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​Information on school nursing related guidelines, regulations, and forms.​

Important Measles Information from the Illinois Depart of Public Health

After Illinois remained measles-free for three years, there have been 6 confirmed cases in the past 6 months. In February 2024, the Indiana Department of Health has confirmed a case of measles in a young child from northwest Indiana who received medical care at three Chicago hospitals while contagious which resulted in numerous exposures to individuals who came in contact with them. This underscores the need to improve vaccination in our school age populations. A second case of measles in an older adult was identified in March 2024 who had multiple community exposures during their infectious period and no identified source of the infection, suggesting a concern for local transmission of measles. An additional Illinois case was just confirmed this week in young child from a new arrival shelter who has recovered and is no longer infectious. Further, we are seeing a decline in measles vaccine coverage in school-age children, nationally and in Illinois to a level below the 95% herd-immunity level needed for protection against measles.

Please see the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Measles Update for Daycares and Schools document​PDF Document for important information regarding the diagnosis, treatment, transmission and prevention of measles.

2024 Illinois Measles Outbreak: School Action Request & IDPH School Vaccination Dashboard - 04/08/2024

I need to report....

 Allergies & Undesignated Epinephrine

  • Anaphylaxis Response Policy
    It is the policy of the Illinois State Board of Education, according to Public Act 102-0413, that each school district must have an anaphylaxis policy. Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/2-3.182(a-g) and Section 22-30) requires that all public schools, nonsectarian nonpublic schools, and charter schools create and implement policies concerning anaphylaxis prevention and treatment. These policies must also be reviewed before August of 2022 and reevaluated every three years and be updated to reflect any necessary and appropriate revisions.

    ISBE collaborated with Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Association of School Boards to develop a model policy. ​For a breakdown of the statute and a detailed list of what the policy should encompass, you can reference Model Anaphylaxis Response Policy for Illinois Schools​PDF Document

    Please email questions to schoolnurse@isbe.net​​.​​​

  • Use of Undesignated Epinephrine by Non-Nurse Personnel

    Schools who adopt a policy for the use of undesignated epinephrine by non-nurse personnel may utilize one of these resources to satisfy some of the training requirements of the law. Additional training requirements include a review of the high risk areas within the school and its related facilities, and documented practice on a training device of the same type ordered for the undesignated epinephrine. It is recommended that the school RN or another medical provider be the person who provides and documents the practice session and basic understanding of the prevention, indications and use of an epinephrine auto injector.

  • CDC Toolkit for Managing Food Allergies in Schools
  • Free Epi-Pen® to schools who have physician orders for stock epinephrine​

 Asthma

 Communicable Diseases

Reportable Diseases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified some communicable diseases that health care providers, including nurses, must report to the state or local health department. These mandated reporters, such as health care providers, hospitals and laboratories, must report suspected or confirmed cases of these diseases to the local health department within the number of days or hours indicated in parentheses. Due to the immediate threat posted by some diseases, the diseases listed that are immediately to be reported (within three hours) and those to be reported within 24 hours should be reported by school nurses within those time frames as soon as notified by a parent or the student's health care provider that the disease is present or suspected. Diseases that are to be reported within seven days must be accompanied by a written parental release. Refer to the Reporting PosterPDF Document for details.

For additional information refer to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Communicable Disease School Nurse Guidance​​.

In accordance with Public Act 99-0320, the Illinois State Board of Education is part of a statewide PANDAS and PANS Advisory Council. Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections (PANDAS) or Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) is a complicated condition with academic, behavioral, and social/emotional issues. The disease is often, but not always associated with the infection with the streptococcus bacteria, or "strep throat." It is misunderstood and often goes undiagnosed. Students exhibit confusing symptoms associated with signs of mental illness or other behavioral issues. Preliminary data suggest that appropriate treatment early in the course of illness and effective use of antibiotics prophylaxis may be able to prevent up to 25-30 percent of childhood mental illnesses. To learn more about this disorder, go to the IDPH PANDAS/PANS webpage and download the recent presentation of the PANDAS/PANS Standard of Care Summit held in Springfield on Oct. 4, 2018.​​​​​​​

 Concussion

Training Resources for School Nurses

Illinois School Code 105 ILCS 5/22-80 pertains to student athletes who suffer concussions and head injuries.  It 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 on how to treat concussion symptoms from an authorized training provider at least once every two years.  The training course for the nurse must meet the continuing nursing education requirements set by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

The HEADS UP online training course is designed for health care providers, school professionals, youth and high school sports coaches, and athletic trainers.

This course is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with other professional organizations, such as the American College of Sports Medicine, and the National Association of School Nurses.

This course provided Continuing Education Credits.  Courses may have different amounts of credit.  Certificates can be printed through the CDC TRAIN education portal.

Continuing Education Credit certificates must be printed or saved at the conclusion of the course using your CDC TRAIN login.​

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 the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). 

The Illinois High School Association Sports Medicine site has a variety of resources on concussions. 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.​​​​​

 Diabetes

State Laws, Regulations and Policies for School Diabetes Care: Illinois

Diabetes Resources

Diabetes Training

 Health Exams

Health Exams Requirements are stated in Illinois School Code (105 ILCS 5/27-8.1).  Components required with each type of exam are explicit in Illinois Public Health Administrative Code 665.
ISBE Student Health Data Important Dates
Immunization/Health Examination
Students submit to school by October 15 annually or an earlier exclusion date set by the district
IWAS system becomes available for data entry September 1 annually
Must be submitted in IWAS to be considered complete by November 15 as written in School Code
Eye Examination
Student submit to school by October 15
IWAS system becomes available for data entry September 1
Must be submitted in IWAS to be considered complete by June 30 at 11:59 p.m.
Dental Examination
Student submit to school by May 15 annually
IWAS system becomes available for data entry May 15 at midnight
Must be submitted in IWAS to be considered complete by June 30 at 11:59 p.m.

This table lists annual dates. Systems become available on that date and data entry must be submitted before the end date.

Physical Exam and Immunization

Child Health Examination (physical) and immunization record is required for students entering 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.

Physical and Immunizations are to be submitted to the local school by October 15th of the school year by parents/guardians/families or an earlier established date according to guidelines from 105 ILCS 5/27-8.1 of School Code.

Oral Health Exam
​All children in kindergarten, second grade, sixth grade, and ninth grade are to submit proof of having been examined by a dentist.  The exam must have taken place within 18 months prior to May 15 of the school year in which it is required.  For students entering an Illinois School from out of state or out of country the oral health exam is only necessary to be completed if entering at the grade levels listed (K, 2, 6, 9).  Waivers for situations that hinder a child from completing the exam may be submitted for circumstances listed on the form.​

Eye Examination
All children enrolling in kindergarten in a public or private school (including charter school) shall have an eye examination performed by a physician, or licensed optometrist.  This exam is to be completed within the previous one year prior to the child entering an Illinois School for the first time.  For students entering an Illinois School from out of state or out of country the exam is required to be submitted.  A waiver for children who show undue burden or lack of access may be presented in place of an exam.

IWAS Data Entry Planning Worksheets
Each of these health exams have a corresponding IWAS submission spot within ISBE’s Web Access System (IWAS).  In order to ease the submission worksheets are provided which include the components for entering into the electronic collection location.

 Hearing Screening

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.

 Homebound/Hospital Instruction

Some students are in need of instruction provided at home or in the hospital, or another location that temporarily provides for a safe and healthy learning environment. In those situations, a certificate of need is provided by the student’s physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant. The school district, in consultation with the parents and the health care provider, determine how much time each day the student can tolerate instructional services. These forms and documents may be but are not mandated to be used. They are provided for the convenience of the school district and could serve evidence of having met the student’s need for services related to a medical disability.

 Medications in School

Forms to Submit Use of Undesignated Medication

 School Nurse Bootcamp

2023

School Nurse Bootcamp 2023 with IDPH and ISBEPDF Document

Mon, Aug 7, 2023 8:50 AM - 3:00 PM CDT: Recorded Sessions and Handouts

The School Nurse Bootcamp is a back-to-school webinar with a live audience and will be recorded. The intended audience is School Nurses, school office personnel, and others who may be responsible to completing school health data reports to ISBE and IDPH. Staff from each agency provides an overview of requirements, updates, current initiatives related to school health topics. (Immunization, School Health, Chronic Disease, and Communicable Disease Sections of IDPH and ISBE Wellness Department).

The timeline for professional development credit has passed. Plan to join us for the 2024 School Nurse Bootcamp, coming this fall!​

Sessions offered and schedule:

Past Presentations

Professional development is no longer available for past presentations.

 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​

 Special Education

  • Special Education
  • Special Education Directors Needing Nurses to Complete Health Evaluations (See Training Opportunities)
  • Many RNs have completed coursework and internships leading to the PEL, but some districts have tried and been unable to hire a qualified school nurse. Such districts may apply to ISBE to hire and train a non-PEL RN and remain in compliance with special education evaluation rules if they follow these steps:

    1. Encourage, require, and/or support an existing staff RN with at least a bachelor’s degree to enter into an approved school nurse certification program offered by an Illinois university. DePaul University, Lewis University and the University of Illinois-Chicago currently have approved programs. The programs offer extensive distance learning options, and most nurses would be able to complete the program within 12 months.
    2. If time is of the essence, you may apply to ISBE to have an RN obtain an IEP designation through two other options, but only after a district submits prerequisite documents to ISBE that verify a search for a fully qualified RN (PEL with school nurse endorsement) has been made:
      • An ISBE-sponsored IEP course will be offered. Dates are to be determined.​ 
      • An RN may opt out of the ISBE-sponsored IEP course and directly take the school nurse content test #236, which is available from the Illinois Licensure Testing System (ILTS) beginning Sept. 3, 2018. The test option remains available through the ILTS system year-round.

    It may be helpful in some districts to restructure the job duties of personnel in the nursing services department. A nurse with a bachelor’s degree who does not hold either the PEL or IEP designation may still perform 80 percent, four of the five components, of IEP health evaluations as identified in 23 IAC 226.160 (a) - Medical Review. 

 Vision Screening

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.

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