Volunteer has student cover one eye and identify items on a vision screener from about 20 feet

Since taking the newly created position last year, FZSD Coordinator of Nursing Meagan Schulte, BSN RN, has been building community partnerships that benefit families across the school district. (You might have seen our Back-To-School immunization clinic in August.) 

For years school nurses have done vision screenings for students in Kindergarten, first, third, fifth and seventh grades. Now, FZSD is partnering with volunteers from the O’Fallon Lions Club and optometrist Dr. Jeffery Lant to create a more efficient, effective system for these screenings and more access to vision resources for all Fort Zumwalt families.

“We set up four stations, usually getting through a class every 20 minutes,” Schulte says. “We’ve already screened more than 1,000 students at five elementary schools. We’re planning to visit the rest of the elementary schools and middle schools  next semester .”

Schulte says all students do a baseline screening for near and far sightedness. In first and third grade, there is also a screening to check depth perception. “Depending on the results, we can get them a referral to a doctor,” Schulte says. “And the Lions Club can assist families with financial need with costs for subsequent exams and eyeglasses.”

Schulte says access is available to students of any age. “If you’re concerned about vision and don’t feel you have access to care, reach out to your school nurse,” Schulte says. “Even if your student isn’t in one of the grades regularly screened, we can do a screening and connect you with help.”

Below (L to R): 

Optometrist points to an item on a vision screener and asks student to identify it from about 20 feet away

Volunteer has student cover one eye and identify items on a vision screener from a reading distance

#FZCommunity Volunteers pose with FZ Coordinator of Nursing and Optometrist after a day's work at an elementary school