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Free Epi-Pen® to schools who have physician orders for stock epinephrine

The Illinois Emergency Epinephrine Act, PA97-0361, allows schools to stock a supply of epinephrine auto-injectors, authorizes schools to enter into an agreement with a physician to provide the school with a prescription to obtain the auto-injectors, and gives school nurses (RN) the power to administer the epinephrine to any student whom the registered nurse believes is having an anaphylactic reaction.

Mylan© Pharmaceuticals has agreed to provide free epinephrine auto-injectors (Epi-Pen®) again this school year to all schools that have a standing order for this emergency drug. The program requirements are: 1) school must have a doctor’s order for the use of this drug and 2) a representative of the school or district must sign the order form. The instructions and order forms can be accessed at www.epipen4schools.com

The Illinois Attorney General's office and other agencies and associations last year produced the “Physician’s ToolkitPDF Document”, which among other objectives, can assist a physician in writing the school prescription. The “toolkit” also answers physician questions on liability.



Training Resources for School Nurses

The Illinois Youth Sports Concussion Safety Act (P.A. 99-0245 and its companion legislation, P.A. 99-0486) requires that if a school employs a nurse, that nurse must be a member of the school concussion oversight team. The nurse (and others on the concussion oversight team) must obtain training in concussion from an authorized training provider at least once every two years, beginning September 2016. The training course for the nurse must be one that meets the continuing nursing education requirements set by by Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). 

The Illinois High School Association has a variety of resources on concussions on its website at www.ihsa.org/Resources/SportsMedicine.aspx. Check under “Recent Announcements” for the latest, including guidelines for management of concussion in sports and a video on the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Concussion Risk ProgramBranshark Video Link.​​

 CPR/AED Training for Students

A student who has been shown a video on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be in a better position to save a life in school, at home or in the community. Public Act 097-0714PDF Document, effective June 28, 2012, recommends such training for students in grades 6 through 8 as part of the school’s safety education curriculum. Schools may choose to but are not required to provide this training. The training in “hands only” CPR and in the use of automated external defibrillator (AED) may be met through a free video provided to schools courtesy of the Northwestern University Department of Emergency Medicine. The video has the endorsement of Illinois State Board of Education, the American Heart Association and other community health agencies.


Additional Diabetes Resources

 Eye Health

Vision screening is required annually on all children in special education, children new to the district, and teacher/parent referrals. Vision screening is also required beginning at age 3 in all licensed daycare/preschool programs. Once a child begins school, vision screening is required in grades K, 2 and 8.

 Health Examination and Immunization Forms

Child Health Examination Forms

Students entering kindergarten (or first grade if not previously enrolled in kindergarten), sixth grade and ninth grade at any Illinois public or private school (including charter schools) must provide proof of physical examination on a form approved by both the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education. Students entering an Illinois school from out of state or out of country for the first time at any grade level must also provide the physical exam form. The exam must be completed no earlier than a year (365 days) prior to the start of attendance at an Illinois school.

The Child Health Examination Form labeled 11/15 must be used by students who need to provide proof of the physical exam for school year 2017-18.


Hearing screening is required annually on all children in special education, children new to the district, and teacher/parent referrals. Hearing screening is also required beginning at age 3 in all licensed daycare/preschool programs. Once a child begins school, hearing screening is required at grades K, 1, 2 and 3.


 Heat/Wind Chill

  • Wind Chill and Heat Index ChartsPDF Document
    Students should be encouraged to engage in physical activity year-round, including winter, when they are adequately protected from exposure to extreme weather. Attached is a chart, created by Iowa Department of Public Health and distributed nationally, which may help school districts decide when to limit outdoor play and other activities. The chart explains both wind chill and heat index and is based on information provided to Iowa DPH by the US National Weather Service. To be most useful, the chart, if printed, should be printed in color.
  • Irregular Days PolicyPDF Document

 Home/Hospital Instruction


  • Guidelines on Administration of Medications (September 2000) - Under Revision
  • Use of Undesignated Epinephrine
  • Use of Undesignated Opioid Antagonist
    • Public Act 99-0480 (also known as HB 1 and Lali’s Law) created a pilot program and process by which schools may stock an antidote to overdoses of opioid drugs in the schools.

      The requirements in the legislation are many, with a number of state agencies carrying out various parts of the law.  School officials and parents have taken note of recent news reports about the use of this drug (commonly referred to by the brand name Narcan® or the generic name naloxone hydrochloride) in schools. Adapt Pharma announced recently that it would provide a carton of Narcan free to all U.S. high schools. The company is also partnering with the National Association of School Nurses to provide educational materials.   See http://www.adaptpharma.com/press-releases/.
      • School nurses and administrators who are interested in considering a policy on the use of this drug may want to review the Illinois law.
      • Prescriptions for the drug are required in Illinois, whether purchased or provided free to the school.
      • Training is very specific and must meet the requirements of the Act.
      • In addition, a report to ISBEPDF Document is required within three days of use of the drug.

      ISBE, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) are working collaboratively to carry out the law.

      ISBE Administrative Rule 1.540PDF Document Undesignated Epinephrine Auto-injectors went into effect as of March 2, 2016.
  • Use of Medicinal Marijuana
    • Public Act 98-0122Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act created a process by which persons suffering from any of the identified lists of health conditions could be permitted to use marijuana (cannabis).  Persons under age 18 are permitted to be given the drug for one condition only: epilepsy (seizures).  The law prohibits the presence or use of the drug on school grounds and school transportation.

      School administrators or nurses who are asked to give or allow to have given the drug to students during any school-sponsored activity may contact ISBE school health staff for further guidance.

 School Health Notices

  • Zika Virus Guidance for District and School Administrators

    The Centers for Disease Control has developed interim guidance for grade K-12 district and school administrators for public health actions pertaining to the Zika virus infection. This guidance is intended to address concerns about the risk for Zika virus infection in K–12 schools and provide school districts with information for planning school-related activities, and recommend actions that can be taken, in consultation with local public health authorities and government officials, to reduce the potential risk for Zika virus transmission on school premises and among students.​

    To view the Zika virus guidance, please visit www.cdc.gov/zika/schools.html

  • Ebola Guidance Available for Schools

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance "Addressing Ebola Virus Infection Concerns in K-12 Schools: Interim Guidance for District and School Administrators". For more information, visit the CDC website.

    ISBE participates on the Ebola Task Force led by the state health department to monitor the outbreak and provide information. For more information about what Illinois is doing to combat the spread of Ebola visit the IDPH website.

  • IDPH Guidance for Schools: Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Infections

 School Health Resources

 Sexual Health Education

Staff Training to Support Safe and Supportive Environments Related to Sex Education:

  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided to ISBE funding to support sex education and the creation and maintenance of safe and supportive environments for all students, including those who have different sexual identities from the heterosexual norm. As part of the project, ISBE encourages all school staff to learn skills to provide students with such safety and support. Step In Speak Up! – Supporting LGBTQ Students is a free training offered by Illinois Department of Public Health. The training is self-paced and has proven effective in assisting school staff to create and maintain safe and supportive environments for such students.


    • Go to illinois.kognito.com
    • Select the training and create your account. (Choose “Other” if you work with multiple schools).
    • Take the brief pre-training survey, followed by the training (can be completed in one or multiple sittings).
    • Please also take the post training survey to assist in the program evaluation.
    • Print your certificate of completion.​​

 State Laws/Statutes and Rules/Regulations

  • Child Health Examination Code - IDPH Rules (77 IL Administrative Code 665)
  • ISBE Guidance 15-6 (P.A. 98-0632): Non-regulatory guidance on the requirement to provide training on CPR and AED in all secondary schoolsPDF Document
  • IDPH Laws and Administrative Rules
    • Reports of Communicable Disease: Some illnesses are so serious that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires health care providers (including nurses working in schools) to report to the state health department any suspected or confirmed cases of certain diseases. For a poster of those reportable diseases and conditions go to reportable-diseases-poster.pdfPDF Document.

      Federal and state laws protecting student privacy normally require written parental release of information to any entities outside of the school system. However, some threats to health and safety are great enough that federal law (FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) allow written consent to release to be waived. Obtaining parental permission for release is preferable, and parents should be notified that the release will be made. The Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) have agreed in principle that for diseases that are required to be reported “immediately” [Class I(a)] or “within 24 hours” [Class I(b)] schools may release the student’s identity and other necessary information without written parental release. Any reportable illnesses that fall under a longer reporting time period than 24 hours must be accompanied by written parental consent. If the parent does not consent to release information on conditions requiring reporting beyond the 24-hour timeline, school nurses and other school officials may remind other health care providers outside of school, including physicians, hospitals, and laboratories, that they also are mandated to report the case to the state health department and they are protected by the regulations for HIPAA (Health Insurance and Portability Act) when doing so. Schools in general are not subject to nor protected by HIPAA; educational entities and personnel are required to follow regulations in FERPA and ISSRA (Illinois School Students Records Act) when releasing educational (including student health) information to persons or entities outside of the school system.
  • School Nurse Licensure
    • Administrative Rules
      • Part 25PDF Document - Educator Licensure - Endorsement for School Nurses (Parts 25.200; 25.215; 25.245; 25.710; 25.800; 25.Appendix E)
      • Part 226PDF Document - Special Education - Medical Reviews (Part 226.160; 226.850)
        • Special Education Medical Review
    • Renewal Information​

 Training Opportunities

Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in Illinois can earn 1.5 CNE by viewing this webinar. A link to an evaluation survey is included in the broadcast; the link must be copied into a browser to access the survey. Participants who view the entire presentation and provide an evaluation will be sent a certificate of award for 1.5 CNE via email.

  • School Nurse Training – A Set of Modules for Nurses to Use for Instructing School Personnel

    These modules, produced by ISBE in collaboration with Benedictine University, were developed for use by school nurses who may in turn use them for training other school personnel, such as classroom teachers, health assistants, and administrators. They may be viewed singly or in any combination. The first 30 nurses who view all three of the modules and complete the attached survey will receive 1.5 hours CNE issued by ISBE.

  • Healthy and Ready to Learn: A Back to School Webinar for School NursesGo To Webinar Link - Sept. 12, 2016 (1:21:20)
  • Special Education Medical Review Requirements Beginning July 1, 2016PDF Document – (pursuant to 226.160 Special Education, Medical Review)

    Registered Nurses (RN) who do not hold ISBE Professional Educator License (PEL) endorsed as school nurse are prohibited from providing educational evaluation and instructional judgment of public school students. RNs who do not hold the PEL have been eligible to obtain the designation that permits them to provide such evaluation and judgment for students being evaluated for special education through a process maintained by ISBE. Since March of 2014, more than 700 Registered Nurses working in public schools have completed that process and obtained credentials as “non-PEL RN with IEP privileges PreK-21.”

    Districts that still have need for an RN to perform the special education student medical evaluations are directed to first seek a RN with PEL, as outlined in the attached message, and if unable to secure a RN with that credential, read the announcement for additional information. ISBE will again offer the Medical Review course during the 2016-17 school year on an as-needed basis for districts that meet the requirements outlined in this announcement.

    Questions may be directed to Jessica Gerdes, 312-814-5560 or Jgerdes@isbe.net.

  • Certification in School Nursing

    Registered Nurses who are interested in obtaining a certificate that may lead to a school nurse license issued by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) may contact these universities that are currently accepting students into the program. The programs are approved by the State Education Professional Licensure Board (SEPLB) to prepare Registered Nurses (R.N.) to obtain Professional Educator License, endorsed in school nursing.

    The programs prepare registered nurses to obtain professional educator licensure endorsed for school nursing. The other programs are

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