that the physical exam findings must be reported "on a form provided by the local school authorities." Sample physical exam form Microsoft Word Symbol

What about homeless students?

The McKinney-Vento Act requires that all homeless children be enrolled in school immediately to minimize the disruption to their lives. If possible, medical records can be requested from previous schools and/or primary care providers but children should not be kept from attending school while awaiting those records. If a prior physical exam cannot be documented, a visit with a local healthcare provider should be scheduled as soon as possible. Again, the child cannot be kept from attending school while awaiting this appointment.

I have a new student who brought me a completed physical exam form from 2 years ago. Do they need to have a new physical exam?

Yes, however, the school can conditionally enroll the student if presented with documentation of an appointment for a physical examination within a time determined by the school district.

I have a new student who brought me a physical exam form that was completed in another country. Do they need to have a new physical exam?

Yes. If a physical exam was done in another country, we may be unable to ensure that is equivalent to an exam done in this country. In addition, it is important to establish a local primary care provider for all newcomers. The school can conditionally enroll the student if presented with documentation of an appointment for a physical examination within a time determined by the school district.

The family has little money, is there a way they can get low cost medical care?

Community health centers Acrobat Reader that provide services on a sliding scale.

The NH Department of Health and Human Services may be able to help the family access medical or other assistance, (603) 271-4238.

Acrobat Reader Symbol Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.

Microsoft Word Symbol Microsoft Word format. You can download a free reader from Microsoft.


New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711