Medications in School

In order for your child to take medication in school, New York State requires a written order from the doctor, indicating the name, frequency, and dosage of the medication. Written permission from the parents allowing the school nurse to administer the medication is also required. A supply of the medication properly labeled in its original container must be brought to the health office by an adult. This applies to all prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) medications, including pain relievers and cold/cough medications.

The following is required for any medication to be taken in school.

  • A written order by a licensed prescriber. Click here to download this form>>
  • A written request from the parent or guardian to give the medication in school as ordered by the prescriber.
  • An adult must deliver the medication in a properly labeled original container to the school. Medication in baggies, foil packets, etc. cannot be accepted. The label on the bottle must match the prescriber's order. If you need a second prescription bottle, so that you have one for home and one for school, your pharmacist will provide one for you upon request.

Some students in our District have been diagnosed with potentially life-threatening conditions. And some chronic health conditions (e.g., allergies, asthma, diabetes, etc.) are associated with occasional serious symptoms like low/high blood sugar, difficulty breathing, and more. Click below to find out more about how these conditions can be managed at school. 

Medication Self-Management

All medications are kept in a locked cabinet in the health office. In some cases, older students (usually 7th grade or older) may be permitted to carry and self-administer their medication - ask your school nurse about this, if you feel this is necessary.

The District will work toward assisting students in the self-management of their chronic health condition based upon the student's knowledge level and skill by:

-Adequately training all staff involved in the care of the child, on a "need to know" basis, while maintaining appropriate confidentiality;
-Assuring the availability of the necessary equipment and/or medications;
-Providing appropriately trained nurses as required by law;
-Providing additional appropriately trained adults to complete delegated tasks as allowed by law;
-Developing an emergency plan for the student; and
-Providing ongoing staff and student education.

For students with chronic conditions, it is essential that the District work cooperatively with the parent(s) and the student's private healthcare provider to:

  • Develop an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) for each at risk student to ensure that all appropriate personnel are aware of the student's potential for a life-threatening situation;
  • If appropriate, develop an Individualized Healthcare Plan (IHP) that includes all necessary treatments, medications, training and educational requirements for the student. If the student is eligible for accommodations based upon the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disabilities Act, the appropriate procedures will be followed regarding evaluation and identification;
  • Provide training by licensed medical personnel (e.g., registered professional nurse) for all adults in a supervisory role in the recognition and emergency management of a specific medical condition for the student;
  • Obtain specific legal documents duly executed in accordance with New York State law; appropriate written orders from the student's healthcare provider that includes the frequency and conditions for any testing and/or treatment, symptoms, and treatment of any conditions associated with the health problem; and directions for emergencies;
  • Secure written parental permission and discuss parental responsibility that includes providing the healthcare provider's orders, providing any necessary equipment, and participating in the education and co-management of the child as he/she works toward self-management;
  • Allow self-directed students, as assessed by the school nurse, to carry life saving medication with prior approval by the medical provider and according to health practice and procedures, as long as duplicate life saving medication is also maintained in the health office in the event the self-carrying student misplaces the medication;
  • Assure appropriate and reasonable building accommodations are in place within a reasonable degree of medical certainty. 

In addition, the District will:

  • Provide training in the recognition of an anaphylactic reaction for all staff who directly supervise a student having a known life-threatening health condition;
  • Have standing emergency medical protocols for nursing staff;
  • Request that the School Medical Director write a non-patient specific order for anaphylaxis treatment agents for the school's registered professional nurse to administer in the event of an unanticipated anaphylactic episode;
  • As permitted by New York State law, maintain stock supplies of life saving emergency medications such as epinephrine in all health offices for use in first time emergencies;
  • Ensure that Building-level and District-wide school safety plans include appropriate accommodations for students with life-threatening health conditions;
  • Encourage families to obtain medic-alert bracelets for at risk students;
  • Educate students regarding the importance of immediately reporting symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Disposal of Unused Medication

Any unused medication (including unused routine medications, or expired prescription and nonprescription drugs) must be picked up by the parent/guardian by the end of each school year. Students may not transport medications home. If the parent/guardian does not pick up the unused medication by the end of the school year, the school nurse or designated health office personnel must document that the medication was abandoned and destroy it.

Please contact your student's School Health Office with any concerns/questions.