The policy unit of the New Jersey School Boards Association has recently announced several updated model policies – including one that permits the school nurse to administer epinephrine to a pupil without a known history of allergies when the nurse believes the student is having an anaphylactic reaction. The policy will bring schools into compliance with a law signed Feb. 5 by the governor.
Another updated policy meets the provisions of a law that requires districts to ensure that students with disabilities have equal opportunities to participate in physical education and athletic programs.
Details on the policy updates appear below.
5141.21 Administration of Medication
The policy was updated for the provisions of P.L. 2015, c.13, approved Feb. 5, which amended N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.5 through -12.6 to “permit the school nurse or trained designee to administer epinephrine via a pre-filled auto-injector mechanism to any pupil without a known history of anaphylaxis… when the nurse or designee in good faith believes that the pupil is having an anaphylactic reaction.” The law also requires that epinephrine auto-injectors prescribed under the standing orders of the school physician be maintained in a secure but unlocked and easily accessible location. The law provides immunity from liability for any good faith act or omission regarding the administration of epinephrine by the school nurse, or any other officer or agent of a board of education, or physician (N.J.S.A. 18A:40-12.6d).
6145.1/6145.2 Intramural and Interscholastic Competition
This policy was updated for the provisions of P.L. 2014, c.10 approved June 19, 2014 which requires districts to “ensure that a student with a disability has an equal opportunity to: participate in physical education programs; participate in existing classroom activities that involve physical activity; and try out for and, if selected, participate in athletic programs in an integrated manner to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the student.” Additionally, districts are required to provide reasonable modifications or aids or services for a student with a disability to facilitate participation. The law allows for two exceptions: when the participation of a student with the disability presents an objective health or safety risk to the student or to others; or fundamentally alters the nature of the physical education program or athletic program.
Federal law has long required districts to provide equal access to extracurricular activities to students with disabilities. The act (P.L. 2014, c.10), specifically addresses athletic activities and shall take effect in the 2015-2016 school year.
Additional policies updated include:
4115 Supervision has been updated for the changes in the professional development requirements from 100 hours every 5 years to 20 hours annually that resulted from TEACHNJ.
4123 Classroom Aides and Paraprofessionals and 4222 Noninstructional Aides have been amended to remove the requirement that job descriptions be approved by the executive county superintendent. The chief school administrator must now submit a statement of assurance.
The legal references for all these policies were updated as well so do not forget to include the changes in your policy legal reference section.
You may directly download these policy updates from the Critical Policy Reference Manual (CPRM) district or charter versions or the Policy Update List on your password-protected Policy Resources webpage at www.staging.staging.njsba.org. You may also contact a policy consultant at (609) 278-5254 or email: Jean Harkness at [email protected] or Steve McGettigan, policy manager at[email protected].