Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:
Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment Requirement Update
The California Department of Education and the California Department of Public Health are writing you today to inform you that the forms used for the Kindergarten Oral Health Requirement (Assembly Bill 1433) have been revised per Senate Bill 379 to improve oral health outcomes data needed to measure the success of prevention and intervention programs. SB 379 allows schools to provide on site screening and fulfill the Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment (KOHA) with passive consent, such that parents/guardians of students would need to notify the school that they do not want their child screened. Please use the updated KOHA forms effective immediately. KOHA is another way schools can help reduce dental disease in children through connecting children to a source of dental care, reduce chronic absenteeism, and improve school readiness.
Tooth decay is the most chronic yet preventable health care need among California’s children. It is the cause of 874,000 school days missed each year, which costs schools $29 to $32 million annually in average daily attendance funding. Currently, more than half of California kindergartners have experienced tooth decay, and by third grade, this number rises to over 70 percent. If left untreated, tooth decay effects children’s academic performance, social-emotional development, sleep, and nutrition.
AB 1433 data should be entered into and is managed by the System for California Oral Health Reporting (SCOHR) at https://www.ab1433.org/home/overview at no cost to schools, districts, or counties. There are local oral health programs in all counties, except Napa and Inyo, with oral health resources and assistance to support your efforts.
For copies of the new Oral Health Assessment Forms, please visit the California Department of Education Health Services and School Nursing web page at https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/oralhealth.asp.
If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Daniela Torres, School Health Education Consultant, by phone at 916-319-0284 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education
State Dental Director
California Department of Public Health