Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Live reporting - BMI Q&A

Continuing the conversation around the BMI regulations

Cafasso - Why are we in the middle of this? It says the physician is in the best position for this. It says in the materials that this is a physicians job. For us to step in is kind of a stretch. I think it is very questionable.

Elias - It is just a little more. It is a question of what we can do.

Trahan - The BMI is one more tool to be given to the parent and the physician so they can take action. Given all the increases of diabetes and other diseases that are health related, this is one tool to help address those items early on. The parents do spend time providing additional opportunities with sports, drama and musical opportunities. Now we are talking about alternatives to the health situation.

Armenio - I am still on the fence on this one. I am not sure we as a district should be going this way. I understand we have already be taking the height and weight and sending it home with a tag. I understand where Roberta is coming from. This is an unfunded mandate.

Winslow - I understand the concerns that you have on this issue. I don't think the position of the committee should be, do we decide to do this or not. This is a regulation from the State.

Roy - I take exception to that, this is precisely what we will decide. This may be an emotional issue but the committee will decide and live with the decision.

I don't know where the requirement is coming from to revert to the old system if we don't do the BMI. Can you confirm where the requirement is?

The grant money would gain us $43,000 over 11 years. Implementing this would require more than that amount. This type of regulation is bad government. It belongs in the role of the patient and physician. I don't feel this would be a fair expense for us to justify. The State doesn't have money. It is hypercritical for us to move in this direction.

The legislature had nothing to do with this regulation. If you read that statue, it is not there.

The regulation violates the students rights to privacy. This is not a place where we belong.

Sabolinksi tries to confirm if this section is part of the policy or still on the presentation?
Roy - You'll have time when I am done. I have some more to say. Kids coming on the bus are going to talk to each other, "did you get your fat test done?" That is not what we want. Thank you for what you have done in answering our questions.

Mullen - I don't see how taking height and weight is a violation of the student's privacy.

Roy - How do you handle the kids that will have opted out?
Elias - It won't be any different than how we are handling it today. We take the kids out in small groups from a class, 6-8 at a time. The kids are measured one at time, they don't know the results.

Trahan - Kids get to hear and participate in discussions on MCAS on the bus and that is no different. We are doing this in a way to try and improve their well being.

Mullen - what we came here tonight is with the policy and the changes. Based upon what I have heard, I am not sure where we want to go.

Roy - I made some suggestions that I think should be addressed.
Mullen - Motion for the policy to second reading
Trahan - seconded

Cafasso - I'd like to see the answer to Jeff's question on the regulations. I would need that answer before considering the policy.

Winslow - The assumption is that School Districts will comply with the regulations.

Cafasso - I think we need to better confirm what the burden would be if we don;t go with the BMI.

Rohrbach - Through the two measures that you already take (height and weight) would be calculated by the software. The interpretation is done by the physicians. The schools are in the best position for capturing the data. The physicians are in the best position for the interpretation and action.

Elias - we have always applied for the waiver and received it. The waiver is gone with the new regulations. You won't need to do all the grades, you would only do the grades required.

Rohrbach - Do we know from the DPH what school districts will not comply?

Elias - I did survey surrounding towns, 14 of the town is either doing or will be doing it. No one in the survey is not doing.

Winslow - There is only one other school district that is talking of not complying with this regulation.

Elias - If the waiver goes away, we have to do heights and weights of everyone. Under the new regulation, we only have to do some of the grades, hence less screenings.

Kelly - I am surprised that we have done this for so long. We have provided this to the physicians?

Elias - Yes, with the parents permission.

Armenio - If the kids wear glasses and bring in their physical, do they still get screened.
Elias - depending upon the timing of the physical.

Roy - show of hands for moving to second reading, failed 4-3

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