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504.32 Administration of Medication to Students

The Board is committed to the inclusion of all students in the education program and recognizes that some students may need prescription and nonprescription medication to participate in their educational program.

“Medication” for purposes for this policy can mean prescribed medications, non-prescribed medications, over the counter medications, food supplements, natural dietary supplements, or look alike medications.

Administration of Medication to Students by District Employees

Except for students with approved self-medication as provided below, the District will assist in administering medications, when the student’s parent or guardian provides a signed and dated written statement requesting medication administration and the medication is in the original, labeled container, either as dispensed or in the manufacturer’s container. Accordingly, except for emergency situations, only a licensed registered nurse, physician, or a staff member who has successfully completed a medication administration course will be permitted to administer these medications. A medication administration course and periodic update shall be conducted by a registered nurse or licensed pharmacists, and a record of course completion shall be maintained by the school.

Telephone permission for a one-time dose of prescription or non-prescription medication may be taken from parents/guardians under special circumstances and at the school nurse’s /authorized practitioner’s discretion. If the medication is to continue for several days subsequent to the telephone permission, written authorization must accompany said medication the following day.

In accordance with the Nurse Practice Act, District nurses will exercise their professional discretion in determining whether to administer any medication. If a nurse determines to vary or not administer a medication, the nurse shall inform the parent/ guardian, prescribing physician, and building principal of the reason for declining administration. If the District determines not to assist in administering any lawfully prescribed medication to a student, the District may permit a parent, guardian, or other person identified in writing by the parent to administer the medication during school time in designated locations and in accordance with this policy and other policies related to visitors to District facilities.

Any request for medication administration will be reviewed annually. If at any time there exists reason to obtain information from the prescribing health care practitioner, the student’s parent/guardian will be responsible for any costs charged by the practitioner to assist the District in administering the medication.

When the administration of medication requires ongoing professional health judgment, an individual health plan (IHP) will be developed by the school nurse with the student and the student’s parent/guardian, as outlined in Board Policy 507.80.

Self-Administration of Medication by Students

In some specific circumstances, students may self-administer their own medication and/or look-alike substances. Such self-administration may be authorized only when the student’s parent/guardian has made a written request for co-administration of medication, when a licensed health care practitioner has prescribed the medication for the student, when the student’s competence to self-administer has been demonstrated, and when the school nurse has granted approval.

By law, students with asthma or other airway constricting diseases or students at risk of anaphylaxis who use epinephrine auto-injectors may self-administer their medication upon the written approval of the student’s parents and prescribing licensed health care professional.

Students may only carry medications on school premises and at school events in accordance with this policy. It is a violation of this policy for students to carry, distribute, sell, and/or use medications or ”look alike” medications except in the circumstances provided herein.

Medication Storage and Record Keeping

 These medications shall be stored in a secured area unless the student has been approved to self-administer the medication. Protocols shall be established by a District nurse for storing medication during school activities away from the school building. Emergency protocols for medication-related reactions will be established and posted.

A written confidential record of all medications administered must be kept on file at the school. The written confidential record of administration shall be treated in accordance with District policy on confidential student records. This record shall include:

  1. Date
  2. Individual student name
  3. Prescriber or person authorizing administration
  4. Medication
  5. Medication dosage
  6. Administration time
  7. Administration method
  8. Signature and title of the person administering the medication. Any unusual circumstances, actions, or omissions

Disposal of unused, discontinued/recalled, and/or expired medication shall be in compliance with federal and state law. Prior to disposal, school personnel shall make a reasonable attempt to return medication by providing written notification that expired, discontinued, or unused medications needs to be picked up. If medication is not picked up by the date specified, disposal shall be in accordance with the disposal procedures for the specific category of medication.

R.R. for 504.32

In implementing policy 504.32 Administration of Medication to Students, the District will defer to either the 504 plan or the Individual Health Plan (IHP) developed for each student.

Each relevant student’s IHP will be reviewed annually by the appropriate school nurse, who may consult with the parent and/or the student. The nurse will annually advise and train applicable staff on implementation of each IHP and safety needs that may arise for relevant students. The District will review vendor agreements to determine if outside agencies require any training to implement this policy.


Legal Reference:
Disposing on Behalf of Ultimate Users, 79 Fed. Reg. 53520, 53546 (Sept. 9, 2014).

Iowa Department of Education Medication Administration Manual – 2019 (Second Revision)

Iowa Code §§124.101(1); 147.107; 152.1; 155A.4 (2); 280.16; 280.23.

281 IAC §41.404(3)

657 IAC §8.32(124); §8.32(155A)

655 IAC §6.2(152)

 Cross Reference:
#504.10 – Health Certificate
#504.31 – Student Injury or Illness at School

November 6, 1989

October 19, 2009
August 17, 2015

December 21, 2020

October 19, 2009
August 17, 2015

December 21, 2020