Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 12/1/2012
Contact us with corrections or additions Alaska Last Updated: 6/16/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 5/8/2008

Mandate: Health education is not a required course for students. However, 04 AAC 06.075 (2005) requires students to complete a 1 credit of either health or physical education in order to graduate from high school. Statute 14.30.360 (1998) encourages each school district to implement a K-12 program in health education.

Curriculum Content: While health education is not a required course, the state has adopted standards for what students should be able to learn and know. The State Board formally adopted content standards, Skills for a Healthy Life, per 04 AAC 04.140 (2005).

State Assessment Requirement: None.

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 9/22/2011

Mandate: Physical education is not a required course for students. However, 04 AAC 06.075 (2005) requires students to complete a 1 credit of either health or physical education in order to graduate from high school. Statute 14.30.360 (1998) encourages each school district to implement a K-12 program in health education, which should include instruction in physical education.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: Physical Education Content Standards (2010) provide outline objectives for grades K-12.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006
Not specifically required.
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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 1/5/2009

Not specifically required.

Character Education: Not specifically required. However Statute 14.33.200(b)  requires districts to adopt a policy that prohibits the harassment, intimidation, or bullying of any student. The policy must emphasize positive character traits and values, including the importance of civil and respectful speech and conduct, and the responsibility of students to comply with the district's policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 4/6/2009

Mandate: Not specifically required.

Parental Approval: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The state recommends that schools follow the standards outlined in Skills for a Healthy Life (1999). The standards call for students to understand the physical and behavioral characteristics of human sexual development and maturity.

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006

Although nutrition education is not required, the state has adopted standards, Skills for a Healthy Life (1999), for what students should be able to learn and know, which includes understanding how the human body is affected by behaviors related to eating habits.

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

Alcohol: While not specifically required, the State Board has adopted content standards in Skills for a Healthy Life (1999) that recommend students learn how to understand and identify the causes, preventions, and treatments for diseases, disorders, injuries, and addictions".

Tobacco: While not specifically required, the State Board has adopted content standards in Skills for a Healthy Life that recommend students learn how to understand and identify the causes, preventions, and treatments for diseases, disorders, injuries, and addictions".

Drugs: While not specifically required, the State Board has adopted content standards in Skills for a Healthy Life that recommend students learn how to understand and identify the causes, preventions, and treatments for diseases, disorders, injuries, and addictions".

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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 6/5/2008

Statute 14.30.360 (1998) encourages districts to conduct a program in health education for grades K-12, which shall include instruction in personal safety, including sexual abuse and domestic violence. Further, the statute calls for the state board to establish guidelines in consultation with the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Bullying/Harassment: Not specifically required.

Fighting/Gangs: While not specifically required, the State Board has adopted content standards in Skills for a Healthy Life (1999) that recommend students learn conflict resolution skills.

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: While not specifically required, the State Board has adopted content standards in Skills for a Healthy Life that recommend students learn how to "recognize patterns of abuse directed at self or others and understand how to break these patterns".

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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 6/13/2012

Professional Development: Statute 14.33.100 (1999) requires each district to develop a model school crisis response plan for use by each school. Each school shall then develop their own specific crisis response plan. The plans should also include annual training for district employees and should be developed in consultation with local social service agencies and local law enforcement authorities.

Statute 14.20.680 (1990) requires each school district to provide each teacher, administrator, counselor, and specialist training on the needs of students with alcohol or drug-related disabilities.

SB137 requires each school district to annually provide youth suicide awareness and prevention training approved by the commissioner to each teacher, administrator, counselor, and specialist who is employed by the district.

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 4/18/2008

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum degree requirement for prospective health teachers in elementary, middle, and high school grades prior to licensure is a bachelor's degree with a major or minor consisting of 18 semester hours in the content or specialty area of endorsement. The specific details of initial licensure are outlined in Statute 14.20.020 (2002) and 04 AAC 12.395. For prospective health teachers in middle or high school, a candidate is required to have a major or minor in a subject area or a minimum of five years experience in the subject matter, in addition to a bachelor's degree. The specific details of licensure are outlined in Statute 14.20.022 (2002).

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 6/10/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development Requirement: None specified.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 6/10/2008

Pre-service Requirement: 04 AAC 12.355 (1995) requires the completion of a program in a special services area from an accredited institution, the possession of a bachelor's degree, and the completion of six semester hours of credit in the past five years prior to applying in order to receive a Type C Special Services Temporary Certificate. School nurses are also required to take the Alaska Studies and Alaska Multi-Cultural Studies coursework according to the code. 

Professional Development: None specified. 

Student-to-Nurse Ratio: None specified.

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 6/16/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development Requirement: None specified.

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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 12/12/2012

Pre-service Requirement04 AAC 12.365 (2005) requires that anyone employed to provide related services including school psychology must possess a Type C (special services) certificate in the field of employment, issued under 04AAC 12.355 (2005). 04 AAC 12.300 (2006) outlines the requirements of a bachelor's degree, recommendation by the preparing institution, completion of a teacher education program, and completion of 3 semester hours of Alaska studies and 3 semester hours in multicultural education or cross-cultural communications.04AAC 12.355 (2011) requires that applicant must complete a program in the special services area, possess a bachelor's degree, recommendation by the preparing institution, three semester hours in Alaska studies and three semester hours in cross-cultural or multicultural education.

Professional Development: Regulation 4 AAC 06.530(b) requires school personnel assigned to provide guidance and counseling services to receive biennial training on the recognition of gender bias in counseling materials as well as in the specific techniques that may be used with students to overcome the effects of gender bias.

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: None specified.

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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 12/12/2012

Pre-service Requirement04 AAC 12.365 (2005) requires that anyone employed to provide related services including school psychology must possess a Type C (special services) certificate in the field of employment, issued under 04 AAC 12.355 (2005). 04 AAC 12.300(2006) outlines the requirements of a bachelor's degree, recommendation by the preparing institution, completion of a teacher education program, and completion of 3 semester hours of Alaska studies and 3 semester hours in multicultural education or cross-cultural communications. 04AAC 12.355 (2011) requires that applicant must complete a program in the special services area, possess a bachelor's degree, recommendation by the preparing institution, three semester hours in Alaska studies and three semester hours in cross-cultural or multicultural education.

For endorsement in school psychology, the applicant must hold a master's degree in school psychology, be recommended for endorsement by the preparing institution, and completed a 1200 hour internship in school psychology, of which 600 hours much be completed on-site in preschool or K-12 programs OR be a nationally certified school psychologist. Details are provided in 04 AAC 12.395(2001).

Professional Development04 AAC 12.355 (1995) allows the special services endorsement for school psychology to be renewed if an applicant provides evidence of completion in at least 90 contact hours in assessment, evaluation, intervention, program planning, program development, or staff or program administration in the listed venues.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: None specified.

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 12/12/2012

Pre-service Requirement: 04 AAC 12.365 (2005) requires anyone employed to provide related services in school social work must possess a Type C certificate in the field of employment. 04 AAC 12.300 (2006) outlines the requirements of a bachelor's degree, recommendation by the preparing institution, completion of a teacher education program, and completion of 3 semester hours of Alaska studies and 3 semester hours in multicultural education or cross-cultural communications for a Type A certificate. 04 AAC 12.355 (2011) requires an applicant must complete a program in the special services area, possess a bachelor's degree, and is recommended by the preparing institution for a Type C special services certificate.

Professional Development Requirement: 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 Requirement: None specified.

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

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development Requirement: None specified.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 3/27/2014

Additional Accountability Requirements: None.

Additional Content Requirements
: None 

Guidance Materials: The Alaska School Wellness Policy Toolkit (2006), developed by the state department of health and social services, is a comprehensive guidance document for the creation and implementation of local wellness policies.

Other
: None.

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 12/12/2012

Food Services: No state policy.

Adequate Time to Eat: No state policy.

School Breakfast: No state policy.

Food Allergies: No state policy.

Farm-to-School: Sec 03.20.100 (2010) establishes a farm-to-school program in the Department of Natural Resources. The Department is required to coordinate with the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Education and Early Development, the Department of Administration, and the University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service. The program must do the following:

  1. Coordinate with school procurement officials, buying cooperatives and other organizations to develop uniform procurement policies for use by public schools, along with materials and recommendations.
  2. Assist food producers, distributors and food brokers to market food grown in the state to public schools.
  3. Assist public schools in connecting with local producers
  4. Identify and recommend mechanisms that will increase the predictability of sales for producers and adequacy of supply for purchasers.
  5. Identify and make available to public schools existing curricula, programs and publications that educate students on te benefits of preparing and consuming food grown in the state.
  6. Support efforts to advance other farm-to-school activities


The statute also requires the Department of Education to collect data on the activities required above and report biennialy to the legislature. 

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 6/16/2014

No state policy.

 

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 Before Lunch: No state policy.

Walking/Biking to School:  No state policy

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 8/14/2011

Interscholastic Athletics: Statute 14.18.040 (1981) requires equal opportunity for both sexes in athletics and recreation. Separate school-sponsored teams may be provided for each sex, however, equipment and supplies, services, and opportunities shall be provided to both teams with no disparities.

Concussion and Sports-Related Head Injury: Statute 14.30.142 requires the governing body of a school district to consult with the Alaska Activities Association to develop and publish guidelines and other information to educate coaches, student athletes and parents of athletes regarding the nature and risks of concussions. Guidelines must include a description of the risks and standards for return to play and require a student suspected of having sustained a concussion during practice or a game to be immediately removed. Students removed from participation for suspicion of a concussion may not return to play until the student has been evaluated and cleared for participation by a qualified person (as defined in the statute). A student may not participate in school athletic activities unless the student and parent or guardian have signed a verification of receipt of the guidelines. 

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): No state policy.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 1/5/2009

Statute 14.33.120 (2001) requires each governing body to adopt a written school disciplinary and safety program that must include standards for and related to student behavior and safety policies. The program must also contain procedures for periodic review and revision of the program. The purpose of a school disciplinary and safety program is found in Statute 14.33.110 (2000).

Statute 14.30.045 (1995) allows a child to be suspended from or denied admission to a public school for behavior that is "inimicable to the welfare, safety, or morals of other pupils or a person employed or volunteering at the school."
 
Statute 14.33.140 (2000) exempts any teacher, teacher's assistant, a principal, or another person responsible for students from civil damages resulting in the enforcement of the approved school disciplinary and safety program.
 
Fighting/Gangs: Statute 14.33.120 requires each governing body to adopt a written school disciplinary and safety program that must include procedures for implementing a student conflict resolution strategy.
 
Weapons: Statute 14.03.160 requires a minimum of a 30 day suspension for students possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds and a 1 calendar year expulsion for students possessing a firearm.
 
Drugs and Alcohol: No state policy.
 
Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Statute 14.33.050 (1974) allows the department or a school board to request assistance in the training and control of safety patrols from the state troopers or the police department.
 
Statute 14.33.130 (2000) requires any teacher or another person responsible for students observes a student committing a crime, the teacher shall report the crime to the local law enforcement agency.
 
Statute 14.33.100 (1999) requires each district to develop a model school crisis response plan in consultation with local social service agencies and local law enforcement authorities. 
Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 1/5/2011

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 14.33.200 (2006) requires the Department of Education to provide a model policy for harassment, intimidation and bullying to school districts.  Based on this, districts are required to adopt a policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying of any student and share the policy with parents or guardians, students, volunteers and school employees.  Statute 14.33.210 (2006) requires each school district to report all incidences involving harassment, intimidation or bullying to the Department of Education, which will then report it to the state legislature.  Statute 14.33.220 states that a school employee, student or volunteer may not engage in reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim or a witness.  It also encourages reporting of any harassment incidences to the appropriate school official.  Statute 14.33.230 (2006) provides immunity to any school employee, student or volunteer who promptly reports an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying to an appropriate school official.

Cyberbullying: No state policy.

Hazing: No state policy.

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 1/5/2009

Response and Management Plans: Statute 14.33.100 (1999) requires each district to develop a model school crisis response plan for use by each school. Each school shall then develop their own specific crisis response plan and form a crisis response team consisting of, at a minimum, a principal, a certified member of the school staff, and one parent of a child attending the school. The plans should also include annual training for district employees and should be developed in consultation with local social service agencies and local law enforcement authorities.

Statute 14.03.140 requires school principals or other person in charge of each school to instruct and train pupils by means of drills so that in an emergency they can exit the school building in the shortest possible time without confusion or panic.  Drills must be held at least once each month during the school term, weather permitting.

Regulation 4 AAC 60.130 requires each pre-elementary school to develop a disaster plan which must include provisions for the accountability of each child in the school until he is released to an appropriate authority.

Reporting Incidents of Violence: Statute 14.33.120 (2001) requires each governing body to have policies for reporting conflicts. This statute also requires districts to report information related to incidents of disruptive or violent behavior to the department. Additionally, Statute 14.33.130 (2000) requires any teacher or another person responsible for students who receives information about a student that may affect the safety of students or staff to notify the student's teacher or school administrator, and if a student is observed committing a crime, the teacher shall report the crime to the local law enforcement agency.

Statute 14.33.140 (2000) exempts any teacher or any other person responsible for students from any liability for civil damages resulting from the enforcement of an approved school disciplinary and safety program unless actions constitute gross negligence or reckless or intentional misconduct.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006

Statute 18.35.305 (1990) prohibits any form of smoking in a public or private elementary or secondary school. Similarly, Statute 18.35.320 (1990) allows designated indoor or outdoor smoking areas that are properly ventilated or equipped with an exhaust fan in a public elementary or secondary school room where minors are not permitted. Statute 18.35.330 (1990) requires the displaying of smoking and no smoking signs.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006
No state policy.
Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006

18 AAC 90.625 (2002) requires the use of non-chemical methods to control pests and a minimum of 24 hours notification to parents or guardians of children stating the description of the area of pesticide application, the date and approximate time of application, the name of each pesticide used, the targeted pests, each active ingredient in the pesticide, the EPA registration number, and a contact telephone number on the label and at the school. The code also requires an 8 ½ x 11 inch sign to be posted in the area of the school where the pesticide is to be applied before starting the application.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006
No state policy.
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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 6/25/2010

Vision and Hearing: Statute 14.30.127 (1982) requires a vision and hearing screening examination to be given to each child entering the school system, or soon thereafter, and at regular intervals specified by the district. The Department of Health and Social Services must set standards for the examination, train and certify public health nurses and school employees to administer the examination, assist with referring students who may need professional services, and assist with the maintenance and repair of the screening equipment.

Chronic Health Conditions: No state policy.

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

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 10/13/2013

Staff Administration: 12 AAC 44.965 allows school nurses to delegate administration of medications to a school setting provider; defined as a person who is employed at a school that provides educational services to students age 21 or younger. The person to whom the administration of medication is to be delegated must successfully complete a training course in administration of medication approved by the board. Additional requirements are outlined in the rule. The Medication Administration: Guide for Training Unlicensed School Staff (2012) provides additional guidance.

Self-Administration of Asthma Medication: Statute 14.30.141, per HB 85, (2005) permits public school students to self-administer medication for asthma during the school day if the parent/guardian of the student provides written authorization for the self-administration of medication and releases liability for the school and its employees for any injury resulting from self-administration, and if written certification is provided by the student's health care provider. The law further allows those students self-administering medication to carry and store an inhaler at all times.

Self-Administration of  Anaphylaxis Medication: Statute 14.30.141, per HB 85, (2005) permits public school students to self-administer medication for anaphylaxis during the school day if the parent/guardian of the student provides written authorization for the self-administration of medication and releases liability for the school and its employees for any injury resulting from self-administration, and if written certification is provided by the student's health care provider. The law further allows those students self-administering medication to carry and store an autoinjectable epinephrine at all times.

Psychotropic Medications: Statute 14.30.171 (2006) prohibits school personnel, unless otherwise authorized by law or a specific policy adopted by a governing body of a school district, recommending to a parent or guardian that a child take or continue to take a psychotropic drug as a condition for attending a public school.

Storage and Record-keeping: No state policy.

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 8/13/2008

Requirement to Provide Services: Statute 14.18.030 (1981) requires public education to make available guidance and counseling services to all students equally. Statute 14.33.120 (2001) requires each governing body to adopt a written school disciplinary and safety program that must include standards to address mental health needs of students.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: No state policy.

Substance Abuse: Statute 14.33.120 requires each governing body to adopt a written school disciplinary and safety program that must include standards to address substance abuse needs of students, which may be contributing to noncompliance.

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."

Exemptions04 AAC 06.055 (2000) allows for exemption from immunization requirements under the following circumstances: (1) The child presents a statement signed by a doctor of medicine or osteopathy, physician assistant, or advanced nurse practitioner, stating that immunizations would, in that individual's professional opinion, be injurious to the health of the child or members of the child's family or household, or (2) The child presents an affidavit signed by his parent or guardian affirming that immunization conflicts with the tenets and practices of the church or religious denomination of which the applicant is a member.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006

04 AAC 06.140 (2002) states that no employee of a public school district may be transferred, suspended, or terminated from employment because the employee has HIV or AIDS. The employee could, however, be transferred, suspended, or terminated if unable to perform the duties of the job in a competent manner or if oozing lesions are visible or other symptoms that increase the risk of transmission of HIV to students or other staff.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 5/4/2006
04 AAC 06.060 (1995) guarantees the attendance of a student with HIV or AIDS ”unless the child has uncoverable oozing lesions or other symptoms, or displays behavior, such as biting, which in the opinion of a team made up of the child's physician, public health personnel, the child's parent or guardian, and school personnel associated with the child's educational placement, substantially increases the risk of transmission of HIV to other pupils.”
Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006
No state policy.
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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006
04 AAC 07.060 (2002) requires each school to maintain a cumulative record for each student that contains documentation of required immunizations and physical examinations and other health-related matters required by state law or district policy.
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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 8/14/2008

State-level: No state policy.

Local-level: No state policy.

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

State-level: Statute 14.30.360 (1998) requires the establishment of a school health education specialist position funded by the department to coordinate the health and personal safety education program statewide.

Local-level: No state policy.

Confidentiality
     Last Updated: 8/18/2008

Student Health-Related Records: 04 AAC 07.060 (2002) requires all district policies and practices regarding a student's cumulative record, which includes health records, to conform to current and appropriate state and federal laws and regulations.

Student Health-Related Services: No state policy.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 5/4/2006
Statute 14.03.110 (1999) prohibits a school district from administering a questionnaire or survey “that inquires into personal or private family affairs of the student” without written permission from the student’s parent or guardian.
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