Spinal Screening Program Guidelines

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Spinal Screening Program Guidelines is the teaching manual for DSHS-approved spinal screening certification workshops. This manual provides:

  • Overview for planning, conducting, and follow-up of spinal screening in schools
  • All state laws and rules pertaining to school spinal screening in Texas
  • Forms for school spinal screening
  • Forms for spinal screening certification workshops
  • Up-to-date information on the diagnosis and treatment of scoliosis and other spinal abnormalities

This manual is provided online as a resource for school personnel who are planning and conducting spinal screenings. Reviewing this manual does not replace the state requirement to complete a DSHS-approved spinal screening certification workshop.

Contact Us

For questions or assistance, call the Spinal Screening Program at 512-776-7420 or email vhssprogram@dshs.texas.gov. 

Program Guidelines Manual

To print out the entire manual in proper page order, open the link to the Spinal Screening Program Guidelines PDF below. 

Spinal screening program manual

Spinal Screening Program Guidelines [PDF 2MB]

  • Acknowledgments

  • Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  • Screening Schedule and Requirements

  • Establishing a Screening Program

  • The Spine: An Overview

  • Management Options

  • Preparing to Conduct Spinal Screenings

  • Spinal Screening Procedures

  • Recording Results and Making Referrals

  • Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

  • Online Reporting System

  • References

  • Glossary

  • Appendix A, B, and C

Appendix A - Forms for School Spinal Screening [PDF 540KB]  

  • Sample Pre-Screening Letter to Parents (English)

  • Sample Pre-Screening Letter to Parents (Spanish)

  • Sample Affidavit of Religious Exemption (English)

  • Sample Affidavit of Religious Exemption (Spanish)

  • Spinal Screening Worksheet

  • Parent Notification and Referral (English)

  • Parent Notification and Referral (Spanish)

  • Spinal Screening Report Form (M-51)

  • Instructions for the Spinal Screening Report Form (M-51)  

Appendix B - Forms for Spinal Screening Certification Workshops [PDF 240KB]

  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • Workshop Agenda (Sample)

  • Practicum Checklist

  • Workshop Post-Test

Appendix C - Additional Materials and Resources [PDF 164KB]

  • School Spinal Screening Flow Chart 

  • Spinal Screening Workshop Evaluation

  • Resources

  • Texas Administrative Code