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1975 A Major Turning Point in School Health Services

saw the passage of a federal law that forever changed the landscape for handicapped children. On November 29, 1975, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 94-142, also known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975.

The Act assured that all handicapped children have available to them a free, appropriate public education and related services designed to meet their unique needs, including accommodations and modifications, and to assure that the rights of handicapped children are protected.

With the advent of PL94-142 it became increasingly more important to detect and identify medical problems that might interfere with learning. Although nursing was not designated as a related service in the law, it was clear that the role of the nurse was critical. Health assessments by school nurses were needed to identify special needs and to rule out or identify any concerns that might interfere with continued learning.

   To assist students and families with limited resources, including health insurance, CCSD provided a variety of medical specialty clinics managed by the Health Services Department and staffed by school nurses. Clinics include: Scoliosis Clinic, Neurology Clinic, Medical Consultant Clinic, and Genetic Clinic.

   Public Law 94-142 addressed the needs of children from ages 3 to 21. This led to Child Find, a resource for children not currently enrolled in the district. Children, ages 3-6, are placed in a CCSD school Early Childhood Program. They are reassessed at age 6 to determine continued special education placement. Students coming to the district with known or suspected problems are assessed and have an educational program designed before they are enrolled in school.

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