Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2444 Pupil health: eye and vision health.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.

 Section 49455 of the Education Code is amended to read:

49455.
 (a) (1) During the  Except as provided in paragraph (2), a pupil’s vision shall be appraised by the school nurse or other authorized person under Section 49452 during the pupil’s  kindergarten year or upon first enrollment or entry in a California school district of a pupil at an elementary school,  of the pupil in an elementary school under a school district or county office of education or in a charter school that serves elementary school pupils,  and in grades 2, 5, and 8, the pupil’s vision shall be appraised by the school nurse or other authorized person under Section 49452. 8. 
(2) A pupil whose first enrollment or entry occurs in grade 4 or 7 shall not be required to be appraised in the year immediately following the pupil’s first enrollment or entry.
(b) The appraisal shall include tests for visual acuity, including near vision, and color vision; however, color  vision, pursuant to this subdivision. Color  vision shall be appraised once and only on male pupils, and the results of the appraisal shall be entered in the health record of the pupil. Color vision appraisal need not begin until the male pupil has reached the first grade. grade 1. 
(c) The appraisal may be waived, if the pupil’s parents so desire, by their  presenting of  a certificate from a physician and surgeon, a physician assistant practicing in compliance with Chapter 7.7 (commencing with Section 3500) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, or an optometrist setting out the results of a determination of the pupil’s vision, including visual acuity and color vision.
(d) A pupil’s vision may be appraised by using an eye chart or any other scientifically validated photoscreening test. Photoscreening tests shall be performed, under an agreement with, or the supervision of, an optometrist or ophthalmologist, by the school nurse or a trained individual who meets requirements established by the department.
(e) Continual and regular observation of the  The school nurse and classroom teacher shall continually and regularly observe a  pupil’s eyes, appearance, behavior, visual performance, and perception that may indicate vision difficulties shall be done by the school nurse and the classroom teacher. difficulties. 
(f) This section shall not apply to a pupil whose parents or guardian file with the principal of the school in which the pupil is enrolling, a statement in writing that they adhere to the faith or teachings of any well-recognized religious sect, denomination, or organization and in accordance with its creed, tenets, or principles depend for healing upon prayer in the practice of their religion.
(g) The department shall adopt guidelines regulations  to implement this section, including training requirements and  requirements,  a method of testing for near vision. vision, and followup procedures for a pupil who fails a vision appraisal. 
(h) (1) On and after July 1, 2019, a school district, county office of education, or charter school shall provide an information sheet regarding pediatric vision and eye health, pursuant to this subdivision. A school district, county office of education, or charter school shall make the information sheet available annually to teachers at every schoolsite that serves elementary school pupils. The information sheet may be provided to the parent or guardian of a kindergarten pupil and to the parent or guardian of a pupil upon the pupil’s first enrollment or entry in an elementary school under a school district or county office of education or in a charter school that serves elementary school pupils, along with the notifications required pursuant to Section 48980.
(2) The information sheet shall include, but shall not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) Information about the importance of clear vision and eye health to a child’s physical development, success in school, and overall well-being.
(B) A description of the warning signs, symptoms, and behavioral problems associated with vision or eye health problems.
(C) A description of the risk factors associated with vision problems or eye disease.
(D) A description of the difference between eye examinations and the vision appraisal required to be performed on pupils pursuant to this section.
(E) Information on how to enroll in Covered California, Medi-Cal, or other subsidized health insurance programs.
(F) If available, information on local free or low-cost nonprofit programs that provide vision screenings, eye examinations, and eyeglasses for children.
(3) The information sheet shall be developed by the department in coordination with physicians, optometrists, school nurses, and any other person or entity the department deems appropriate. The information sheet shall be made available to a school district, county office of education, or charter school electronically through the department’s Internet Web site and any other Internet Web site that the department deems appropriate, and in hardcopy, upon written request to the department.
(i) The department, in cooperation with the State Board of Optometry, shall establish a pilot program for the purpose of improving early detection of eye and vision problems to help pupils achieve better educational outcomes. The pilot program shall take place in participating school districts during the 2020–23 school years.
SEC. 2.
 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.