School Board Policy 516 -
Student Medication


Adopted: september 8, 1997 
REVISED: august 27, 2001 revised: september 9, 2002 
revised: february 10, 2003
Revised: may 9, 2005  revised: january 14, 2013

REVISED: December 9, 2019
revised: december 14, 2020

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set forth the provisions that must be followed when administering nonemergency prescription medication to students at school.

II. General Statement of Policy 

The school district acknowledges that some students may require prescribed drugs or medication during the school day. The school district’s licensed school nurse or trained designee will administer medications, except any form of medical cannabis, in accordance with law and school district procedures.

III. Definition

A. “Parent” for students 18 years old or older is the student.

IV. Requirements

A. The administration of prescription and nonprescription medication requires a completed signed authorization from the student’s parent or guardian. The school district may rely on an oral parent/guardian request to administer medication for up to two school days, after which a written authorization is required.

B. An “Administration of Prescription Medication” form must be completed annually (once per school year) and/or when a change in the prescription or requirements for administration occurs.  Prescription medication as used in this policy does not include any form of medical cannabis as defined in Minn. Stat. § 152.22, Subd. 6.

C. All medication must come to school in the original container. Prescription medication must be labeled for the student by an authorized medical professional in accordance with law, and must be administered in a manner consistent with the instructions on the label and prescriber instructions. The medication cannot be expired.

D. The school nurse may request to receive further information about the prescription, if needed, prior to administration of the substance.

E. Prescription medications are not to be carried by the student, but will be left with the appropriate school district personnel. Exceptions to this requirement are: prescription asthma medications self-administered with an inhaler (See Part J.5. below), and medications administered as noted in a written agreement between the school district and the parent or as specified in an IEP (Individual Education Program), Section 504 planor IHP (Individual Health Plan).

F. The school must be notified immediately by the parent or student 18 years old or older in writing of any change in the student's prescription medication administration. A new medical authorization and container label with new pharmacy instructions shall be required immediately as well.

G. For drugs or medication used by children with a disability, administration may be as provided in the IEP, Section 504 plan or IHP.

H. The school nurse, or other designated person, shall be responsible for the filing of the Administration of Prescription Medications form in the health records section of the student file. The school nurse, or other designated person, shall be responsible for providing a copy of such form to the principal and to other personnel designated to administer the medication.

I. Procedures for administration of drugs and medicine at school and school activities shall be developed in consultation with a licensed school nurse, or a public or private health organization or other appropriate party (if appropriately contracted by the school district under Minn. Stat. § 121A.21).

J.  If the administration of a drug or medication described in this section requires the school district to store the drug or medicaton, the parent or legal guardian must inform the school if the drug or medication is a controlled substance.  For a drug or medication that is not a controlled substance, the request must include a provision designating the school district as an authorized entity to transport the drug or medication for the purpose of destruction if any unused drug or medication remains in the possession of school personnel. For a drug or medication that is a controlled substance, the request must specifiy that the parent or legal guardian is required to retrieve the drug or controlled substance when requested by the school. 

K. Specific Exceptions:

1. Special health treatments and health functions such as catheterization, tracheostomy suctioning, and gastrostomy feeding do not constitute administration of drugs and medicine.

2. Emergency health procedures, including emergency administration of drugs and medicine are not subject to this policy.

3. Drugs or medication provided or administered by a public health agency to prevent or control an illness or a disease outbreak is not governed by this policy.

4. Drugs or medication used at school in connection with services for which a minor may give effective consent are not governed by this policy. Authorization for administration of medication paperwork signed by licensed prescriber, must still be on file in the health office.

5.  Drugs or medicines that are prescription asthma or reactive airway disease medications may be self-administered by a student with an asthma inhaler if

a. The school district has received a written authorization from the pupil’s parent/guardian permitting the student to self administer the medication;

b. The inhaler is properly labeled for that student; and

c. The parent has not requested school personnel to administer the medication to the student.

The parent must submit written authorization for the student to self- administer the medication each school year. In school that does not have a school nurse or school nursing services, the student’s parent or guardian must submit written verification from the prescribing professional which documents that an assessment of the student’s knowledge and skills to safely possess and use an asthma inhaler in a school setting has been completed.

If the school district employs a school nurse or provides school nursing services under another arrangement, the school nurse or other appropriate party must assess the student’s knowledge and skills to safely possess and use an asthma inhaler in a school setting and enter into the student’s health record a plan to implement safe possession and use of asthma inhalers.

6. Medications:

a. that are used off school grounds;

b. that are used in connection with athletics or extracurricular activities; or

c. that are used in connection with activities that occur before or after the regular school day are not governed by this policy.

7. Nonprescription Medication. A secondary student may possess and use nonprescription pain relief in a manner consistent with the labeling, if the school district has received written authorization from the student’s parent or guardian permitting the student to self-administer the medication. The parent or guardian must submit written authorization for the student to self-administer the medication each school year. The school district may revoke a student’s privilege to possess and use nonprescription pain relievers if the school district determines that the student is abusing the privilege. This provision does not apply to the possession or use of any drug or product containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine as its sole active ingredient or as one of its active ingredients. Except as stated in this paragraph, only prescription medications are governed by this policy.

8. At the start of each school year or at the time a student enrolls in school, whichever is first, a student’s parent, school staff, including those responsible for student health care, and the prescribing medical professional must develop and implement an individualized written health plan for a student who is prescribed nonsyringe injectors of epinephrine that enables the student to:

a. possess epinephrine auto-injectors; or

b. if the parent and prescribing medical professional determine the student is unable to possess the epinephrine, have immediate access to epinephrine auto-injectors in close proximity to the student at all times during the instructional day.

The plan must designate the school staff responsible for implementing the student’s health plan, including recognizing anaphylaxis and administering epinephrine auto-injectors when required, consistent with state law.  This health plan may be included in a student’s § 504 plan.

9.  A studnt may possess and apply a topical sunscreen product during the school day while on school property or at a school-sponsored event without a prescription, physician's note, or other documentation from a licensed health care professional. School personnel are not required to provide sunscreen or assist students in applying sunscreen 

          L. “Parent” for students 18 years old or older is the student.

M. Districts and schools may obtain and possess epinephrine auto-injectors to be maintained and administered by school personnel to a student or other individual if, in good faith, it is determined that person is experiencing anaphylaxis regardless of whether the student or other individual has a prescription for an epinephrine auto-injector. The administration of an epinephrine auto-injector in accordance with this section is not the practice of medicine.

A district or school may enter into arrangements with manufacturers of epinephrine auto-injectors to obtain epinephrine auto-injectors at fair market, free, or reduced prices. A third party, other than a manufacturer or supplier, may pay for a school’s supply for epinephrine auto-injectors.

N.  Procedure regarding unclaimed drugs or medication.

1.  The school district has adopted the following procedure for the collection and transport of any unclaimed or abandoned prescription drugs or medications remaining in the posssession of school personnel in accordance with this policy. Before the transportation of any prescription drug or medication under this policy, the school district shall make a reasonable attempt to return the unused prescription drug or medication to the student's parent or legal guardian. Transportation of unclaimed or unused prescription drugs or medication will occur at least annually, but may occur more frequently at the discretion of the school district. 

2.  If the unclaimed or abandoned prescription drug is not a controlled substance as defined under Minesota Statutes § 152.02, subdivision 4, or is an over-the-counter medication, the school district will either designate an individual who shall be responsible for transporting the drug or medication to a designated drop-off box or collection site or request that a law enforcement agency transport the drug or medication to a drop-off box or collection site on behalf of the school district. 

3.  If the unclaimed or abandoned prescription drug is a controlled substance as defined in Minnesota Statutes § 152.01, subdivision 4, the school district or school personnel is prohibited from transporting the prescription drug to a drop-off box or collection site for prescription drugs  identified under this paragraph. The school district must request that a law enforcement agency transport the prescription drug or medication to a collection bin that complies with Drug Enforcement Agency regulations, or if a site is not available, under the agency's procedure for transporting drugs. 

Legal References:
Minn. Stat. § 13.32 (Student Health Records)
Minn. Stat. §121A.21 (Hiring of Health Personnel
Minn. Stat. § 121A.22 (Administration of Drugs and Medicine)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.221 (Possession and Use of Asthma Inhalers by Asthmatic Students)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.2205 (Possession and Use of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors: Model Policy)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.2207 (Life-Threatening Allergies in Schools; Stock Supply of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors)
Minn. Stat. § 121A.223 (Possession and Use of Sunscreen)
Minn. Stat. § 152.02 (Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 151.212 (Label of Prescription Drug Containers)
Minn. Stat. § 152.22 (Medical Cannabis, Definitions)
Minn. Stat. § 152.23 (Medical Cannabis, Limitations)
20 U.S.C. 1400, et seq. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004
29 U.S.C. 794, et. seq. (Rehabilitation Act of 1973, §504)

Cross References: 
WBLAS Policy 418 (Drug-Free Workplace/Drug Free School)