Hearing and vision screening are required at specific intervals and grade levels in California. Schools must conduct vision screening on all students upon school entry and every third year thereafter through grade eight. Hearing screening is mandated in kindergarten/first grade and in second, fifth, eighth, tenth/eleventh grade and upon first school entry. Screening shall also be provided for any child showing symptoms of possible auditory or visual acuity loss (who may be referred to the district by parents, guardians, or school staff).
Grades K, 2, 5, 8, 10 are screened for hearing annually. Pure tone audiometric screening tests shall be conducted at a level not to exceed 25 decibels and shall include the frequencies 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hertz. Hearing screening in California public schools must be conducted by a credentialed school audiometrist. Students who do not pass their first screening will be given a threshold test no less than two weeks after the screening exam. Referrals will be made after this.
The schools shall provide the parents or guardians of children who fail the hearing tests with a written notification of the test results and recommend that a medical and audiological evaluation be obtained whenever the test demonstrates:
A hearing level of 30 decibels or greater for two or more frequencies in an ear at 500, 1000, 2000 or 4000 Hertz, or a hearing level of 40 decibels or greater for one of the frequencies tested, 500 through 4000 Hertz, on two threshold tests completed at an interval of at least two weeks; or
There is evidence of pathology, such as an infection of the outer ear, chronic drainage, or a chronic earache.
Grades K, 3, and 6 are screened for visual acuity each year. For male students, color vision shall be tested one time, after the student reaches grade 1.
Visual defects or any other defects found as a result of the vision examination shall be reported to the parent/guardian with a request that remedial action be taken to correct or cure the defect. Acuity defects are defined as : children younger than 6 years of age with acuity worse than 20/40; or children 6 years of age and older worse than 20/30
Dates and results of all hearing and vision testing shall be recorded on each pupil's health record. Each school shall prepare an annual report of the school hearing testing program using Annual Report of Hearing Testing forms, PM 100, provided by the State Department of Health Services with copies to the district superintendent and the county superintendent of schools.
If you DO NOT WANT your child to receive any or all of the screenings provided free of charge during the school year, please send a signed note to your child's school, addressed to the Health Office. Please include your child's grade and specific screening (hearing and/or vision) you do not want. A "DO NOT SCREEN" note from the parent/guardian is needed each school year.