Vision and Hearing Screening 2020/2021 School Year
The Washington State Board of Health sets standards for auditory and visual screening of students in Washington State. The purpose of this is to screen for and identify students who may experience auditory or visual impairments and refer them for care. These screenings can identify children who may otherwise have no outward signs of vision or hearing loss, but if not recognized, can lead to difficulties in school or even permanent damage.
For the 2020/2021 school year only, the Board of Health has recommended students participating in fully remote learning not be screened by the schools.
They also recommend the following students participating in hybrid learning be prioritized for these screenings: (1) students who exhibit warning signs of visual/auditory impairment, (2) the youngest students and (3) children who are at greater risk of developing vision problems (such as those with certain neurological conditions or with delays in their growth).
Shoreline School District will screen the following students during Spring 2021:
- Kindergarten students participating in hybrid learning
- Elementary students participating in hybrid learning for whom Shoreline School District does not have previous screening results
- Students participating in hybrid learning that require screening as part of their IEP or 504 plans
- Students participating in hybrid learning who have signs of possible vision or hearing loss, as reported by parents or staff
If your student is participating in fully remote learning, or is not in one of the groups of hybrid-learning students prioritized above, we recommend that you consider the possibility of vision or hearing screening outside of school. Please see the attachment about signs of possible vision problems in children, and contact your primary care provider or an eye care professional with your concerns. Signs of hearing loss in children can include delayed or unclear speech, not following directions, often saying “huh?”, or turning up the volume of the TV or other electronic devices too high.
Regular well-child exams with a primary care provider are another important way of identifying vision and hearing problems. If your student has not had a well child check this year, schedule one soon and ask to have their vision and hearing checked.
If you have any questions or concerns about your student’s vision or hearing, or if you need help finding a healthcare provider, contact your school nurse.
For students enrolled in hybrid/in-person learning, more information about safety protocols can be found here.