Posted Date: 12/09/2020
COPPERAS COVE, TX (November 18, 2020)—It has become routine for Copperas Cove ISD students to complete their weekly COVID-19 screeners now eight months into the pandemic. But, Cove schools have been screening students for various health issues for decades.
For academic success, students must be able to see and hear what teachers are saying or writing. Nurses across the school district will complete hearing and vision screenings on more than 8,000 students before the end of the first semester. Students in specific grade levels are screened for scoliosis also during the school year.
S. C. Lee Junior High Nurse Denise Ingram regularly screens students to include identifying vision and hearing deficits, uncontrolled asthma, mental and behavioral problems, dental pain, persistent hunger, and the effects of lead exposure. all the students for various issues.
“Many times, the school nurse is the first line of health care and is the first time the student is seen for vision, hearing, and scoliosis. Some health situations required students have follow-up care for glasses, hearing aids, and even surgery to fix lazy eyes, ear drums or crooked spines. These are serious conditions that if caught could be corrected,” Ingram said.
On average annually at S.C. Lee, 30 students find out for the first time they have vision issues; an average of five students discover they have hearing issues; and as many as 15 students find they have scoliosis.
CCISD screens students, including those on campus and those learning virtually, for hearing and vision in grades kindergarten, first, third, fifth and seventh grades and all new students to the district. Scoliosis screening is conducted in fifth and seventh grades for girls and eighth grade boys.
“I do screenings every day and I was embarrassed after my daughter’s vision screening when she told me that she did not know trees had leaves,” Ingram said. “Many times, parents do not know that children have health issues until it is caught by the school nurse.”
Vision is critical to learning since as much as 80 percent of student education takes place through vision such as reading, writing, and computers and the number is even higher for students whose parents have chosen remote learning.
Koa Palamene is a second grader at Martin Walker Elementary and receives his lessons remotely at home. His parents scheduled an appointment to bring him to the school to have his vision and hearing tested.
“I’m glad the school had me tested for hearing to make sure I can listen and hear my teacher during class and can hear while I am doing work on the computer,” the 7-year-old said. “My eyes were good too because the nurse said I can read and see all of the letters.”