Maine School Requirements for Children's Vision

  • Maine requires a vision screening
  •  Frequency: Students enrolled in public or private school in kindergarten and grades 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9

Requires each student be screened periodically to determine whether the student has sight defects. A student whose parent objects in writing to screening on religious grounds may not be screened unless a sight defect is reasonably apparent. Maine Statute Title 20-A §6451

Requires the school nurse to provide direction and oversight for the vision screening program in the school. Any public or private school shall screen students for distance vision acuity in kindergarten and grades 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9.

For kindergarten, recommended screening tools are the HOTV chart, Tumbling E chart, and Lea Symbols chart. kindergarten students must read the majority of optotypes at line 20/40 to pass. Student will be considered to fail the screening if they are unable to read the majority of optotypes at line 20/40 or if they have a two line difference between the right and left eyes. If using screening tools other than those above, the equipment manufacturer’s specifications will determine screening failure. For grade 1, recommended screening tools are the Sloan letter chart (illuminated preferred), Snellen letter chart, or HOTV or tumbling E if unable to test with Sloan or Snellen. Students in grades 1 and above must read the majority of optotypes at line 20/30 to pass. Students will be considered to fail the screening if they are unable to read the majority of optotypes at line 20/30 or if they have a two line difference between the left and right eyes. If using screening tools other than those above, the equipment manufacturer’s specifications will determine screening failure.

Near vision will be screened in grade 1 and 3. It is recommended that kindergarten students and students in grade 5 also be screened. Near vision acuity card is recommended for this. The same criteria used for distance vision, will be used to determine screening failure for near vision acuity cards.

Binocular vision will be screened in grade 1 and 3. It is recommended that kindergarten students also be screened. Screening tools recommended for this are the random dot E and Maddox Rod muscle balance card. Students considered to fail the screening will be determined by equipment manufacturer’s specifications. For those students with glasses, screening should occur with student wearing glasses.

Students who fail the vision screening will be referred to their parents and provided with a referral form to bring to their health care provider or eye specialist. A student whose parent objects in writing to screening on religious grounds shall not be screened unless a sight defect is reasonably apparent.

It is recommended that vision screening occur early in the school year. Vision screening of students outside the grade level required for screening should occur upon referral from teachers or with presentation of signs or symptoms of a problem. Students transferring to the school without record of previous screening should be screened.

When a trained, unlicensed individual conducts the initial screening, rescreening of failures must be conducted by the school nurse before a referral is made. The school nurse shall follow-up with the parents of students referred to their health provider to determine the disposition of the referral.

An annual report will be made to the Maine Department of Education on the results of vision screening to include the number of students screened by type of health screening, the number of student referred, and the number of referrals returned by disposition. Maine Code 05-071 §45

Source:

http://www.legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills_122nd/billdocs/LD193601.doc

http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/05/071/071c045.doc