Medications in School
Per NYS Education Law, students may receive medication at school only if it is medically necessary and cannot otherwise be administered outside school hours.
- The term “medication” refers to prescription as well as non-prescription “over-the–counter” (OTC) medications, such as pain relievers, cough drops, antihistamines, eye drops, etc.
- Written authorization from a NYS licensed health care provider and a parent/guardian is required for school staff to administer any medication to a student in school.
- Medication orders must be renewed annually. They do not carry over from one school year to another.
- A parent/guardian must deliver the medication to the school nurse.
- Medication will not be accepted if it is not in a properly labeled prescription or original manufacturer's container.
- An additional identically labeled prescription container is required for any daily medication to be administered on field trips.
- Medication in plastic bags or expired containers will not be accepted.
Students who need medication during the school day should be knowledgeable and self-directed about their medication. This knowledge promotes self-reliance and safe medication dispersal practice. It also enables self-directed students to accept medication from trained non-nursing personnel during field trips.
Parents should educate their children of all ages to ensure they understand the following:
- name and appearance of the medication (color, size, shape),
- correct dosage (1 pill or 2 inhalations)
- reason for the medication ("helps me breathe")
- consequences of not taking the medication ("won't be able to focus on my class work")
- may refuse incorrect or unfamiliar medication from an authority figure and request that a parent/guardian be contacted for clarification.
The school nurse will designate a student's Level of Assistance in Medication Delivery for medication administration based upon competence with the above criteria.
Independent Carry and Use of Medications
Independent Carry and Use of Medications in Secondary School Form
Students in grades 6-12 have the option to carry and administer some prescribed and over-the counter medication during the school day and/or at school-sponsored events. Controlled substances and psychotropic medications may not be carried by students (except for overnight field trips with proper paperwork completed and approval of administration and nurse).
These students will take their own medicine without any assistance from staff, except during emergencies.
Students may independently carry and use their medications only if the following conditions are satisfied:
Healthcare providers prescribe independent carry and use medication orders for school.**
Parents/guardians attest that they have educated the student in regards to responsible usage of the medication.
School officials find the student to be responsible. If irresponsible use is noted, the privilege will be rescinded.
Medication should be stored in a properly labeled prescription or manufacturer’s container.
Sharing of medication with other students is strictly forbidden.
**Rapid-acting rescue medication
NYS Education Law mandates that medication orders for rapid-acting rescue medications must also include a diagnosis and provider attestation that the healthcare provider observed the student use the medication correctly. These medications include rescue inhalers, epinephrine auto-injectors, insulin, glucagon, diabetes supplies or other medications that require rapid administration to prevent negative health outcomes.
A separate Provider Attestation Form will be required for medication orders submitted without the required attestation.
Athletes trying out for Section V Sports (grades 7-12) who require the use of rapid-acting rescue medications MUST have Independent Carry and Use medication orders on file in the health office prior to the start of the sport season in order to participate in sports.
WCSD strongly recommends that parents provide a duplicate of this medication to be kept in the health office and/or with the coach.
Independent Carry and Use of Rapid-Acting Rescue Medications in Elementary School Form
Students in grade K-5 have the option to carry only rapid-acting rescue medications. They must meet the NYS Education Law requirements for Independent Use and Self Carry of Rapid-Acting Rescue Medication as stated above.
A safety and storage plan must be developed with the school nurse and principal before the student is allowed to carry the medication..
A duplicate of this rapid-acting rescue medication MUST also be stored in the student's health office.
Rescue medications will not be passed from one teacher to another during the school day.
End of School Year
Parents are given the opportunity to pick up any remaining medication the last week of the school year. If the medication is not picked up, it will be disposed of in accordance with New York State Health Department guidelines. Medications CANNOT remain in school over the summer for use the following year.