Helping Students See their Way to Academic Success
School nurses in the Brandywine School District provide vision screening for students in the kindergarten and grades 2,5,7,9 and 10 to determine if a student is experiencing vision difficulty. If a school nurse detects that a student is having difficulty seeing the material presented in the screening, she notifies the parents or guardians and recommends a follow-up exam by a licensed professional. Early detection of poor vision can help students succeed in school, both academically and behaviorally, and can give students more opportunities to participate in important extracurricular activities such as the arts and athletics. However, some students may not be able to follow up with an eye exam for varied reasons, one of them being the cost of the exam and corrective lenses. A new partnership between BSD and Simon Eye Associates is helping to bridge that gap so that more students have opportunities for success through eye health.
Through the generosity of Simon Eye, students can be given a voucher by the school nurse for a follow-up exam and free eyeglasses, if needed. In this first year of the partnership, more than 60 students received this opportunity. If a family did have insurance, the insurance was billed for the costs. Next year, school nurses plan to work with families to ensure that transportation to the eye exam is not a barrier.
“We know poor vision affects learning, which can have a lifelong impact on our students,” said Lead Nurse Beth Mattey. “We are extremely grateful to Simon Eye Associates for this partnership and look forward to our continued work together.” Parents who would like more information about this program should contact their child’s school nurse at the beginnning of the school year.