Beatrice Public Schools conducted state-mandated vision screenings in the fall of 2020. Underserved students in grades 1-4 who failed that screening were identified by school administrators. State mandated reading and math tests were also administered in the fall and those students who were below standards and failed the vision screening were also identified, along with students who were observed by classroom teachers to have a potential vision problem. Parents of over 70 students were contacted. Based on those who did not indicate any connections with an eyecare provider, over 40 students were invited to participate. Parent consent forms were received from 25 students and 24 received eye exams as part of the project. 21 of the 24 qualified for free or reduced lunch.
Exams were conducted by 6 volunteer optometrists at the BPS Administration Building on Feb. 23. Testing included distance and near acuities, tonometry, cover tests, dilated eye health, and refraction. 18 students received an Rx and selected frames on site. A local OD returned to the schools to dispense and fit eyeglasses.
BPS conducted reading and math tests on these students again in the spring and provided data comparing the improvement of the 24 students receiving care from this project to the overall average improvement of students.