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State Department of Education Revises Regulations Concerning the Administration of Medication in Schools

January 28, 2011

Authors: Julie C. Fay, Gwen J. Zittoun

The Connecticut State Department of Education recently revised its Regulations regarding the administration of medication in schools. These revised Regulations, which are currently in effect, include a variety of significant changes to the manner in which medication is administered during the school day, as well as during intramural and interscholastic athletic events. While not inclusive of all of the revisions, the following is a list of the most significant modifications made to the Regulations:

  • Existing definitions were amended, and new definitions were added, including but not limited to the definitions of coach, licensed athletic trainer, and school readiness program.
  • Medication may not be administered in school without, among other things, the written permission of a parent for the exchange of information between the prescriber and the school nurse.
  • Controlled drugs may not be self-administered in school, except in extraordinary situations.
  • Trained principals, teachers, and physical or occupational therapists must be employed full time in order to administer medication to students.
  • A school nurse’s review of a student’s competency to self-administer medication may not prevent the student from retaining and self-administering in school an inhaler for asthma or a cartridge injector for medically diagnosed allergies, as long as the student has written authorization for self-administration from the student’s authorized prescriber and parent or guardian.
  • Coaches and licensed athletic trainers may only administer inhalant medications prescribed to treat respiratory conditions and/or medication administered with a cartridge injector for students with medically diagnosed allergic conditions. Such medication may be administered by coaches and licensed athletic trainers only during athletic events, which term is defined in the Regulations. The Regulations include a variety of additional requirements for administration of medication by coaches and licensed athletic trainers.
  • Emergency medications must be stored in an unlocked cabinet or container, which is under the general supervision of the nurse or principal during school hours.
  • Schools may now maintain a three month supply of medication for students. The Regulations previously imposed a forty-five day limit.
  • Specific regulations are now included for the administration of medication during school readiness and before-and-after school programs.  

Pursuant to the Regulations, boards of education must review their administration of medication policy periodically, and at least biennially, with the advice and approval of the school medical advisor, the school nurse supervisor or other qualified licensed physician. Also, any proposed revisions to the policy must be made with the advice and approval of the school medical advisor, school nurse supervisor or other qualified licensed physician.

To access the full text of the Regulations, please click here.  We encourage you to review the Regulations in their entirety, as the above description provides only a summary of the revised requirements. If you have any additional questions, please contact Gwen Zittoun at gzittoun@goodwin.com or 860-251-5523 or Julie Fay at jfay@goowin.com or 860-251-5009.

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