130A-440.1. Early Childhood Vision Care.

(a) Vision Screening Required for Children Entering Kindergarten. - Every child in this State entering kindergarten in the public schools, beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, shall obtain vision screening in accordance with vision screening standards adopted by the Governor's Commission on Early Childhood Vision Care. Within 180 days of the start of the school year, the parent of the child shall present to the school principal or the principal's designee certification that the child has, within the past 12 months, obtained vision screening conducted by a licensed physician, optometrist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, orthoptist, or a vision screener certified by Prevent Blindness North Carolina, or a comprehensive eye examination performed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. The health assessment transmittal form required pursuant to G.S. 130A-440 qualifies as certification that the child has obtained the required vision screening. All providers conducting vision screening shall provide each parent in writing the results of the vision screening on forms bearing the signature of the provider supplied to the provider by the Governor's Commission on Early Childhood Vision Care. The provider shall also orally communicate this information to the parent and shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the parent understands the information communicated. In the instance where a child enters the first grade without having been enrolled in a kindergarten program requiring a vision screening, the requirements for vision screening under this subsection shall apply.

(a1) Comprehensive Eye Examination. - For children who receive and fail to pass a vision screening as required under subsection (a) of this section, a comprehensive eye examination is required. If a public school teacher, administrator, or other appropriate school personnel has reason to believe that a child enrolled in kindergarten through third grade is having problems with vision, the school personnel may recommend to the child's parent that the child have a comprehensive eye examination. Notification to the parent shall also inform the parent that funds may be available from the Governor's Commission on Early Childhood Vision Care to pay providers for the examination, including corrective lenses.

The comprehensive eye examination shall be conducted by a duly licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist. The comprehensive eye examination conducted pursuant to this section shall consist of a complete and thorough examination of the eye and shall include:

(1) Measurement of visual acuity;

(2) Ocular alignment and motility;

(3) Depth perception - stereopsis;

(4) Fusion;

(5) Slit lamp examination of the lid margins, conjunctivae, cornea, anterior chamber, iris, and crystalline lens;

(6) Examination of the ocular adnexa, the anterior segment, and pupils; and

(7) Cycloplegic refraction and dilated fundus examination.

Health assessment vision screening under G.S. 130A-440 is not a comprehensive eye examination for purposes of this section.

(b) Repealed by Session Laws 2006-240, s. 1(a), effective August 13, 2006.

(c) The results of a comprehensive eye examination conducted under this section shall be included on the comprehensive eye examination transmittal form developed by the Commission pursuant to G.S. 143B-216.75 and shall contain a summary of the comprehensive eye examination performed by the optometrist or ophthalmologist. Any treatment recommendations by the optometrist or ophthalmologist, such as spectacles for schoolwork, shall appear in the summary and school health card. The provider shall present a signed transmittal form to the parent upon completion of the examination. The parent shall submit the transmittal form to the school in accordance with this section.

(d) Repealed by Session Laws 2006-240, s. 1(a), effective August 13, 2006.

(e) G.S. 130A-441, 130A-442, and 130A-443, pertaining to health assessments, apply to comprehensive eye examinations required under this section.

(f) No child shall be excluded from attending school for a parent's failure to obtain a comprehensive eye examination required under this section. If a parent fails or refuses to obtain a comprehensive eye examination or to provide the certification of a comprehensive eye examination, the school shall send a written reminder to the parent of required eye examinations and shall include information about funds that may be available from the Governor's Commission on Early Childhood Vision Care.

(g) In adopting standards for vision screening under this section and as required under G.S. 130A-440, the Commission shall take into account the resources necessary to comply with the standards and, if standards will require additional resources, shall mitigate the impact on resources without compromising vision screening effectiveness.

(h) As used in this section, the term "parent" means the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis. (2005-276, s. 10.59F(g); 2005-345, s. 20(d); 2006-240, s. 1(a).)