Texas School Requirements for Children's Vision

  • Texas requires a vision screening
  • Frequency: Children enrolled in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th grades and children four years of age or older, who are enrolled in any facility for the first time

Requires screening of individuals who attend public or private preschools or schools to detect vision disorders. Individuals shall comply with the requirements as soon as possible after the individual's admission to a preschool or school and within the period set by the board. The individual or, if the individual is a minor, the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, may substitute professional examinations for the screening. An individual is exempt from screening if screening conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination of which the individual is an adherent or a member. To qualify for the exemption, the individual or, if the individual is a minor, the minor's parent, managing conservator, or guardian, must submit to the admitting officer of the preschool or school on or before the day of admission an affidavit stating the objections to screening. The chief administrator of each preschool or school shall ensure that each individual admitted to the preschool or school complies with the screening requirements set by the board or submits an affidavit of exemption. Texas Health and Safety Code §36.004 and §36.005

Requires screening for vision be performed by a licensed professional or an individual trained to conduct vision screening that is certified by the department. A vision screener shall test distance acuity for both eyes, shall refer for professional examination all children less than five years of age whose test results indicate visual acuity of less than 20/40 in either eye or a difference of two or more lines between passing acuities in either eye, and refer for professional examination all children five years of age or older whose test results indicate less than 20/30 acuity in either eye.

All children enrolled in a facility shall be screened for vision problems in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first, third, fifth, and seventh grades before May 31 of each year. Children four years of age or older, who are enrolled in any facility for the first time, must be screened for possible vision problems within 120 calendar days of enrollment. If a child is enrolled within 60 days of the date a facility closes for the summer, the child's vision must be tested by December 31 of that year. Children previously enrolled in a facility who are four years of age on or before September 1, must be screened for possible vision problems by December 31. Except for children enrolled in kindergarten or first grade, a facility shall exempt any child from screening if the child's parent or legal guardian submits proof to the facility that the child's vision has been screened within the prior reporting year.

Upon written request approved by the department, the screening of vision in a school may occur in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first, second, fourth, and sixth grades instead of pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first, third, fifth, and seventh grades. The  person(s) having legal responsibility for the child's support may execute an affidavit stating that a person other than the screener used by the facility shall conduct the screening as soon as is feasible. The child may be admitted into the facility on a provisional basis, or the child may be denied admission, until the screening results are provided to the facility. A facility shall not require a child to be screened if the person(s) having a legal responsibility for the child's support submits to the facility, on or before the date vision or hearing screening is scheduled, an affidavit in lieu of the record of screening stating that the vision screening conflicts with the tenets or practices of a church or religious denomination of which the affiant is an adherent or member. 25 Texas Administrative Code §37.23

Child care centers must have written operational policies on vision screening requirements. 40 Texas Administrative Code § 746.501

Sources:

http://law.onecle.com/texas/health/36.004.00.html

http://law.onecle.com/texas/health/36.005.00.html

http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=25&pt=1&ch=37&rl=23

https://secure.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=40&pt=19&ch=746&rl=501