Marion County Schools to provide annual hearing, speech, vision screenings

Aug. 30—FAIRMONT — The Marion County Schools' Special Education Department will conduct its annual hearing, vision, and speech and language screenings at elementary schools across the county during the 2023-24 academic year.

Each year, the screenings examine students for early signs of hearing, speech, language and vision issues that might hinder their studies.

Students enrolled in Marion County Universal Pre-K, as well as any kindergarten students who lack previous screening results, will participate in the screenings unless opted out by a parent or guardian.

Students entering West Virginia schools for the first time, students referred for screening by teachers or parents, and students previously identified for potential hearing, speech and vision issues will also participate in the process.

Parents will be informed of the results of the screenings as soon as possible. In the event that an additional assessment is needed, parents will be contacted with test results and recommendations within 30 days of the initial screening.

For each screening the process is slightly different.

The hearing screening encompasses pure tone testing, which measures auditory acuity, and impedance testing, which examines middle ear function.

For pure tone testing, children listen to three frequencies in each ear and raise their hands when they hear a sound.

Impedance testing does not require a response from students, as instruments will be used to measure middle ear function.

Speech and language screening requires naming pictures, following directions and answering questions.

Vision screening will measure distance acuity by requiring students to read an HOTV eye chart. Students will also be screened through a PlusOptix digital machine, which is used to detect vision disorders and media opacities.

Parents who wish to opt their children out of any portion of the screening process must notify Christina Hare, supervisor of pupil services for Marion County Schools, by Sept. 9.

Reach Jack Walker by email at