Headphones being placed on a student's ears.

School Hearing Screening Program

  • The main purpose of a school hearing screening program is to identify those children who need further evaluation from those who do not.  A hearing screening does not provide any type of diagnosis, but is recorded as either a "Pass" or a "Refer".  The State of Arizona requires* that every child enrolled in preschool, kindergarten and grade 1,3,5,7,9 are required to be screened. Children who are enrolled in special education services and who did not pass the second screening the previous year should also be screened. Screenings will be conducted during the first semester of school. There are two methods for conducting a school hearing screening: Pure Tone Screenings and Otoacoustic Emission Screenings.

    Pure Tone Screenings: Pure tone screenings can be administered for children ages 3 and up.  A qualified Hearing Screener presents tones of different pitches to each ear. The child wears a set of headpones and raises his/her hand in response to a tone to indicate that the tone was heard. Using a portable audiometer in a quiet setting, the Hearing Screener presents three tones in each ear at a soft level of 20dB HL. If the student does not respond to even one tone, a re-screen is performed in 10-30 school days. If the student does not pass the second screening, then the school nurse will send home a referral letter to seek further evaluation from either an: audiologist, physician or primary care practioner. DVUSD will provide an audiological evaluation for registered DVUSD students at no cost.

    If you receive a nurse referral letter, you may call 602-467-5322 to schedule an appointment to have your child's hearing evaluated at one of our two sound booths in the District. 

    Otoacoustic Emission Screening (OAE screening): This screening method is fairly quick and requires no behavioral response (hand raising) from the child. It is mostly used with very young children or those who cannot give a  reliable response. Four frequencies (pitches) are presented into the ear canal using an probe tip from an OAE screening device. The OAE screener identifies the presence or absense of an "otoacoustic emission" response from the outer hair cells of the inner ear (cochlea). The results are listed as "Pass" or "Refer" on the device.  The OAE screening does not tell you why a child does not pass or how much of a hearing differnce may be present, so it is important to follow-up with a complete hearing evaluation.

    * Arizona Hearing Screening Statute and Rules (9 A.A.C 13, Article 1)