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Tuesday  •  February 9, 2021

Upcoming Vote on HCPSS/Horizon Foundation Student BMI Data Collection Program

By Steven Keller


This Thursday (February 11), the HCPSS Board of Education will vote on approval of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for “Student Health Data Sharing Agreement between HCPSS and Horizon Foundation” to support Body Mass Index (BMI) screening in Kindergarten and 8th grade. The proposed MOU can be found here.


The program will require all students whose parents do not explicitly opt-out their child to have their Body Mass Index measured by either an HCPSS nurse or a Horizon Foundation-provided nurse and have their data shared & analyzed with the Horizon Foundation, with the stated goal of facilitating student health policy decision making based on the trends of the aggregated HCPSS student body BMI data.


Here are some video clips from the September 19, 2019 HCPSS Board of Education meeting, where the Board discussed this issue:


The Board directed the HCPSS staff to create this MOU back in 2019, in a 5-2-1 vote, which broke down as:


YES: Kirsten Coombs, Mavis Ellis, Jen Mallo, Sabina Taj, Student Member of the Board

NO: Vicky Cutroneo, Christina Delmont-Small



Note that only one current member of the Board approved of this program, Jen Mallo, who championed the “opt-out” version of the program that would make it required for students to participate unless their parent explicitly opted them out of the program.


Two current Board members, Vicky Cutroneo and Christina Delmont-Small, had significant concerns about the program, particularly regarding data privacy, mental health issues related to body shaming, and how the “opt-out” version of the program undermines parents’ rights regarding health initiatives with their child.


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