Editor’s note: This is the first of two stories about policy changes being considered by the Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education for 2017.
Students may have more leeway to self-administer medications next year if the Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education updates its policy in 2017.
The current “Student Self-Administration of Medications” policy only allows students to self-medicate in response to severe allergic reactions or asthma attacks.
A proposed change opens the policy to allow doctors to authorize a broader classification of prescription drugs for self-medication. It also allows parents to authorize the use of over-the-counter medications such as cough drops, allergy medicine and pain relievers in the school setting.
This proposal is not based on any change in the law, but the Kansas Association of School Boards offered it for districts’ consideration in its December 2016 policy updates. KASB suggested administrators talk to school nurses about what works best for local schools.
The USD 428 school board received KASB’s policy recommendations for a first reading at the Dec. 8 meeting, with plans to have it on the Jan. 9 agenda.
If the policy is adopted, parents or guardians will be able to sign a form, which must also be signed by a physician in the case of prescribed medicine. It outlines safeguards for the students and liability protection for the schools. For example, it will be a parent’s responsibility to furnish the medication in its original container and appropriately labeled.
Several polices are scheduled for revision for various reasons. Often policies change to reflect changes in the law.
In addition to revisions, three new policies are proposed:
• Standard of Conduct for Federally Funded Contracts - This policy was developed pursuant to requests for a food service code of conduct based on Federal Uniform Grant Guidance. The language is being requested by the Kansas State Department of Education. Among other things, it prohibits board members and district employees from participating in the selection, award or administration of a contract supported by federal funds “if he or she has a real or apparent conflict of interest concerning the contract. ...(They) would be prohibited from accepting offers for free entertainment which would otherwise cost the individual, lodging, transportation, gifts or meals.” However, accepting meals offered by a sponsor and consumed at a school-sponsored activity or related events and/or accepting free product samples is not in violation of the policy.
• Foster Care Students - The federal Every Student Succeeds Acts (ESSA) passed in December 2015 removed foster care students from the definition of “homeless” to be a stand-alone group with new required protections. ESSA has created a framework for ensuring foster care students are expeditiously enrolled and placed in a stable educational environment. The new policy helps districts navigate new legal requirements.
• Collection Procedures - While addressing revisions on a policy for unpaid meal charges, staff decided a policy on how the district approaches debt collection would be helpful. A story on proposed changes to the policy for unpaid meal charges, as well as information about this new policy proposal, will appear in Tuesday’s Great Bend Tribune.