Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 9/1/2006
Contact us with corrections or additions Alabama Last Updated: 9/29/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 9/30/2012

Mandate: Code of Alabama 16-35-4 (1975) and 16-35-5 (1975) grant authority to the Alabama State Board of Education to prescribe courses of study. Health education is required for students in grades K-8, although the amount is not specified. The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2009) recommends that schools teach 60 minutes weekly in grades 1-6.

Administrative Code 290-3-1-.02 (1998) requires one-half credit of health education for high school graduation. 
  
Curriculum Content: The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2009) provides the legal foundation for the minimum content of a locally developed health education curriculum. It is based on the National Health Education Standards and addresses eight major content areas: consumer and community health, environmental health, family health, personal health and safety, mental and emotional health, nutrition, prevention and control of disease, and substance use and abuse Instruction in health education must be provided by certified teachers.
 
Administrative Code 290-2-3 (1997) requires schools to purchase from the list of Health and Physical Education Textbooks Adopted by the Alabama State Board of Education unless another textbook is recommended by the local textbook committee, recommended by the local superintendent, and adopted by the local board of education. 
  
State Assessment Requirement: None.

 

     Last Updated: 12/20/2010

Interscholastic Athletics: RS 17:176 (1997) require the superintendent of each school system to review all co-curricular and extracurricular activities and programs and urge principals and faculty of middle, junior high, and high schools to appropriately upgrade the standards of student athletes. The statute allows the right to film, videotape or otherwise record an extracurricular event so long as it does not cause significant disruption or distraction to the participants in the activity.

Concussion and Sports-Related Head Injury: No state policy. 

     Last Updated: 4/21/2013

Rule 5-E2304 (1994) requires public schools to provide health instruction within a planned, sequential, pre K-12 comprehensive school health education curriculum that includes the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health and well-being. Comprehensive school health education shall be defined as age appropriate instruction that improves the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of students so they choose a health enhancing lifestyle and avoid behaviors that may jeopardize their immediate long term health status. Eleven content areas, including “tobacco, alcohol and other drug education” are identified.

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/8/2010

Mandate: Code 16-40-1 (1975) requires all public and private schools to “carry out a system of physical education,” with the exception of church schools. The State Board of Education adopted the Alabama Course of Study: Physical Education (2009) which requires physical education for students in grades K-8. A minimum daily instructional period of at least 30 minutes is required in grades 1-6. The physical education may include dance class if taught at a magnet school, marching band, JRTOC or other activity as approved by a student's IEP.

State Board of Education Administrative Code 290-3-1-.02 (1998) requires one credit of physical education for high school graduation.

Exemptions: According to the Alabama Course of Study: Physical Education (2009), “Daily physical education is required in Grades K-8: No exceptions, no substitutions. Recess or lunch time activities should not be substituted for the physical education program.”

Curriculum Content: The Alabama Course of Study: Physical Education (2009) specifies the required K-12 content standards for physical education and is based on the National Standards for Physical Education. The document includes content standards prescribing what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level or course.

Administrative Code 290-2-3 (1997) requires schools to purchase from the list of Health and Physical Education Textbooks Adopted by the Alabama State Board of Education unless another textbook is recommended by the local textbook committee, recommended by the local superintendent, and adopted by the local board of education.

Physical Fitness Assessment: The Department of Education requires yearly student assessment for all students K-12 in physical education (no link available).  Schools use the President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Test and are required to report the results to the DOE only on odd numbered years.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 10/17/2006

The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2003) sets a minimum content standard for teaching on topics of both infectious and noninfectious diseases in the second grade, on the negative effects of substance abuse in the fourth grade, and on understanding the management of chronic illnesses at the high school level.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 12/8/2010

The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2009) sets the minimum content standard for teaching students the ability to effectively deal with psychological challenges of life, take responsibility for personal behaviors, and feel comfortable with one's emotions at each grade level. More specifically, students are to receive instruction on how to identify symptoms, methods of treatment, and ways to manage mental illnesses or disorders, such as depression, eating disorders, and suicide in grades 9-12.

Character Education: According to Appendix B of the Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2009), students in all grades are required to receive not less than 10 minutes of instruction per day focusing on the students' development of character traits, including courage, citizenship, honesty, self-control, etc. Code 16-6B-2 (1975) requires the State Board and all local boards to develop and implement a comprehensive character education program for all grades.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 5/20/2008

Mandate: The Alabama State Board of Education's "Resolution to Provide Information to Students to Prevent the Spread of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Disease in the Public Schools of Alabama," dated June 11, 1987 (no direct link), specifies that students in grades 5-12 must receive instruction about AIDS through the health education program.

Code 16-40A-2 (1975) specifies that "any program or curriculum in the public schools in Alabama that includes sex education or the human reproductive process shall, as a minimum, include and emphasize [that] abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only completely effective protection against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and AIDS when transmitted sexually," and that "Abstinence from sexual intercourse outside of lawful marriage is the expected social standard for unmarried school-age persons." Among its long list of provisions the law also states that materials and instruction selected and used at the local level shall be age-appropriate; shall emphasize refusal skills, ethical conduct, applicable laws on child support and sexual abuse, and include "statistics based on the latest medical information that indicate the degree of reliability and unreliability of various forms of contraception." Instruction must also include an emphasis that "homosexuality is not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public and that homosexual conduct is a criminal offense under the laws of the state." A 1992 amendment added comprehensive instruction in parenting skills and responsibilities.

Parental Approval: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2003) provides the legal foundation for the minimum content of a locally developed health education curriculum, including HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention.

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 10/17/2006

The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2003) sets the minimum content standard for teaching about nutrition for grades K-12.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 5/20/2008

Alcohol: The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2003) sets the minimum content standard for teaching about the harmful effects of substance abuse and promoting positive healthful behavior in grades K-12.

Tobacco: The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education sets the minimum content standard for teaching about the harmful effects of substance abuse and promoting positive healthful behavior in grades K-12.
 
Drugs: The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education, per Code 16-41-7 (1971), sets the minimum content standard for teaching about the harmful effects of substance abuse and promoting positive healthful behavior in grades K-12.

 

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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 3/26/2009

Code 16-1-24.2 (1975) requires the Department of Education to develop a statewide violence prevention program, which includes violence prevention curricula for grades K-12.

Bullying/Harassment: The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2003) sets the minimum required content standard for teaching students about bullying and harassment. In grade 4, students discuss nonviolent solutions to conflicts among youth in schools and communities by reporting bullying and weapons brought to school. In grade 7, students are taught to apply assertiveness, negotiation, and refusal skills to situations involving health risks, including objecting to bullying. Students in grades 6-7 study ways to protect oneself and others from sexual harassment and how to respond appropriately to such situations.
 
Fighting/Gangs: The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education sets the minimum required content standard for teaching students how to identify and respond positively to dangerous behaviors such as abuse and physical fighting in grades 2-3.
 
Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education sets the minimum required content standard for teaching students to identify symptoms, methods of treatment, and ways to manage mental illnesses or disorders, such as depression, eating disorders, and suicide, in grades 9-12.
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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 3/26/2009

Professional Development: Code 16-1-24.2 requires the Department of Education to develop a statewide violence prevention program which provides training to teachers and school administrators on violence prevention.

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 8/25/2010

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirement for prospective health teachers in high school grades prior to licensure is a bachelor's degree and completion of a state approved teacher education program in health education that requires a minimum of 32 semester hours of which at least 19 are upper division courses. The specific details of initial licensure are outlined in State Board of Education Administrative Code 290-3-2 (2003) and the curriculum requirements for prospective health teachers are provided in State Board of Education Administrative Code 290-3-3-.04 and .12 (2005).

Professional Development: The state department of education recommends that all 10th grade health education teachers maintain current certification as CPR Instructors by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Compliance is monitored by the state department of education during state monitoring visits to local education agencies.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 8/25/2010

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirement for prospective physical education teachers in elementary, middle, and high school grades prior to licensure is a bachelor's degree and completion of a state approved teacher education program in physical education that requires a minimum of 32 semester hours of which at least 19 are upper division courses. The specific details of initial licensure are outlined in Administrative Code 290-3-2 (2003) and the curriculum requirements for prospective health teachers are provided in Administrative Code 290-3-3-.04 and .33 (2005).

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 9/6/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Administrative Code 610-X-6-.06 (2004) states that a school nurse is responsible for the nursing care delivered to students. Administrative Code 610-X-4-.01 (2004) requires the completion of an approved registered nursing program or an approved practical nursing program, the possession of a high school diploma, and the passing of the board approved licensing examination to be qualified as a school nurse. Code 16-22-16  (2009) allows school districts to employ licensed practical nurses (LPN) in addition to registered nurses (RN). There may not be more than 5 LPNs for each RN within each school system.

Professional Development: None specified. 

Student-to-Nurse Ratio: The School Nurse Act (no link availabe) (2009) sets the goal of having one state-funded nurse for every 500 pupils as funding becomes available in the State's Education Trust Fund and is appropriated by the Legislature.

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 8/25/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Board of Nursing Administrative Code 610-X-6-.06 (2004) allows registered or licensed practical nurses to delegate specific tasks to selected unlicensed assistive personnel who have attended a minimum 12-hour course of instruction that includes a Board of Nursing approved curriculum and has demonstrated competency in performing the task. Students may also self-administer prescription medication provided certain requirements are met.

The State Board of Education/Alabama Board of Nursing Curriculum to Teach Unlicensed School Personnel How to Assist with Medications in the School Setting (2007) (no link available) outlines the responsibilities of school nurses which includes ensuring that the medication assistant has successfully completed an Alabama Board of Nursing approved medication assistant training program, training specific to the school district and local school, and has received student-specific instruction.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 8/25/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Administrative Code 290-3-3-.50 (2005) sets the minimum eligibility requirements for initial certification as a school counselor at least a baccalaureate professional educator certification in a teaching field and completion of a state approved master's degree level program in school counseling. Other minimum eligibility requirements for an alternative approach, the preliminary certificate as a school counselor, include a master's degree with a major in counseling, a valid counseling license issued by the state board of examiners in counseling, and completion of the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program requirements. Details of licensure are found in Administrative Codes 290-3-2 (2003) and 290-3-3-.50. 

Administrative Code 290-3-3-.03 (2005) further emphasizes the minimum requirement of a master's-level 5th year certificate for instructional support personnel which includes a school counselor.

Professional Development: Administrative Code 290-3-2-.04 (2004) requires all those with a professional educator certificate to provide verification of 3 years of satisfactory educational experience and either 50 clock hours of professional development (5 CEUs) or 3 semester/4 quarter hours of allowable credit; or 6 semester/9 quarter hours of allowable credit; or National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification earned during the current period of certification.

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: None specified.

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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 8/25/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Administrative Code 290-3-3-.54 (2005) requires the initial certificate for school psychologists to be at the sixth year level which requires a candidate to hold bachelor's level certification in a teaching field and a master's-level professional educator certification as a school psychometrist (outlined in Administrative Code 290-3-3-.51 (2005)). Administrative Code 290-3-3-.03 (2005) further emphasizes the minimum requirement of a sixth year certificate for instructional support personnel which includes a school psychologist. 

Professional Development: Administrative Code 290-3-2-.04 (2004) requires all those with a professional educator certificate to provide verification of 3 years of satisfactory educational experience and either 50 clock hours of professional development (5 CEUs) or 3 semester/4 quarter hours of allowable credit; or 6 semester/9 quarter hours of allowable credit; or National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification earned during the current period of certification.  

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: None specified.

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 8/21/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: None specified.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: None specified.

Requirements for Food Service Personnel
     Last Updated: 7/14/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 7/19/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 7/14/2008

Additional Accountability Requirements:  School Nutrition Policy, revised in 2005, requires "each school conduct evaluations [of the school health environment] using a nationally recognized, validated survey to identify strengths and weaknesses and prioritize changes as an action plan for improving student health. The assessment and planning steps should involve teachers, child nutrition staff, other school staff as appropriate, parents, students, and the community as a part of the required wellness policy." 

Additional Content Requirements: The School Nutrition Policy was again revised in 2007 to specifically target all snack foods and beverages not covered by USDA nutrition standards. The Policy sets minimal nutritional standards for such foods and additionally requires local wellness policies to address the following in greater detail: limiting and eventually eliminating the frying of foods; portion sizes; eliminating "for sale" or free foods and beverages that do not meet the state's Nutrition Policy Guidelines; eliminating foods of minimal nutritional value; and programs such as school gardens and farm to school.

Guidance Materials: None.

Other: None

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 7/29/2013

Adequate Time to Eat: Healthy Snack Standards for Foods and Beverages at School (2005)
recommends that adequate time to eat should be allowed. "Adequate" is not defined.

School Breakfast: 
No state policy.

Food Allergies:
No state policy.

Farm-to-School
HB670 (2012) requires the Alabama Department of Agriculture and the State Department of Education to collaborate and cooperate to implement . The policy requires the Department of education to do the following:
(1) Investigate the potential of various procurement procedures and tools for school food authorities to purchase local farm products and abide by federal regulations including, but not limited to, the small purchase threshold, (2) Educate food service directors on the small purchase threshold and tools to promote their use for farm-to-school initiatives,
(3) Implement food preparation training for food service staff to accommodate sourcing fresh and local foods,
(4) Encourage school food service directors to include local farmers, processors, and suppliers when procuring farm products that fall under the small purchase threshold,
(5) Encourage all new school construction projects to consider kitchen facilities capable of producing fresh and healthy school meals and opportunities for hands-on learning.

HB670 (2012) requires the State Department of Agriculture to do the following: (1) house a farm-to-school point person to coordinate efforts, identify, target and promote job creation around farm-to-school initiatives, (2)  use existing web-based market development tools or a voluntary web-based directory of farmers, and (3) investigate opportunities for farmers to supply their products to commercial distributors.

 

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 9/29/2014

The Healthy Snack Standards for Foods and Beverages at School (2005) approved by the Alabama State Board of Education prohibits the sale of foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV) as determined by the USDA at all schools during meal times, anywhere on campus. In addition, no one on the school campus may provide access to FMNV for sale or for free, with the exception of birthday cakes and/or cupcakes which may be allowed on an infrequent basis. Schools are prohibited from selling or providing free of charge any food or meal that is in competition with the scheduled school meal. They are also required to restrict student access to concessions, extra sales, vending and fundraisers during the meal periods.

Healthy Snack Standards for Foods and Beverages at School (2005) outlines maximum portion size restrictions for all foods or beverages served or made available to students on school campuses, with the exception of school meals, which are governed by the USDA. Fried potato products (fries, tater tots, etc.) should be limited to a 3 ounce portion size. The following guidelines are required for nutrient content for single servings of snacks: (1) Low or moderate in fat (10% or less Daily Value of total fat), (2) Less than 30 grams of carbohydrate, (3) Less than 360 mg of sodium, (4) Contain 5% Daily value or more of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, OR fiber.
A resolution(2007) adopted by the Alabama State Board of Education restricts the sale of beverages during the school day, with full compliance expected by the 2008-2009 school year. Under the resolution, no full-calorie sodas may be sold at any school. The restrictions are as follows:
Elementary and Middle schools:
  • Bottled water any size
  • Low-fat/non-fat/flavored milk (or milk alternative) up to 8 oz and 150 calories for elementary schools and 10 oz and 187 calories for middle schools
  • 100% juice with no added sweeteners up to 8 oz and 120 calories for elementary schools and 10 oz and 150 calories for middle schools
High Schools:
  • Bottled water any size
  • No/low calorie beverages up to 20 ounces and 25 calories
  • Low-fat, non-fat and flavored milk up to 12 ounces and 270 calories
  • 100% juice with no added sweeteners up to 12 oz and 180 calories
  • Other drinks such as light juices, sports drinks, teas, etc. up to 12 oz and 99 calories. 


Marketing
: The Healthy Snack Standards for Foods and Beverages at School (2005) requires vending machine displays in all schools to be limited to those that display water or 100% fruit juice with no added sweeteners.

 

Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/20/2010

General Physical Activity Requirement: No state policy.

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks
: No state policy requiring or recommending recess.

Recess Before Lunch: No state policy.

Walking/Biking to School: No state policy.

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 8/14/2011

Interscholastic Athletics: No state policy.

Concussion and Sports-Related Head Injury: HB108 (2011) requires the governing body of each sport or recreational organization to develop guidelines and other pertinent information and forms to inform and educate youth athletes and their parents of the nature and risk of concussion and brain injury, including continuing to play after a suspected concussion or brain injury. Student athletes and their parents or guardians must annually sign and return an information sheet on concussion and head injury. Each organization must ensure that coaches receive annually training to learn how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion and how to seek proper medical treatment for a person suspected of having a concussion. To the extent possible, the training should begin before the beginning of practice for the school athletic team. The statute requires that an athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or brain injury in practice or game be immediately removed from participation. The student may not return to play until they are evaluated by a licensed physician and receive written clearance to return to play.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): SB306 (2009) requires an automated external defibrillator to be placed in each pubic K-12 school. The superintendant of each local  school  must designate at least one employee to be trained in the use of the AED. 

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 7/12/2009

HB199 (2009) requires requires each local board of education to adopt a comprehensive school safety plan for each school under the authority of the board. The plan must include a protocol and procedures for addressing serious threats to the safety of school property, students, employees, or administrators and for responding to any emergency events that compromise the safety of school property, students, and employees.

Weapons
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The State Board of Education's Resolution on Adopting Policy on Safe and Drug-free Schools (1995) directs all local boards to develop and enforce policies that address weapons in order to protect all students and school employees under their jurisdiction. Code 16-1-24.1 states that the State Board of Education shall adopt and all local boards of education shall uniformly enforce policies that protect all students and school employees. The State Board of Education shall require local school systems to modify their policies, practices or procedures so as to ensure a safe school environment free of illegal drugs, alcohol, or weapons.

Code 16-1-24.3 (1995) instructs local boards of education to develop and implement policies and procedures requiring the expulsion of students who have brought or possess a firearm in a school building, on school grounds, on school buses, or at other school-sponsored functions for a period of one year. This statute also requires the principal to notify appropriate law enforcement authority when such action has taken place, as well as the parents of students who violate the firearms-free school environment policy.

Drugs and Alcohol: Code 16-1-24.1 requires the State Board of Education and all local boards of education to adopt and enforce policies, practices or procedures that ensure a safe school environment free of illegal drugs, alcohol, or weapons.

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Code 16-1-24.1 requires the principal to notify appropriate law enforcement officials when any person violates policies concerning drugs, alcohol, weapons, physical harm to a person, or threatened physical harm to a person. Code 16-1-24.3 also requires school principals to notify appropriate law enforcement authority when there is a violation of the prohibition of firearms being brought to or possessed by students at schools. HB199 (2009) requires each local board to grant access to schools outside of student instructional hours to law enforcement and fire department personnel to enable them to prepare for responding to threats and emergency events affecting the school.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 1/5/2011

Bullying/Harassment: HB216 (2009) defines harassment as a continuous pattern of intentional behavior that takes place on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored function. This includes, but is not limited to, written, electronic, verbal or physical acts that are reasonably perceived as being motivated by any characteristic of a student, or by the association of a student with an individual who has a particular characteristic defined in the local board’s model policy. Different categories of harassment in the school environment are outlined in the statute. The statute prohibits harassment, intimidation, violence and states that no student should be subjected to such treatment. It prohibits reprisal, retaliation or false accusation against a victim, or other person who has reliable information about an act of harassment, violence or threat of violence. HB216 (2009) states that it is the sole responsibility of the affected student, or parent or guardian of the affected student, to report incidences of harassment to the principal or his or her designee.

HB216 (2009) requires the Department of Education to develop a model policy prohibiting harassment, violence, and threats of violence on school property, on a school bus, or at any school-sponsored function. The minimum requirements of the policy are outlined in the statute.

Cyberbullying:  The definition of harassment in HB216 (2009) includes electronic acts that can reasonably perceived as being motivated by any characteristic of a student, or by the association of a student with an individual who has a particular characteristic defined in the local board’s model policy. Harassment may take place on school property, on a school bus or a school-sponsored function. The statute prohibits harassment, intimidation, violence and states that no student should be subjected to such treatment.

Hazing: Code 16-1-23 (1981) states that no person shall engage, encourage, aid, or assist another person in hazing on or off any school, college, university, or other educational premises. Further, no person shall knowingly permit, encourage, aid, assist or fail to report any person in engaged in hazing. 

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 7/17/2013

Response and Management Plans: The State Board of Education/Alabama Board of Nursing Curriculum to Teach Unlicensed School Personnel How to Assist with Medications in the School Setting (2003) requires schools to establish an emergency action plan that include emergency procedures covering on-campus and off-campus occurrences for students with known life-threatening conditions. This plan shall be incorporated into each school's crisis management or safety plan.

Reporting Incidents of Violence: Code 16-1-24 (1982) requires principals, teachers, and other employees of public schools to report acts of violent disruptive incidents occurring on school property during school hours or during school activities. Teachers and other school employees are to immediately report to the principal any incident and the principal in turn is to report to the superintendent within 72 hours of any incident of which he/she may have knowledge. Code 16-1-24.3 (1995) requires local boards of education to implement policies and procedures requiring the expulsion of students for a period of one year who have been determined to have possessed a firearm in a school building, on school grounds, on school buses, or at other school-sponsored functions.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 10/18/2006

Administrative Code 290-3-1.02(1)(b)(3) (1998) effective with the 1995-96 school year and thereafter, requires local boards of education to adopt a uniform policy prohibiting the use of tobacco products on school property and prescribing specific penalties for violating this policy.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006

No state policy.

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006

No state policy.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006

No state policy.

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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 6/25/2010

Code 16-29-1 (1965) states that the Department of Education and the State Board of Health are to arrange for the examination of each child attending public school in the state or any physical defects of any kind, embracing mental deficiency; diseases of the ear, eye, nose and throat, mouth and teeth; any deformity or dislocation of the hip joints or spinal disease; phymosis; hookworm disease and any and all other communicable or contagious diseases where the county or city board of education or State Department of Education has reason to believe a child has a communicable or contagious disease; and any disease requiring medical or surgical aid in developing the child into a strong and healthy individual."

Chronic Health Conditions: No state policy.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening: No state policy.

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 9/20/2013

Staff Administration: Alabama Board of Nursing Administrative Code 610-X-7.02 (2009) requires a school nurse to be accountable and responsible for the nursing care delivered to students. Administration of prescription medications to a student through twelfth grade may be delegated to unlicensed assistive personnel who has been recognized by the school nurse and has completed a twelve-hour course of instruction. The State Board of Education/Alabama Board of Nursing provides guidance in Curriculum to Teach Unlicensed School Personnel How to Assist with Medications in the School Setting (2003). 

Self-Administration of Asthma Medication: Code 16-1-39 (2007) states that each local board of education shall permit the self-administration of medications for a chronic condition by students if a parent or legal guardian provides written authorization for the self-administration of medication, written authorization from a physician with a signature and confirmation that the student has been properly instructed, and written acknowledgement that the school will incur no liability. If permission is obtained, a student is permitted to possess and self-administer approved  medication at any time while on school property or at a school-sponsored event.

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis MedicationCode 16-1-39 (2007) states that each local board of education shall permit the self-administration of medications for a chronic condition by students if a parent or legal guardian provides written authorization for the self-administration of medication, written authorization from a physician with a signature and confirmation that the student has been properly instructed, and written acknowledgement that the school will incur no liability. If permission is obtained, a student is permitted to possess and self-administer approved  medication at any time while on school property or at a school-sponsored event.

Storage and Record-keeping:  The State Board of Education/Alabama Board of Nursing Curriculum to Teach Unlicensed School Personnel How to Assist with Medications in the School Setting outlines the responsibilities of school nurses which includes implementing procedures for handling, storing, and disposing of medications. The Curriculum further requires the medication assistant to complete timely, accurate documentation of assistance with medication. Board of Nursing Administrative Code 610-X-7.02 (2009) also requires the school nurse to periodically conduct quality monitoring of tasks performed by unlicensed personnel, including documentation and error reporting when providing nursing care to students.

Psychotropic Medications: The State Board of Education/Alabama Board of Nursing Curriculum to Teach Unlicensed School Personnel How to Assist with Medications in the School Setting allows students with ADHD or other behavioral/emotional/psychosocial disorders to receive assistance in the administration of medications during school. 

Medical Emergencies: The State Board of Education/Alabama Board of Nursing Curriculum to Teach Unlicensed School Personnel How to Assist with Medications in the School Setting requires schools to establish an emergency action plan that include emergency procedures covering on-campus and off-campus occurrences for students with known life-threatening conditions.

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 3/26/2009

Requirement to Provide Services: No state policy.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: Code 16-29-1 (1965) requires the Department of Education and the State Board of Health to arrange for the examination of every child attending the public schools for any embracing mental deficiency.

Substance Abuse: No state policy.

Suicide Prevention: No state policy.

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: No state policy.

Immunity of Liability: No state policy.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 8/19/2010

Detailed, current information about immunization requirements by state is maintained by the National Network for Immunization Information.  Select your state from the drop down box under Search for State Vaccine Requirements for School Entry."

Exemptions:  Code of Alabama 16-30-3 (1973) allows for exemption from immunization requirements under the following circumstances: (1) In the absence of an epidemic or immediate threat, the parent or guardian of the child may object in writing on grounds that immunization or testing conflicts with his/her religious tenets and practices, or (2) If certification by a competent medical authority providing individual exemption from the required immunization is submitted to the admissions officer of the school.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 3/26/2009

Alabama has no state law or administrative rule that addresses staff with HIV. However, the state department of education guidance document, "Recommended Policies and Procedures Concerning Standard Precautions and Bloodborne Pathogens" [no direct link available] recommends that local education agencies adopt and revise policies and procedures designed to protect the health of students, school personnel, and others in the school environment by addressing the serious issues raised by HIV infection and other bloodborne pathogens, as needed. Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to adopt the sample policy as written in Someone at School Has AIDS, published by NASBE.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 3/26/2009

Code 16-29-1 (1965) may suspend a child with a communicable or contagious disease from attending any public school if it is determined that the disease will endanger the health of the child or pupils attending the school. The state department of education requests that local education agencies adopt and revise policies and procedures designed to protect the health of students, school personnel, and others in the school environment by addressing the serious issues raised by HIV infection and other bloodborne pathogens, as needed. Local education agencies are strongly encouraged to adopt the sample policy as written in the Someone at School Has AIDS publication, published by NASBE.

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006

No state policy.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 3/5/2009

The State Board of Education/Alabama Board of Nursing Curriculum to Teach Unlicensed School Personnel How to Assist with Medications in the School Setting (2003) outlines the responsibilities of school nurses, which include the development and implementation of the nursing care plan/individualized health plan. Administrative Code 290-8-9-.05 (1999) also includes chronic health conditions as an "other health impairment" disability that requires special services written in an individualized education program.

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 8/14/2008

State-level: Code 22-5-2 (1979) creates a State Commission on Physical Fitness, referred to as the Governor's Commission on Physical Fitness, for the purpose of protecting, promoting, and improving the physical fitness of state residents. 

Local-level: No state policy.

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School Health Program Coordinators
     Last Updated: 8/18/2008

State-level: No state policy.

Local-level: No state policy.

Confidentiality
     Last Updated: 9/6/2010

Student Health-Related Records: The Curriculum to Teach Unlicensed School Personnel How to Assist with Medications in the School Setting (2003) requires health records of students to be kept confidential and separate from the school records.

Student Health-Related Services: No state policy.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006

No state policy.

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