Optometry Services to be offered in Schools through CSH and WellChild

April 12, 2013
Dwayne Page
Dee Anna Reynolds

Optometry services will be available to students beginning this fall through Coordinated School Health and WellChild Screening Inc.

Dee Anna Reynolds, Coordinated School Health Coordinator said during Thursday nights school board meeting that optometry is an expansion of a service that began in 2008 for DeKalb County Schools. "In the 2008-09 school year, Coordinated School Health began services with WellChild Inc to do Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) exams for students. Parents who were interested in the service and whose children qualified received WellChild exams on site at school through WellChild's mobile clinic. We have continued service with WellChild every year since then," said Reynolds.

WellChild Health Screening Inc. (WCHS) performs health screenings of students at school including vision, hearing, mental health, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, scoliosis, motor skills, etc.

Reynolds said these physicals have served hundreds of children in DeKalb County. " In the first year, 142 physicals were completed. This year, for 2012-13, over 400 exams have been completed." she said. "In the five years we have implemented this service, one thing has remained constant and that is the number of vision referrals. Approximately 20-33 percent of students receive vision referrals every year either through WellChild services or Coordinated School Health screenings," said Reynolds.

"WellChild has offered mobile optometry services in Memphis only for the last few years and it has been a very successful service there so WellChild began looking at adding this service to the middle Tennessee area. Through a several month long process, WellChild has been able to secure the resources and optometrists who are willing to aid with this service. So, Coordinated School Health is pleased to announce WellChild will be adding the optometry service for DeKalb County beginning this fall," she said.

"Parents who fill out the paper work and want their child to receive a WellChild exam will now have an option to fill out an additional form for optometry services. Students who receive vision referrals will have further vision testing. If that child needs glasses, they will receive two pairs of glasses, one for school and one pair to take home and keep at home. At the end of the school year, Coordinated School Health will take the school pair of glasses and return to WellChild," said Reynolds. "WellChild will send those glasses to be checked for needed repairs and cleaning. The glasses will be returned to the student for the next school year. In addition to offering this optometry service through EPSDT exams, WellChild will be working with Coordinated School Health through their vision screening results to further test students who may need it," she said.

WellChild forms will be included with the beginning of the year registration forms so parents should be looking for those forms at the start of the new school year this fall.

In other business, Director of Schools Mark Willoughby presented his monthly report on personnel to the board of education.

Those employed since the last meeting include:

Kathy Jacobs, sub bus driver
Danny Washer, sub bus driver
Mary Sanders, Educational Assistant at DeKalb Middle School
James Caplinger, custodian at Smithville Elementary School
James Dwight Knowles, part time custodian at DeKalb West School

Vicky Walker, transferred to School Secretary position at DeKalb Middle School

Samantha Lester, School Secretary at DeKalb Middle School, resigned.

The school board adopted resolutions of appreciation for support staff and teachers.

The resolution for teachers is as follows:
"Whereas, teachers are a vital part of our school system because they nurture and engage students in activities which will educate and graduate tomorrow's citizens and leaders; and

Whereas, teachers spend countless hours preparing teaching materials, grading papers and projects, studying about issues in education, consulting with administration, parents, students, and fellow educators; and

Whereas, teachers create a safe and healthy learning environment for the students to enjoy while they participate in daily lessons; and

Whereas, teachers demonstrate an exemplary attitude and establish rapport with the students; and

Whereas, great teachers transmit their passion for learning onto their students; and

Whereas, effective teachers give positive and constructive advice, praise accomplishments, and adjust their teaching styles as needed to meet the individual needs of students

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the DeKalb County Board of Education recognizes the numerous contributions that our teachers make each day by establishing May 7, 2013 as teacher Appreciation Day in all DeKalb County Schools; and

Be it further resolved that the board expresses appreciation and thanks to teachers in our school system. We encourage each school and community to recognize them for their contribution to the success of our school system and its students".

The resolution for support staff is as follows:

"Whereas, the support staff in the DeKalb County School System is an outstanding group of dedicated school employees who care deeply about the students; and

Whereas, our teachers and administrators depend upon support staff members to prepare learning materials, operate the office and carry out business functions of the school, tutor, counsel, advise and guide individual students and perform a variety of other activities that result in an improved learning environment for students and their teachers throughout the school year; and

Whereas, our support staff is made up of individuals who have shown a commitment to our schools and the students they serve; and

Whereas, support staff bring into our schools a good measure of common sense, a calm demeanor and a willingness to let others occupy the spotlight and receive credit for success; and

Now, therefore be it resolved that the DeKalb County Board of Education hereby establishes April 18, 2013 as support staff appreciation day; and

Be it further resolved that the board expresses appreciation and thanks to all the support staff in our school system and encourages each school to recognize and join in the celebration of these individuals on that day for the role they play in the success of our school system.

Be it further resolved that the board endorses the use of the Hollywood theme to celebrate support staff members because students and adults can have fun with the theme and show the support staff they are the true stars in our school system".

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