While the South-Western City School District has again opted out of the state's body-mass index screening, changes are on the horizon for state health and wellness requirements.

While the South-Western City School District has again opted out of the state's body-mass index screening, changes are on the horizon for state health and wellness requirements.

Starting with the 2012-2013 school year, according to legislation in Senate Bill 210, school districts and building report cards will include health and wellness scores. The report card's overall rating will not be affected by the health and wellness information.

The Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act requires school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and chartered nonpublic schools to establish body mass index and weight status category screening programs for students in certain grades.

Districts were permitted to receive a waiver of the BMI screening requirements by submitting to the Superintendent of Public Instruction an affidavit stating that the district or school is unable to comply with the requirements.

SWCS has opted out of the program both years that it has been implemented. Thus far, the state has received 545 waivers, Ohio Department of Education spokesperson Patrick Gallaway said.

The district didn't think it had the capacity to implement the BMI program, assistant superintendent of curriculum John Kellogg said.

Data collection and storage were issues.

The report card component of SB 210 will kick in starting next school year. Districts will be evaluated on four different components.

A physical education index will be determined by rating how well students in physical education courses meet the state's physical education standards.

Kellogg said this component is the most complicated, since the district would need to develop an assessment.

Other components include compliance with federal requirements for local wellness policies, and whether the district or building is complying with the act's BMI screening requirements.

SWCS didn't participate in the pilot program, Kellogg said, because it does not have the capacity to do so.