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Medication and Treatment at School

Photo of young man using asthma inhaler

DCPS wants to make sure your children are healthy and safe so they can achieve at the highest levels at school. DCPS partners with the DC Department of Health (DOH) and the School Nurse Program to ensure that students are able to stay healthy at school. If your child has diabetes, asthma, allergies, or other medical conditions, please follow these important steps below so we can make sure that your child’s medication and treatment needs are met while at school. A pdf version can be found here.

Completing Medication Forms

Whenever possible, administer medications at home. If your child needs to take medication or requires medical treatment during school hours, please have your medical provider complete the appropriate forms – there’s the Medication and Treatment Authorization Forms, the Asthma Action Plan and the Action Plan for Anaphylaxis. These forms are also available from your school’s nurse. Additional information on what needs to be provided to the school in order to administer medication or medical treatments while at school is available in the letters from Children’s School Services at the bottom of this page. If you have any additional questions about what is needed for your child to receive appropriate care, please speak with your school’s nurse. If your child needs a dietary accommodation, your provider should also complete the Dietary Accommodations Form

Reviewing Medication Forms

After your provider completes the appropriate forms, please submit the forms to your school’s nurse. Also, bring with you the medication that your child requires, with proper labels from the pharmacy. If your child requires a special treatment, bring in the equipment needed as well. The school nurse will review the completed forms and seek your permission to speak with your child’s medical provider if the nurse needs to clarify anything on the forms.

Making Plans to Provide Medication, Treatment or Accommodations

Once the forms are reviewed, the school nurse will prepare an Individualized Health Plan, as needed, that details how your child’s health condition will be managed at school. The school nurse is available to educate other school staff who will need to understand your child’s unique medical needs during the school day. If a dietary accommodation is needed, the school nurse will share that completed form with your school food vendor’s dietician who will prepare menus that meet your child’s needs.

Administering Medication and Providing Treatments

When your child needs to receive medication or treatment, school staff will ensure that your child is released from class to go to the nurse’s office where the school nurse will administer the medication or treatment. Sometimes the school’s nurse is not at the assigned school due to a normal absence or to cover another school. When this occurs, the school will ensure other trained school staff are available to administer your child’s medication. Each school is required to have three staff trained to administer medication to students, and two of these staff must be specially trained to manage diabetes. If your child requires a special treatment that the school nurse is unable to administer, the school nurse’s supervisor will assign another nurse to come to your child’s school to provide the treatment. 

Field Trips

Your child’s school will also ensure trained staff will be present on field trips with your child and during all school-sponsored extracurricular activities in which your child is a participant unless you choose to participate in the field trip or activity and agree to administer any required treatment yourself.

Questions?

If you have any questions about medication access during school hours, please do not hesitate to contact your school’s nurse directly. Any other school health and wellness questions can be directed to Valentine Breitbarth, DCPS’s Program Manager for Health Services, at  (202) 719-6555 or [email protected]

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