To ensure that students can see to read, Oregon State Law requires that children seven and under must have their vision tested before registering for school in the fall. Parents may bring documentation to the school when they register.
If your child has already had an eye exam, parents just need to submit a certificate or note from the doctor within 4 months of school starting.
In 2013, the Legislature passed House Bill 3000 that requires education providers to collect "certification" that students entering the public school system for the first time have received vision screening and/or an eye examination.
- The law requires that public school students seven years of age or younger, or beginning a program with an education provider, to have vision screening or an eye exam.
- Families must provide schools with documents certifying that the student has received vision screening as well as documentation on any further examinations or necessary treatments needed.
- The rule further specifies that the certification must be provided within 120 days after the student begins the educational program.
Please note that students will not be kept out of school if they do not have an eye exam.
SPS health services is partnering again with the local Lions Club of Springfield and the Oregon Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation to provide vision exams to all elementary students. Letters with the results of the screening will be sent home to families.
Understanding Your Child's Vision Results
OLSHF uses a digital photo screener device called Spot (Welch Allyn model VS100) to detect a number of potential eye conditions. It works like a large, digital camera. Learn more about the Oregon Lions School Vision Screening Program.
A letter with the results of the student's vision screening will be sent home some time shortly after the screening.
If a student did not pass the vision screening, the letter will list the potential condition(s) detected by the SPOT device and a recommendation that the student receive a vision exam by an eye care professional.
Definitions of Potential Conditions Identified by the SPOT Device
- Anisocoria: a condition characterized by an unequal size of the eye's pupils.
- Anisometropia: a condition in which the two eyes have unequal refractive power; one example of this condition would be if one eye had near-perfect vision and the other eye was near or farsighted.
- Astigmatism: an optical defect in which vision is blurred due to the inability of the optics of the eye to focus a point object into a sharp focused image on the retina. This may be due to an irregular or toric curvature of the cornea or lens.
- Gaze Asymmetry and Gaze Deviation: measurements the SPOT uses to detect strabismus, a misalignment of the eyes. Strabismus is one of the major causes of Amblyopia (commonly referred to as "lazy eye").
- Hyperopia: commonly known as being "farsighted"; a vision issue caused by an imperfection in the eye (often when the eyeball is too short or the lens cannot become round enough), causing difficulty focusing on near objects, and in extreme cases causing as sufferer to be unable to focus on objects at any distance.
- Myopia: commonly known as being "nearsighted"; a condition of the eye where the light that comes in does not directly focus on the retina but in front of it, causing the image that one sees when looking at a distant object to be out of focus, but in focus when looking at a close object.
Financial assistance with an exam and, if needed, eyeglasses or further treatment may be available for low-income families. If you need financial assistance with a vision exam and/or eyeglasses, contact SPS Health Services office at 541.744.4131 or the Health Aide at your child's school. Financial assistance may be available through KEX Kids Fund, VSP Eyes of Hope or other vision organizations. If your school does not participate in either program, please contact Oregon Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation directly, find an optometrist or ask school staff for a list of local professionals.