Medication at School Policy

Medication at School Policy is approved by the School Board with advisement from the Certificated School Nurses. Public school districts provide for the administration of oral medication of any nature to students who are in the custody of the school district or school at the time of administration (RCW 28A210.260) and a valid reason exists. Oral medications are administered by mouth either by swallowing or inhaling including through an inhaler or mask that covers the mouth or mouth and nose. Policy from the Washington State Nursing Care quality Assurance Commission Practice Committee (9/8/00 advisory) also allows for delegation of asthma management medications and tasks.

It is preferable for medications to be dispensed before and/or after school hours under supervision of a parent/guardian.

In order for a student to receive medication at school the following procedures must be followed:

  • Parent/guardian supplies a current and unexpired Authorization for administration of oral medications at school form that includes the name of the student, a signed health professional order, and signed parent/guardian permission. This is required for Over The Counter medication as well as prescription medication.
  • Parent/guardian supplies medication (prescription and/or over the counter) in a pharmaceutical or manufacturer's container. A "School Bottle" is typically provided on request at the pharmacy, a no cost to the family. The school cannot administer medication brought to school in a plastic bag or anything other than a pharmaceutical container. The bottle must include the name of the student, the medication and dosage schedule.
  • If a tablet must be divided to obtain the correct dose, the pharmacist should be asked to divide the tablet when filling the prescription.
  • It is recommended that the parent/guardian bring medications to school (rather than having the student bring in the medication). The exception is for students who self-administer medication.
  • All medication received by the school is counted by school staff and parent/guardian or a designated adult when brought to school. The number of pills/capsules, or volume of medication should be recorded on a form and the form dated and signed by staff and parent/guardian.
  • It is not necessary to have multiple forms for the same medication

For Students with Severe Food Allergies/Analphylaxis

We now have specific medication authorization forms for elementary students or secondary students. These apply to students who need Epipens. All provisions related to student health and safety and compliance with the Life Threatening Conditions Law (RCW 28A.210.320) apply; see the Life Threatening Conditions section here.

For Students to Self Carry-Self Administer Medications

District Medication Procedures makes this possible based on specific situation of individual student. Due to student safety and developmental maturity, this is more appropriate at the secondary level. Exceptions can be made in coordination w/ the Parent/Guardian, and Licensed Health Care Provider and based on the School Nurses Professional judgment of the whole situation in the school setting. Consult with your School Nurse for the specifics.

The Form for self-carry/administration of Medications including Epipens are: Form for Self-Carry Medication


The form for self-carry/administration of Inhalers are: Form for Self-Carry Inhaler


Medication Administered by Routes Other than Oral:

Ointments, eye or ear drops, topical medications, or injections that are ordered by a Licensed Health Care Provider can only be administered by student family members, registered nurses or self-administered by the students. This means the office staff cannot administer eye, ear drops, or topical medication in the school setting. This can be done only by the licensed nurse.

End of Year Procedures:

At the end of the school year, students who have received Medication at School and Students with Health Plans will receive mailed copies of the forms to be updated and received at school for the next school year. Students with Life Threatening Health Conditions need to have all documents, medication and medication orders, and/or treatment orders on site by the specified August deadline in order to be guaranteed first day of school attendance. See Life Threatening Conditions section.

Medication left over from the school year is destroyed if not picked up on or after the date specified by the building School Nurse.

Disaster Planning/Medications:

  • Parent/guardian are asked to supply at least a 3-day supply of medications on hand for students who take medications during the school day.
  • Parent/guardian are asked to identify medication that students take outside of school and to whom the missing of three days of medications would pose a serious health risk for the student or others. Please refer to Life Threatening Health Conditions.
  • It is the parent/guardian's responsibility to provide a 3-day supply of these medications and the necessary authorization forms and instructions for these medications.
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