School Physicals: What’s Required for Illinois Schoolchildren in 2021

Part 1: Physicals Required for Illinois Schoolchildren

Thank you to Christie Clinic for sponsoring our 2021 Champaign-Urbana Area Back to School series.

It may seem a little too early to start talking about children heading back to school. We get it, but there is no better time than the summer to take care of those back to school prerequisites.

During the pandemic, many preventative care visits were postponed. As a result, and also due to extra safety measures, many clinics are now expanding hours to accommodate all the children that need to be seen by a physician.

Christie Clinic is encouraging parents to schedule a school physical soon.

Starting school physical appointments now will allow Christie Clinic Department of Pediatrics and Department of Family Medicine to best serve all patients while maintaining a safe visit environment. Continued precautions are in place to keep patients and team members safe including additional hours, visitor restrictions and social distancing to reduce the number of people in our facilities.

Parents can currently make back-to-school appointments for their children through their MyChristie patient portal or online at

Be on the lookout for the remainder of our 2021-22 Back to School series coming soon:  

Part 1 — Back to School: School Physicals Required for Illinois Schoolchildren

Part 2 — Back to School: Immunizations Required for Illinois Schoolchildren

Part 3 — Back to School: Dental, Vision Exams Required for Illinois Schoolchildren

Part 4 — Back to School: How to Save Money on School Supplies

Part 5 — Back to School: Champaign-Urbana Area School Registration Information

Part 6 — Back to School: Champaign-Urbana Area School Start Dates

Post 7 —Back to School: Top Nine Tips to Prepare for a Return to School Routine

Post 8 — Back to School: Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten

Requirements vary based on what grade your child is entering. Here’s what you’ll need to know about school physicals to get your child ready for the 2021-22 school year.  Your doctor will likely have a copy of the Illinois physical form at your appointment, or you can access it here.

Who needs a school physical?

1) Is your family new to the state of Illinois? Regardless of how old your child is, all students new to Illinois schools must turn in a completed physical examination prior to entering Illinois schools for the first time.

2) Children entering the following grades: early childhood, kindergarten or first grade (if the first year in school), sixth grade, and ninth grade.

It should be noted that a child’s athletic physical assessment does not meet the sixth, or ninth grade physical exam requirements; however, if you anticipate that your child may participate in school sporting events, have your physician complete a sports physical form while at your child’s medical examination appointment.

When is the deadline for my child’s physical?

The deadline for physicals varies by district so be sure to check with your child’s school to find out more. State law requires the exclusion of students who do not have either the health exam or required vaccines “upon enrollment but no later than Oct. 15” or an earlier date established by the local school board.

In Champaign Unit 4, for example, all forms must be submitted by Sept. 1, 2021. If your family is new to Unit 4 schools, proof of physical examination is due within 30 days of enrollment for students outside of the state.

If your child has had a physical recently, check with your pediatrician’s office to get the right forms. The exam must be completed no earlier than a year (365 days) prior to the start of attendance at an Illinois school. (Need a pediatrician? Check out our reader recommendations.)

If you haven’t made an appointment for your child’s physical, you might want to do so as soon as possible as many area providers expect to see increases in appointments in the upcoming months.

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