And after an extremely trying 2020-2021 school year for students, parents, teachers, staff and partner agencies due to COVID closures and virtual/hybrid learning Conexus will be EXTREMELY busy this fall!! In fact, our healthy vision team is working hard to prepare to hit the ground running next week as school divisions across the Commonwealth begin reopening for the 2021-2022 academic year. Conexus is a well-oiled machine and we are ready to deliver one-on-one life changing services to a record-breaking 100,000 students this coming year!
Our “Covid Catch Up” initiative will allow us to provide comprehensive vision screening programs and Mobile Vision Clinic services to students that we missed last year due to school closings and reduced enrollment.
This bold move will move us from serving 60,000 students per year to perhaps as many as 110,000! The vast majority of these children went un-screened for an entire year all while learning at home virtually or through a hybrid/home combination. In addition to being unscreened, these students also faced increased eye strain due to digital learning and you can clearly see that now, more than ever, healthy vision will be critically important to their success in the classroom.
As a result of increased vision screenings, the Conexus Mobile Vision Clinic program will also be expanded to serve the increased number of students receiving referrals. In a pre-COVID Mobile Clinic year, Conexus would provide approximately 3,100 exams and 2,300 pairs of glasses to students in Title 1 Chesterfield schools, all Petersburg schools, and all Richmond Public Schools. For this 2021-2022 school year, we are anticipating more than doubling those numbers and providing Chesterfield, Petersburg, and Richmond schools with an estimated 7,100 eye exams and 5,100 pairs of glasses!
As of today, 16 school divisions have signed up for our “Covid Catch Up” program utilizing their ESSER III COVID relief funds to pay for the additional students to be served.
We are blessed to have an amazing Board of Directors, charitable donors, and supportive education and community partners and a talented dedicated staff ready to serve and we are extremely excited to bring a child’s world in to focus this school year!
Healthy vision changes lives and I continue to be grateful for your support.