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ISBE Releases New Guidance on Medication Administration in Schools

K-12 Education Publications

In April, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) amended its 2010 guidance on self-administration of medication. Specifically, the new guidance document focuses on recent updates to Section 22-30 of the School Code (105 ICLS 5/22-30), which provides for student self-administration of asthma medication and epinephrine auto-injectors (e.g., epi-pens). 

In 2011, Section 22-30 was amended by Public Act 97-0361 to allow schools to maintain a supply of epi-pens that could be used by the school nurse in case a student without a known allergy had an anaphylactic reaction. In the last legislative session, the General Assembly passed Public Act 98-0795, further amending Section 22-30. Most notably, the revised Section 22-30 allows trained personnel, in addition to the school nurse, to both carry and administer an undesignated epi-pen to any person believed in good faith to be having an anaphylactic reaction. Additionally, undesignated epi-pens can be kept in any secure location where an allergic reaction is likely to occur. The specific training required for personnel is also identified. 

Further, the Act requires schools to activate the emergency medical services system and notify the student’s parents whenever a student receives an epi-pen injection. When an undesignated epi-pen is administered, schools must also notify the prescribing physician and ISBE. Finally, the Act requires ISBE to publish online and provide a report to the General Assembly outlining the frequency and circumstances under which epi-pens are administered during each school year. ISBE is also permitted to adopt rules implementing Section 22-30. 

ISBE developed a question and answer chart to function as a quick reference tool for schools to understand the requirements for authorization and documentation, as well as the protocol for the administration and self-administration of medication to students.

For the upcoming school term, schools should consult with their counsel to create a plan of action in compliance with these new requirements under Section 22-30.