Schools to test near and distance vision

New vision testing helps identify challenges to learning

9/25/2017 | TACOMA, Washington

Beginning this fall, schools will screen both "near vision" and distance vision for students K- 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7th-grade students. In school hearing and vision screenings help identify factors that may negatively affect each student's learning.

Previously the district screened only for distance vision to make sure a student could see the chalkboard at 20 feet. New vision acuity testing will help identify students who struggle to see or read up close too.

School nurses will use a handheld photo-screener device to measure vision along with the typical vision screens used in the past. The new photo-screener will allow for more accurate and complete screening including the following:

  • Hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Astigmatism (blurred vision)
  • Anisometropia (unequal refractive power)
  • Anisocoria (unequal pupil size)
  • Strabismus (Eye misalignment)
This is a screening only. If the screening results note potential vision challenges, parents still receive a notice for a referral to a vision specialist. 

If you have questions, please contact your school nurse. In addition to the scheduled school screenings, the district will conduct a vision screening for any student when requested by parent or guardian.