Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment (KOHA)
Lack of access to dental care is a problem for many California children. Dental disease is one of the most common reasons for school absences and makes it hard for children to concentrate and learn. Dental problems are the number one reason children miss school. The kindergarten dental assessment requirement, AB 1433, helps schools identify children suffering from untreated dental disease and helps parents establish a dental home for their children and prepares a student for learning and better success in school.
Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment, which is required by law (AB 1433), has 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 onsite screening and fulfill KOHA with passive consent, such that parents/guardians of students would need to notify the school that they do not want their child screened. 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.
This requirement is established under (California Education Code [EC] Section 49452.8). The law states that schools must send notification of the assessment requirement to parents or legal guardians. Each district is responsible for aggregating the data received and for sending an annual report (by July 1) to the respective county office of education. The law states that the county office shall maintain the data in a manner that allows for its release upon request.
Per the original January 1, 2007 law, students in their first year in public school must submit proof of oral health assessments. The assessments must be performed by a licensed or registered dental health professional, and proof of assessment is due on an annual basis by May 31.
The updated KOHA forms are effective July 1, 2022 and can be found on the System for California Oral Health Reporting (SCOHR). KOHA data is submitted to SCOHR at no cost.