Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 10/1/2010
Contact us with corrections or additions California Last Updated: 7/10/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 2/16/2009
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Mandates: California has several specific requirements for health education. Education Code 51210 (1976/2001) requires instruction in grades 1 through 6 in "health, including instruction in the principles and practices of individual, family, and community health." Education Code 51934 (2003) requires HIV/AIDS prevention instruction to all pupils in grades 7 to 12 at least once in junior high or middle school and at least once in high school. Education Code 51220.5 (1992/1993) requires parenting education to be included in either grade 7 or grade 8. Education Code 51262 (1986/1994) encourages a lesson on the effects of anabolic steroids in grades 7 to 12. Education Code 51202 (1976/1992) requires instruction on personal and public safety and accident prevention; the effects of the use of tobacco, alcohol, narcotics, dangerous drugs, and other dangerous substances; venereal disease; and prenatal care at the appropriate elementary and secondary grade levels." A number of other provisions to support effective substance abuse and gang prevention are contained in Education Codes 51260 to 51269 (1986/90).

     Last Updated: 9/30/2012

Some sections of the Education Code express general support for school health education but do not establish mandates. Education Code 51880-81.5 (1977), also known as the Comprehensive Health Education Act," contain a strong endorsement of K-12 health education: The Legislature finds and declares that an adequate health education program in the public schools is essential to continued progress and improvement in the quality of public health in this state, and the Legislature further believes that comprehensive health education, taught by properly trained persons, is effective in the prevention of disease and disability." However, this law does not actually require any additional health education in California. Education Code 51890 (1977/2003) also discusses the goals for K-12 comprehensive health education but does not establish mandates.

Health coursework is not one of the requirements for high school graduation listed in Education Code 51225.3 (1985/2000), although two years of physical education are required.

Curriculum Content:  The Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools (2008) provide guidance for local school districts to develop health education curricula. The Health Framework for California Public Schools (2003) provides voluntary guidelines to districts and schools, including additional supporting information and an update of school health laws.

State Assessment Requirement: None specified.

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 8/10/2009

Mandates: The Legislature recognizes the importance of physical education in maintaining healthy children and urges California schools to fulfill their physical education obligations" in Assembly Concurrent Resolution 31 (2003). Education Code 33350 (no date available) encourages school districts that offer physical education in grades K-12 to provide quality instruction that develops the knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviors, and motivation needed for lifelong fitness and activity. Education Code 51210 (no date available) requires 200 minutes of physical education to be included in the adopted course of study for grades 1-6. Education Code 51210.1 (no date available) further mandates 200 minutes of physical education every 10 school days for elementary school students. Education Code 51223 (no date available) requires elementary schools (grades 1-8) to provide not less than 200 minutes of physical education each ten school days. Education Code 51222 requires a minimum of 400 minutes of physical education instruction every 10 school days for students in grades 7-12. Education Code 51225.3 (2000) does not allow a student to receive a high school diploma without the completion of two courses in physical education, unless an exemption was made.

California Code of Regulations 10060 (1977) requires all senior or four-year high schools to appraise the quality of the physical education program according to the criteria outlined in the code.

Exemptions:  Education Code 51241 (2007) permits the governing board of a school district to exempt a student from courses in in physical education if the pupil is one of the following:  (1) Ill or injured and a modified program to meet the needs of the pupil cannot be provided or (2) Enrolled for one-half, or less, of the work normally required of full-time pupils. Exemptions from physical eduction course may be granted to pupils for two years any time during grades 10 to 12, inclusive, if the pupil has met satisfactorily any five of the six standards of the physical performance test administered in grade 9 pursuant to Section 60800. 

Education Code 51222(b) (1976) states that a variety of physical education elective courses must be made available to these students who are exempted. Education Code 51242 (1976) states that students who participate in school sponsored interscholastic athletic programs may be exempted from courses in physical education.

Curriculum Content: Education Code 60605.2 (2001) instructs the State Board of Education to adopt model content standards in the curriculum of physical education that provide a framework schools may follow in physical education instruction.  The State Board adopted Physical Education Model Content Standards for California Public Schools  (2005). However, the Education Code does not require schools to follow the standards. 

California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 10, Subchapter 1, Article 3.1, 10060 requires each high school student to be evaluated on his or her progress in each of the following content areas: the effect of physical activity upon dynamic health, mechanics of body movement, aquatics, gymnastics and tumbling, individual and dual sports, rhythms and dance, team sports, and combatives.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Education Code 60800 (1995, 2007) requires each school district to administer a physical performance test to all students in grades 5, 7, and 9 during the month of February, March, April, or May. For physically handicapped students, as much of the test shall be given as possible, depending on his/her condition. Students should be provided with their individual results upon the completion of the test. Education Code 33126 (1988, 2007) requires school districts to include physical performance test results in the district's and each school site's School Accountability Report Card.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006

Not specifically required.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 2/16/2009

Education Code 51890 (2003) strongly endorses students in grades K-12 receiving instruction in mental and emotional health and development.

Character Education: Not specifically required.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 2/16/2009

Mandates: These topics are addressed in more than a dozen California laws. Education Code 51930 - 51939 (2003), known as the California Comprehensive Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Act," seeks to (1) provide a pupil with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect his or her sexual and reproductive health from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; and (2) encourage a pupil to develop healthy attitudes concerning adolescent growth and development, body image, gender roles, sexual orientation, dating, marriage, and family." Education Code 51934 (2003) requires each school district to (a) ensure that all pupils in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, receive HIV/AIDS prevention education from instructors trained in the appropriate courses. Each pupil shall receive this instruction at least once in junior high or middle school and at least once in high school; (b) HIV/AIDS prevention education, whether taught by school district personnel or outside consultants, shall satisfy all of the criteria set forth" in the code.

Education Code 51933 (2003) authorizes school districts to provide comprehensive sexual health education, consisting of age-appropriate instruction, in kindergarten to grade 12, inclusive, using instructors trained in the appropriate course." All factual information presented must be medically accurate and objective. Instruction must teach respect for marriage and committed relationships. Other details of the criteria for school districts that elect to offer comprehensive sexual health education is outlined in the code. Code 51933 (2003) requires that commencing in grade 7, instruction and materials teach that abstinence from sexual intercourse is the only certain way to prevent unintended pregnancy and STDs, and provide information about the value of abstinence while also providing medically accurate information on other methods of preventing pregnancy and STDs. Code 51933 (2003) requires that commencing in grade 7, instruction and materials provide information about STDs, including transmission and effectiveness of FDA approved methods of reducing the risk of contracting STDs, information on local resources for testing and medical care for STDs. In addition, instruction and materials must provide information about the effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy, including, but not limited to, emergency contraception. In addition, instruction and materials shall provide pupils with skills for making and implementing responsible decisions about sexuality.

Education Code 51202 (1977, 1992) requires instruction about venereal disease and prenatal care. Education Code 51220.5 (1993) requires parenting education to be included in grades 7 or 8. Abstinence may be taught within the context of HIV/AIDS prevention education [Education Code 51934 (3) (2003); however, abstinence-only education is not permitted in California public schools.

Curriculum Content: The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum. However, the Health Framework for California Public Schools (2003) emphasizes the need to address HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention and provides curriculum suggestions.

The California Department of Education released Putting It All Together: Program Guidelines and Resources for State-Mandated HIV/AIDS Prevention Education in California Middle and High Schools (2003). It can be ordered but not accessed online. The guidelines were written primarily to give school administrators, board members, and policy-and decision-makers support and direction in meeting the mandates for providing AIDS instruction in middle and high schools. Parents and community members may find the guidelines helpful in understanding the legislative requirements for HIV prevention and the components essential to an effective program. Teachers and health educators may use the guidelines to identify resources and materials to improve the quality of instruction; however, the overall goal of the document is to provide administrative support to counties, districts, and schools in planning and implementing a program of instruction that complies with the Education Code, is educationally sound and appropriate for students.

Parental Approval: Education Code 51938 (2004) allows a parent or guardian of a pupil to excuse their child from all or part of comprehensive sexual health education, HIV/AIDS prevention education and assessments related to that education. The code also requires each school district to notify the parent or guardian of at the time of a pupil's enrollment about instruction in comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS prevention education and research on pupil health behaviors and risks planned for the coming year. Content requirements for the notice given to parents are outlined in the code. Education Code 51939 (2003) further clarifies that (a) A pupil may not attend any class in comprehensive sexual education or HIV/AIDS prevention education, or participate in any anonymous, voluntary, and confidential test, questionnaire, or survey on pupil health behaviors and risks, if the school has received a written request from the pupil's parent or guardian excusing the pupil from participation."

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 2/16/2009

Education Code 49534 (no date available) and California Code of Regulation Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 15, Subchapter 1, Article 3, 15530 (1977) require local educational agencies participating in state-funded nutrition services to develop the basic elements of nutrition education programs that will coordinate classroom instruction with the food service program. Education Code 51210.4 (2002) requires the California Department of Education to incorporate nutrition education curriculum content into the next revision of the health curriculum framework. The curriculum shall be research-based and focused on pupils' eating behavior.

Education Code 51890 (2003) strongly endorses pupils receiving instruction in nutrition, which may include topics such as obesity and diabetes. Education Code 51782 (1981) encourages districts to develop educational programs for students in grades 7-12 in genetic diseases and disorders that provide practical information concerning nutrition.

Education Code 8995 (2004) encourages school administrations to offer wellness programs that provide personalized instruction about healthy eating and physical activity and ensure that nutrition services are provided at school sites.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 2/19/2009

AlcoholEducation Code 51260 (1986, 1987) requires instruction to be given to elementary and secondary school students on the effects of using tobacco, drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous substances.

Tobacco: Education Code 51260 (1987) requires instruction to be given to elementary and secondary students on th effects of using tobacco.

Proposition 99, approved by the California voters in the November 1988 general election, increased the tax on each pack of cigarettes sold in the state by 25 cents. Funds from the Tobacco Surtax Fund are appropriated for several purposes, including tobacco-use education in schools.

California Health and Safety Code 104430 requires that two-thirds of Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) local assistance funds allocated through the California Department of Education is used for school-based tobacco-use prevention education programs and programs for Indian education centers. The remaining one-third of local assistance funds is used for innovative and promising projects, innovative grants, research, curricular support, dissemination, and accountability. The purpose of the TUPE program is to reduce youth tobacco use by helping youth make healthful tobacco-related decisions through tobacco-specific educational instruction and activities that build knowledge as well as social skills and youth development assets. Collaboration with community-based tobacco control programs is an integral part of program planning. The school, parents, and larger community must be involved in the program so that students will be aware of a cohesive effort and concern for their health and, consequently, their ability to succeed in school.

The TUPE program provides funding through an application process for tobacco-specific student instruction, reinforcement activities, specific events, and cessation programs for students. Only local education agencies that are certified as having a fully implemented tobacco-free school district board policy are eligible to apply for funding. Programs in grades four through eight are funded through an entitlement process based on average daily attendance. Programs in grades 9-12 and 6-8 are funded through a competitive request for applications process.

Drugs: Education Code Education Code 51260 (1987) requires instruction to be given to elementary and secondary school students on the effects of using tobacco, drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous substances. Education Code 51266 (1990, 1994) calls for the Office of Criminal Justice Planning, in collaboration with the California Department of Education, to develop a model gang violence suppression and substance abuse prevention curriculum for grades 2, 4, and 6. The Office of Criminal Justice Planning is further asked to develop an independent evaluation of pupil outcomes of the model gang violence suppression and substance abuse prevention curricular program.

Education Code 51262 (1986, 1994) encourages schools “to include in instruction in grades 7 to 12, inclusive, in science, health, drug abuse, or physical education programs a lesson on the effects of the use of anabolic steroids”.
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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 4/16/2010

Education Code 32228.1 (2002) requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide funds to school districts for pupils in grades 8-12 to promote school safety and reduce school site violence. The conditions of receiving funds are outlined in the Education Code. Education Code 32261 (1985) et seq. established the School/Law Enforcement Partnership between the Office of the Attorney General and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The purpose of the partnership is to support schools as they develop safe school plans.

Bullying/Harassment: Not specifically required.

Fighting/Gangs: Education Code 51266 (no date available) calls for the Office of Criminal Justice Planning, in collaboration with the California Department of Education, to develop a model gang violence suppression and substance abuse prevention curriculum for grades 2, 4, and 6. The Office of Criminal Justice Planning is further asked to develop an independent evaluation of pupil outcomes of the model gang violence suppression and substance abuse prevention curricular program.

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: Not specifically required.

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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 2/19/2009

Professional Development: The state does not require all teachers to participate periodically in professional development covering health education topics. However, state officials report that all new elementary and secondary teachers are required to participate in a multi-year, site-based induction program that includes the application and enrichment of knowledge and skills in health education content, pedagogy and creating a safe and healthy learning environment for all students as part of the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Program.

Education Code 51264 (2003) calls for the California Department of Education to prepare and distribute guidelines for incorporating in-service training in gang violence and drug and alcohol abuse prevention for teachers, counselors, athletic directors, school board members, and other education personnel into staff development plans for each school district. Upon request, the California Department of Education shall assist local districts in developing the in-service programs.

Education Code 32261 (1985, 2001) also encourages local districts, county offices of education, law enforcement agencies, and youth-services agencies to develop and implement interagency strategies, in-service programs, and activities that will reduce school crime and violence, including teen relationship violence, gang membership and violence, and ending bullying, discrimination, and harassment.

Education Code 233 (1994, 2000) calls for the State Board of Education to establish guidelines for teacher and administrator in-service programs "to promote an appreciation of diversity and to discourage the development of discriminatory attitudes and practices that prevent pupils from achieving their full potential." These guidelines must also enable teachers and administrators to prevent and respond to acts of hate violence occurring on school campuses.

Education Code 35183 (2003) declares that instructing teachers and administrators on the "subtleties of identifying constantly changing gang regalia and gang affiliation takes an increasing amount of time away from educating our children."

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 8/21/2008

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirement for prospective elementary teachers prior to licensure (for a Multiple Subjects Credential) is (1) a bachelor's degree including specific health education content and (2) completion of a one-year post-baccalaureate professional preparation program with specific content in health education pedagogy and creating a safe and healthy learning environment for all students. For a Single Subject Credential in health science, prospective secondary teachers are required to complete a bachelor's degree addressing topics such as substance abuse (including alcohol, drug, and tobacco); family life education (including human sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and sexually transmitted diseases); nutrition; comprehensive school health systems or programs; and health education theory, behavior or foundations. In addition, Single Subject Credential candidates are required to complete a one-year professional preparation program in which they learn to (1) plan and implement instruction based on the Health Framework for California Public Schools (2003), (2) creating a learning climate sensitive to the health-related needs of all students, (3) implement instructional strategies which result in students' understanding of scientifically based principles of health promotion and disease prevention, incorporating that knowledge into personal health-related attitudes and behaviors, and making good health a personal priority, (4) link instruction to the health of students', family, school, and community, and (5) initiate instruction which enhances students' resiliency and supports their development of positive assets.

A summary of the health education elements in California's teaching credential standards are in the Teacher Education" section. The specific details of licensure are outlined by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Professional Development Requirement: Education Code 51935 (2003) requires that (a) a school district shall cooperatively plan and conduct in-service training for all district personnel that provide HIV/AIDS prevention education, through regional planning, joint powers agreements, or contract services." Periodic in-service trainings are to be conducted to enable school district personnel to learn new developments in the scientific understanding of HIV/AIDS. In-service training shall be voluntary for school district personnel who have demonstrated expertise or received in-service training from the State Department of Education or federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." School districts may also expand the HIV/AIDS in-service training to cover the topic of comprehensive sexual health education.

Education Code 8990 (2004) encourages teachers responsible for nutrition education to regularly participate in professional development activities that provide basic knowledge of nutrition, skill practice in program-specific activities, and instructional techniques and strategies to promote healthy eating habits.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 2/19/2009

Pre-service Requirement: Education Code 51210.2 (2002) encourages each school district to employ a credentialed physical education teacher within any elementary school and provide each teacher instruction in physical education with yearly theoretical practical training in developmental physical education. Education Code 44257 (1993) requires the commission to issue single subject teaching credentials in physical education.

Professional Development Requirement: None specified.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 2/19/2009

Pre-service Requirement: Education Code 49426 (1994) states, A school nurse is a registered nurse currently licensed under Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 2700) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code [the Nursing Practice Act (2001)], and who has completed the additional educational requirements (bachelor's degree) for, and possesses a current credential (minimum of 26 units beyond the bachelor's degree) in school nursing pursuant to 44877 of the Education Code (1994).

Professional Development Requirement:  Registered nurses in California must complete a minimum of 30 contact hours of related professional development to renew the Registered Nurse (RN) license (California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Division 14, Article 5, 1451).

Student-to-Nurse Ratio: None specified.

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 10/24/2011

Pre-service Requirement: Education Code 49423 (2005) and California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter 3, Article 4.1 604 (2003) allows designated school personnel to administer medication to pupils as allowed by law. The Guidelines for the Management of Asthma in California Schools (2004) recommends that school nurse train and supervise all designated staff providing health care services to students with asthma in school.

Professional Development Requirement: None specified.

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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 2/19/2009

Pre-service Requirement: Education Code 44266 (1988) states the minimum requirements for the pupil personnel services specialization as a baccalaureate degree or higher from an approved institution, a fifth year of study, and professional preparation that the commission requires. The holder of pupil personnel services credential is authorized to perform school counseling, school psychology, child welfare and attendance, and school social work services at all grade levels.

California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 8, Chapter 5, Article 2, 80632(B) (1989) credits successful completion of a program for the school counselor specialization to be a minimum of 30 semester or 45 quarter units or 450 classroom hours of post baccalaureate study. Specifics of licensures are outlined in 80632.1 (1989) and 80632.2 (1989) of the same Article.

Professional Development Requirement: Education Code 49604 (1992) calls for the superintendent of public instruction to send a notice to each middle school, junior high school, and high school to encourage each school to provide suicide prevention training to each school counselor at least while employed as a counselor.

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: None specified.

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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 2/19/2009

Pre-service Requirement: California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 8, Chapter 4, Article 2, 80632(D) (1989) credits successful completion of a program for the school counselor specialization to be a minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter units; or 900 classroom hours of post baccalaureate study. Specifics of licensures are outlined in 80632.4 (1989) of the same Article.

Education Code 49424 (1976) provides a description of the role of a credentialed professional school psychologist.

Professional Development Requirement: None specified.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: None specified.

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 5/12/2008

Pre-service Requirement: California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 8, Chapter 4, Article 2, 80632(C) (1989) credits successful completion of a program for the school counselor specialization to be a minimum of 45 semester or 60 quarter units; or 675 classroom hours of post baccalaureate study. Specifics of licensures are outlined in 80632.3 (1989) of the same article.

Professional Development Requirement: None specified.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: None specified.

Requirements for Food Service Personnel
     Last Updated: 5/12/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development Requirement: None specified.

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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 5/12/2008

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: 10/24/2011

Additional Accountability Requirements: None

Additional Content Requirements: None

Guidance Materials: Guidance for the Development of California School Wellness Policies (2005), developed in a collaborative effort between the Department of Education and other organizations, provides districts with suggestions and concrete recommendations for meeting Section 204 requirements. The document also provides references and links to pertinent state laws and regulations concerning school nutrition, physical activity, and other wellness-related topics that should be addressed in any local wellness policy in the state.

California's Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition) is a partnership between the Department of Health Services and the Public Health Institute whose mission is to increase healthy eating and physical activity in youth. The Project works with state and local physical activity and nutrition leaders to conduct programs in communities throughout California. Amongst many resources, the Project has created school wellness policy tools, including Policy in Action: A Guide to Implementing Your Local School Wellness Policy (2006) that was created in collaboration with the California School Boards Association.

Other: A White Paper on Health, Nutrition, and Physical Education produced by the Department of Education entitled, Healthy Children Ready to Learn (2005), highlights the need for local wellness policies and outlines steps the Department is taking to accelerate their adoption and implementation, including collaborative efforts, promoting a coordinated school health approach, and supporting state legislation supporting wellness policies.

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 2/9/2010
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Food Services: Education Code 49431 (2005) stipulates that the only food that may be sold to a pupil during the school day at elementary school are full meals and individually sold portions of nuts, nut butters,
seeds, eggs, cheese packaged for individual sale, fruit, vegetables that have not been deep fried, and legumes. An individually sold dairy or whole grain food item may be sold to pupils at an elementary school, except food sold as part of a USDA meal program, if it meets all of the following standards: (1)  Not more than 35% of its total calories from fat, (2) Not more than 10% of its total calories from saturated fat, (3) Not more than 35% of its total weight shall be composed of sugar, including naturally occurring and added  sugar, (4) Not more than 175 calories per individual food item. An elementary school may permit the sale of foods that do not comply with the regulations above as a part of as part of a school fundraising event if the items are sold by pupils of the school and the sale of those items takes place off of and away from school premises or the items are sold by pupils of the school and the sale of those items takes place at least one-half hour after the end of the school day.

Education Code
49431.2 (2005) requires all foods sold outside of the school meal programs to students on school grounds at each middle and high school to be approved for compliance with the nutrition standards. Foods generally regarded as snacks must contain not more than 35 percent of calories from fat, 10 percent of calories from saturated fat, 35 percent sugar by weight, and no more than 250 calories per item. Foods generally regarded as entrees must be less than 400 calories and contain no more than 4 grams of fat per 100 calories. Middle and high schools may permit the sale of foods that are not in compliance with the standards if the items are sold off of school premises or at least 30 minutes after the end of the school day or during a school-sponsored student activity after the end of the school day.

Education Code 49431.7 (2007) prohibits a school district from making available foods containing artificial trans fats or prepared with trans fats to students enrolled in K-12. This includes foods available through a vending machine or school food service establishment during school hours and up to one-half of an hour before and after school.

Education Code 49430.7 (2008) requires, as a condition of receipt of funds in support of meals, schools or school districts must comply with the following requirements or prohibitions: (1) Not sell or serve a food item that has in any way been deep fried, pan fried or flash fried, (2) Not sell or serve an item containing artificial trans fat, (3) Not sell or serve a food item that has been fried in prohibitied oils of palm, coconut, palm kernel and lard.

Education Code 49431.5 (2005) requires all beverages sold to students on school grounds to be approved for compliance with the beverage standards. Beverage standards are effective in elementary and middle schools as of January 1, 2006. Beverage standards are to be phased in to high schools between July 1, 2007 (when 50 percent of beverages sold to students must comply) and July 1, 2009 (when 100 percent of beverages sold to students must comply). Compliant beverages in elementary schools include fruit-based or vegetable-based drinks, composed of no less than 50 percent fruit juice/vegetable juice and with no added sweeteners, drinking water, with no added sweeteners; two-percent milk, one-percent milk, nonfat milk, soy milk, rice milk, and other similar nondairy milk. Sale of non-compliant beverages can take place off of and away from school premises, or be sold by pupils at least one-half hour after the school day. From one-half hour before to one-half hour after school, only compliant beverages for middle/junior high and high schools can be sold which includes the above list with the addition of electrolyte replacement beverages that contains no more than 42 grams of added sweetener per 20-ounce serving. Sale of noncompliant beverages can take place off of and away from school premises, or on school premises at least one-half hour after the end of the school day.

The Legislature declares in Education Code 35182.5 (2003) that state and federal laws require all schools participating in meal programs to provide nutritious food and beverages to pupils; that state and federal laws restrict the sale of food and beverages in competition with meal programs;" and that opportunities should be given to parents, pupils, and community members to review food and beverage contracts to ensure that items sold on campus provide nutritious sustenance to pupils, promote good health, help pupils learn, provide energy, and model fit living for life." Education Code 49590 (1997) also declares that the nutrition levels of meals served to school-age children pursuant to the National School Lunch Act be of the highest quality and greatest nutritional value possible."

Education Code 49531 (1997) and California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 15, Subchapter 1, Article 4, 15552 (no date available) allows any child nutrition entity to apply for available federal and state funds to the California Department of Education to provide nutritionally adequate breakfast, lunch or both to pupils each school day. Education Code 49531.1 (no date available) requires the California Department of Education to develop and maintain nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages sold on public school campuses, which includes school lunches and breakfasts. The guidelines shall include fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol guidelines.

Education Code 49432 allows every public school to post a summary of nutrition and physical activity laws and regulations and requires every district to post its nutrition and physical activity policies in public view in all school cafeterias or other central eating areas.

     Last Updated: 7/30/2013

Food Services: Education Code49430.7 (2008) requires, as a condition of receipt of funds in support of meals, schools or school districts must comply with the following requirements or prohibitions: (1) Not sell or serve a food item that has in any way been deep fried, pan fried or flash fried, (2) Not sell or serve an item containing artificial trans fat, (3) Not sell or serve a food item that has been fried in prohibitied oils of palm, coconut, palm kernel and lard.

Education Code 49531 (1997) and California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 15, Subchapter 1, Article 4, 15552 (no date available) allows any child nutrition entity to apply for available federal and state funds to the California Department of Education to provide nutritionally adequate breakfast, lunch or both to pupils each school day. Education Code 49531.1 (no date available) requires the California Department of Education to develop and maintain nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages sold on public school campuses, which includes school lunches and breakfasts. The guidelines shall include fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol guidelines.

Adequate Time to Eat: 
No state policy.

School Breakfast
: No state policy.

Food Allergies:No state policy.

Farm-to-School:Education Code 49565-49565.8 (no date available) establishes the Fresh Start Pilot Program to provide fresh fruits and vegetables that have not been deep fried to public school students. School districts and charter schools may apply for grant funding to supplement a school breakfast program with the goal of providing one or two servings of fruit or vegetables, or both.  As a condition of receipt of funding, school sites participating in the program must include must include tasting and sampling of nutritious fruits and vegetables as part of nutrition education.  This may include the following: (1) educational sampling and tasting supported with nutrition education, (2) an offering of fruits or vegetables in the classroom reinforced with nutrition and agricultural bulletins, (3) a monthly school campus farmers' market, and (4) a produce sampling program that supports a school garden's harvest through additional purchases of local, in-season fruits or vegetables to be used for a sampling and tasting program.

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 7/10/2014

Education Code 49431 (2005) stipulates that the only food that may be sold to a pupil during the school day at elementary school are full meals and individually sold portions of nuts, nut butters,seeds, eggs, cheese packaged for individual sale, fruit, vegetables that have not been deep fried, and legumes. An individually sold dairy or whole grain food item may be sold to pupils at an elementary school, except food sold as part of a USDA meal program, if it meets all of the following standards: (1) Not more than 35% of its total calories from fat, (2) Not more than 10% of its total calories from saturated fat, (3) Not more than 35% of its total weight shall be composed of sugar, including naturally occurring and added sugar, (4) Not more than 175 calories per individual food item. An elementary school may permit the sale of foods that do not comply with the regulations above as a part of as part of a school fundraising event if the items are sold by pupils of the school and the sale of those items takes place off of and away from school premises or the items are sold by pupils of the school and the sale of those items takes place at least one-half hour after the end of the school day.

Education Code
49431.2 (2005) requires all foods sold outside of the school meal programs to students on school grounds at each middle and high school to be approved for compliance with the nutrition standards. Foods generally regarded as snacks must contain not more than 35 percent of calories from fat, 10 percent of calories from saturated fat, 35 percent sugar by weight, and no more than 250 calories per item. Foods generally regarded as entrees must be less than 400 calories and contain no more than 4 grams of fat per 100 calories. Middle and high schools may permit the sale of foods that are not in compliance with the standards if the items are sold off of school premises or at least 30 minutes after the end of the school day or during a school-sponsored student activity after the end of the school day.

Education Code 49431.7 (2007) prohibits a school district from making available foods containing artificial trans fats or prepared with trans fats to students enrolled in K-12. This includes foods available through a vending machine or school food service establishment during school hours and up to one-half of an hour before and after school.

Education Code 49431.5 (2005) requires all beverages sold to students on school grounds to be approved for compliance with the beverage standards. Beverage standards are effective in elementary and middle schools as of January 1, 2006. Beverage standards are to be phased in to high schools between July 1, 2007 (when 50 percent of beverages sold to students must comply) and July 1, 2009 (when 100 percent of beverages sold to students must comply). Compliant beverages in elementary schools include fruit-based or vegetable-based drinks, composed of no less than 50 percent fruit juice/vegetable juice and with no added sweeteners, drinking water, with no added sweeteners; two-percent milk, one-percent milk, nonfat milk, soy milk, rice milk, and other similar nondairy milk. Sale of non-compliant beverages can take place off of and away from school premises, or be sold by pupils at least one-half hour after the school day. From one-half hour before to one-half hour after school, only compliant beverages for middle/junior high and high schools can be sold which includes the above list with the addition of electrolyte replacement beverages that contains no more than 42 grams of added sweetener per 20-ounce serving. Sale of noncompliant beverages can take place off of and away from school premises, or on school premises at least one-half hour after the end of the school day.

The Legislature declares in Education Code 35182.5 (2003) that state and federal laws require all schools participating in meal programs to provide nutritious food and beverages to pupils; that state and federal laws restrict the sale of food and beverages in competition with meal programs;" and that opportunities should be given to parents, pupils, and community members to review food and beverage contracts to ensure that items sold on campus provide nutritious sustenance to pupils, promote good health, help pupils learn, provide energy, and model fit living for life." Education Code 49590 (1997) also declares that the nutrition levels of meals served to school-age children pursuant to the National School Lunch Act be of the highest quality and greatest nutritional value possible."

 

Fundraising:

According to California Code of Regulations, Title Five, Section § 15500, the governing board of a school district may approve up to four sales by student organizations in elementary schools.  Only one dessert-type food item can be sold (which is not be sold by the school food service on the same day), sales can not begin until after the end of the meal service period, and food items may not be prepared on the school campus.

According to California Code of Regulations, Title Five, Section § 15501, the governing board of a school district may approve sales by student organizations in middle/junior high and high schools, which may take place at any time during the school day, on up to four days per year.  They may not sell more than three type of food or beverages at a time, food may not be prepared on the school campus, and the items can not be those that are sold by the school food service on the same day. 

 

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. However, Education Code 49432 (2001) allows every public school to post a summary of nutrition and physical activity laws and regulations, and requires the posting of the districts policies in all school cafeterias or other central eating area in public view.

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks: Code 33350 (1976) encourages districts to provide daily recess periods for elementary school students. CCR Title 5, Div 1, Chap 2, Subchap 1, Art 2, Sec 304 (no date available) requires every pupil to leave the room at recess "unless it would occasion an exposure of health." CCR Title 5, Div 1, Chap 2, Subchap 1, Art 3, Sec 352 states that a student shall not be required to remain in school during intermission at noon, or during any recess.

Recess Before Lunch:
No state policy.

Walking/Biking to School
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Streets and Highways Code 2333.5 (1999) requires the Department of Transportation, in conjunction with California Highway Patrol, to establish and administer a Safe Routes to School program. Under the program, the Department is required to make grants available to local governmental agencies for the construction of bicycle and pedestrian safety and traffic calming projects. Two of the areas grants may focus on are encouraging increased walking and bicycling among students and identification of current and potential walking and bicycling routes to school. The Department of Transportation is required to report to the Legislature on the impact of the program on rates of bicycling and walking to or from school.

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 11/1/2013

Interscholastic Athletics: Education Code 33350 (1976) encourages districts to provide extra-curricular physical activity and fitness programs and clubs and encourages use of school facility for physical activity and programs sponsored by the school and/or the community. The Education Code also establishes the California Department of Education as the authority over interscholastic athletics.

Concussion and Sports-Related Head Injury: Education Code 49475 (2011) requires a school district that elects to offer athletics to require that an athlete suspected of having a concussion or head injury to be removed from the activity and be cleared by a health care provider before returning to the activity. Any group that uses school facilities or grounds for supervised recreational activities must also comply with the requirements. Specifically, the policy requires school districts to comply with the following: 1) An athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in an athletic activity shall be immediately removed from the activity for the remainder of the day, 2) The athlete shall not be permitted to return to the activity until he or she is evaluated by a licensed health care provider, trained in the management of concussions, and receives written clearance to return, and 3) On a yearly basis, a concussion and head injury information sheet shall be signed and returned by the athlete and the athlete's parent or guardian prior to the start of the athlete's season of practice or competition.           

Groups that utilize school district facilities or grounds for recreational activities to provide a statement of compliance with the policies for the management of concussion and head injury described above.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): No state policy.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 3/28/2012

Education Code 32280 (2003) requires all K-12 public schools to develop strategies for a comprehensive school safety plan that aims to prevent potential incidences of violence on the school campus. Education Code 32281 (2003) assigns each school district the responsibility of developing the plan in consultation with law enforcement officials. Education Code 32282 (2004) further requires the plan to include a safe and orderly environment conducive to learning at school.

Education Code 233 (2000) calls for the State Board of Education to adopt policies that aim to create a school environment for grades K-12 that is free from discriminatory attitudes and practices and acts of hate violence. Similarly, Education Code 35183 (2003) declares that students and staff have the constitutional right to be safe and secure at school.

The Legislature declares in Education Code 32261 (2011) that every pupil enrolled in the state has the "inalienable right" to attend safe, secure, and peaceful classes on school campuses. The Legislature establishes an interagency coordination system to resolve school and community problems of violence, including truancy, crime, vandalism, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership, gang violence, and hate crimes. It encourages schools to implement strategies, in-service training programs, and activities that will improve school attendance and reduce school crime and violence, including vandalism, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership, gang violence, hate crimes, bullying, including bullying committed personally or by means of an electronic act, teen relationship violence, and discrimination and harassment, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment.

Fighting/Gangs: Although the state does not have a specific policy addressing fighting or gang violence in schools, Education Code 32280 (2003) requires a comprehensive school safety plan that aims to prevent crimes and violence in schools. In addition, Education Code 32282 (2004) requires schools to include a provision in their comprehensive school safety plan that prohibits students from wearing "gang-related apparel," if the school has adopted this type of dress code. The Legislature declares in Education Code 35183 (2003) that "gang-related apparel" is hazardous to the health and safety of the school environment. Further, the adoption of a school-wide uniform policy may protect students from being associated with any particular gang and would save time for administrators and teachers from having to learn the subtleties of gang regalia. 

Weapons: Education Code 48915 (2001) requires that school principles or district superintendents recommend expulsion of any student possessing a knife or other dangerous object of no reasonable use to the student.

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Education Code 32281 (2003) assigns the responsibility for the development of the comprehensive school safety plan to local districts through school site councils. The council is to consult with representatives from a law enforcement agency in the writing and developing of the plan.

Education Code 32262 (2003) establishes the School/Law Enforcement Partnership. The partnership includes the superintendent of instruction and the attorney general who are responsible for administering a safe schools program and all training, procedures, and activities; and cooperating with other states as well as state and federal agencies on matters relating to school safety.

Education Code 32270 (2003) establishes a statewide school safety cadre to facilitate interagency coordination and collaboration among school districts, youth-serving agencies, community-based organizations, and law enforcement agencies to improve school attendance, encourage good citizenship, and reduce school violence, crimes, gang membership and violence, truancy, bullying, and discrimination and harassment.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 3/28/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Education Code 32261 (1985) states that all pupils enrolled in a classroom have the inalienable right to attend classes on school campuses that are safe, secure and peaceful. It encourages school districts to develop and implement interagency strategies, in-service training programs, and activities that will improve school attendance and reduce school crime and violence, including vandalism, drug and alcohol abuse, gang membership, gang violence, hate crimes, bullying, including bullying committed personally or by means of an electronic act, teen relationship violence, and discrimination and harassment, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment.

Education Code 35294.2 (2001) requires the Department of Education to develop model policies on the prevention of bullying and conflict resolution. The code authorizes districts to adopt one or more of these policies for the incorporation into its school safety plan, as required in the statute (Model Policies). Education Code 48900 (2008) permits a student to be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion for engaging in acts of bullying. Education Code 48900.4 (2008) allows a student to be suspended or recommended for expulsion if the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled determines that the student has intentionally engaged in harassment, threats or intimidation, directed against school district personnel or pupils "that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to have the actual and reasonably expected effect of materially disrupting classwork, creating substantial disorder, and invading the rights of either school personnel or pupils by creating an intimidating or hostile educational environment."

Education Code 48900.2 (2008) permits a student to be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion if the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled determines that the student has committed sexual harassment, as defined in Education Code 212.5. Education Code 46600 states that a pupil that has been determined to be a victim of an act of bullying shall be given priority for interdistric attendance under any interdistrict attendance agreement, or in the abscence of an agreement, be given additional consideration for the creation of an interdistrict attendance agreement.

Education Code 234 requires the bullying and harassment policy adopted by the local education agencies to prohibit discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics, as specified. It also requires the process for receiving and investigating complaints to include complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics, as specified, and to include a requirement that school personnel who witness such acts take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so, a timeline to investigate and resolve complaints, and an appeal process, as specified.

Cyberbullying: Education Code 48900 (2008) permits a student to be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion for engaging in acts of bullying, including bullying committed by means of electronic acts. Education Code 32261 (2011) defines "electronic act" as "the transmission of a communication, including, but not limited to, a message, text, sound, image or a post on a social network Internet Web site, or image by means of an electronic device, including but not limited to a telephone, wireless telephone or other wireless communication device, computer or pager.

Education Code 32261 encourages school districts, county offices of education, law enforcement agencies, and agencies serving youth to develop and implement interagency strategies, in-service training programs, and activities that will improve school attendance and reduce school crime and violence, including bullying committeed personally or by means of an electronic act, which includes the posting of messages on a social network Internet Web site.

Hazing: Education Code 48900.2 (2008) permits a student to be suspended from school or recommended for expulsion if the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled determines that the student has engaged ir or attempted to engage in hazing. "Hazing" is defined as a method of means a method of initiation or preinitiation into a pupil organization or body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to a former, current, or prospective pupil." For the purposes of this statute, "hazing" does not include athletic events or school-sanctioned events.

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 2/25/2009

Education Code 32282 (2004) requires the comprehensive school safety plan to include strategies and programs that address routine and emergency disaster procedures. The school building disaster plan shall be ready for implementation at any time, to maintain the safety and care of pupils and staff.

Bullying/Harassment: Education Code 32282 (2004) requires the comprehensive school safety plan to include a discrimination and harassment policy and hate crime reporting procedure. Education Code 48900 (2007) states that only when the superintendent determines that a pupil has harassed, threatened or intimidated another pupil may a student be suspended or recommended for expulsion from school.

Fighting/Gangs: Education Code 48900 (2007) states that only when the superintendent or the principal of the school in which the student is enrolled determines that a pupil has willfully used force or violence upon another person, except in self-defense, may a student be suspended or recommended for expulsion from school.

Hazing: Education Code 32051 (no date available) charges any person engaging in hazing on school property with a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than $100 but not more than $5000, or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both. Education Code 48900 (2007) states that a pupil who has engaged in or attempted to engage in hazing may be suspended or recommended for expulsion from school.

Weapons: Education Code 48900 (2007)  states that only with the superintendent's determination that a pupil possessed, sold, or otherwise furnished any firearm, including an imitation knife, explosive, or other dangerous object, may a student be suspended or recommended for expulsion from school.

Reporting Incidents of Violence: Education Code 32282 (2004) requires the comprehensive school safety plan to include a discrimination and harassment policy and hate crime reporting procedure.

Education Code 49370 (1999) requires specific persons, including school teachers, administrators, school aides, school playground workers, and bus drivers, to report missing children to a law enforcement agency in a timely manner.

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: No state policy.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 2/25/2009

Education Code 48901 (1986) states that no school shall permit the smoking or use of tobacco, or any product containing tobacco or nicotine products, by pupils of the school while the pupils are on campus, or while attending school-sponsored activities or while under the supervision and control of school district employees.

Education Code 48900 (2007) states that only with the superintendent's or principal's determination that a pupil has possessed or used tobacco, or any products containing tobacco or nicotine products may a student be suspended or recommended for expulsion from school.

According to the California Health and Safety Code 104420, local education agencies that are certified as having a fully implemented tobacco-free school district board policy are eligible to apply for funding. The policy must prohibit the use of tobacco products, any time, in district-owned or leased buildings, on district property and in district vehicles.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 2/26/2009

The Air Resources Board (ARB) and Department of Health Services (DHS) recently completed a study of the environmental health conditions in California portable and traditional classrooms. Some key suggestions and links to help schools and school districts assure a healthful and productive learning environment for their students are available online at http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/pcs/pcs.htm

California does not have a policy specifically addressing the cleanliness of school buildings. The Cal/OSHA (Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health) does, however, enforce California Code of Regulation Title 8, Division 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter 7, Group 2, Article 9, 3362 (no date available), which requires that buildings be kept in a clean, sanitary condition, that unsanitary conditions such as mold be cleaned up, and that exterior water intrusion or other moisture leakage and accumulation be corrected. Schools are workplaces, and can be covered under this regulation.

California Code of Regulations 01350 (no date available) is a Special Environmental Requirements standard specification that has been developed in California to cover key environmental performance issues in State owned or leased buildings related to the selection and handling of building materials in construction along with a range of other sustainable design issues, such as energy water and other efficiency. The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS), a consortium of public agencies and California utilities, incorporates California Code of Regulations 01350 (no date available) provisions into their Best Practices Manual which provide options schools can select for designing and constructing healthy, energy-efficient buildings. The manual and additional information is available online at http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/GreenBuilding/Schools/.

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 4/4/2007

The Healthy Schools Act (2000) established the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s existing voluntary California School Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and added requirements for schools, such as parental notification of pesticide applications, warning signs, record-keeping at schools and pesticide use reporting by licensed pest control businesses that apply pesticides at schools (found in Education Codes 17608 through 17613).  Education Code 17610.1 (2006) specifically prohibits the use of new pesticides on a school site or pesticides granted conditional, interim or experimental registration by the Department of Pesticide Regulation. While meeting these requirements is the responsibility of individual school districts, the Department of Pesticide Regulations is committed to facilitating voluntary adoption of IPM policies and programs in schools throughout California, and assists school districts with their implementation of the Healthy Schools Act. More information may be found online at http://www.schoolipm.info/.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 2/26/2009

Education Codes 100420, 100620, and 100820 (2002) allows school districts to use funds allocated for school modernization for the purchase of equipment or furniture to increase school security or playground safety. Education Code 17074.25 (1998) also allows a modernization apportionment to be used for playground safety improvements. Health and Safety Code 104495 prohibits the smoking of any tobacco product or the disposal of tobacco-related waste within 25 feet of a playground or tot lot sandbox area.

Shared Use Agreements
     Last Updated: 4/14/2013

Codes 10900-10914.5 authorize local boards of education to organize, promote, and conduct programs of community recreation; establish systems of playgrounds and recreation; and acquire, construct, improve, maintain, and operate recreation centers. The governing bodies of any public authority may cooperate and enter into agreements with the federal government or another public authority to carry out purposes of this chapter, or to establish, improve or maintain recreation facilities and may jointly establish a system or systems of recreation. Local boards of education may use the district buildings, grounds, and/or equipment, to carry out the purposes of this chapter or grant their use to other public authorities for community recreational purposes when their use does not interfere with public school system purposes.

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

Vision and Hearing: Education Code 49452 (no date available) requires the governing board of a school district to provide for the testing of hearing and vision each enrolled pupil within the district. Education Code 49455 (no date available) required students have their vision screened upon enrollment and at least every third year thereafter until completion of the 8th grade.

Chronic Health Conditions: No state policy.

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

Dental: Education Code 49452.8 requires students enrolled in public school kindergarten or first grade (if student did not attend kindergarten in the public schools) to present proof by May 31st of having had received an oral assessment by a licensed dentist or other licensed or registered dental health professional within 12 months of enrollment.  Provisions for exemption are outlined in the code.

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 9/18/2013

Staff Administration: Education Code 49400 (1976) allows school districts to employ properly certified personnel to care for the health and physical development of students. More specifically, Education Code 49423 (1976) and California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter 3, Article 4.1, 600 (2003) and Education Code 49423 (2004) state that any pupil required to take during the regular school day prescribed medication may be assisted by a school nurse or other designated school personnel if the pupil's authorized health care provider and the parent or guardian provide written statements. Details of this regulation are provided in subsequent codes 601-604 of the same article.

Self-Administration of Asthma MedicationEducation Code 49423.1 allows students to carry and self-administer inhaled asthma medication. The student must provide a physician statement detailing the name of the medication, method, amount and time schedules, confirmation of the student's ability to self-administer, a written statement from the parent or guardian, a release for the school nurse and for the school district. These documents must be provided annually. 

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis Medication
Education Code 49423.1 allows students to carry and self-administer anaphylaxis medication. The student must provide a physician statement detailing the name of the medication, method, amount and time schedules, confirmation of the student's ability to self-administer, a written statement from the parent or guardian, a release for the school nurse and for the school district. These documents must be provided annually. 

Education Code 49414 (2001) allows school districts to utilize epinephrine auto-injectors to provide emergency medical aid to persons suffering from an anaphylactic reaction. According to the code, each public and private elementary and secondary school may voluntarily determine whether or not to make emergency epinephrine auto-injectors and trained personnel available at its school and may designate one or more school personnel to receive initial and annual refresher training.

Self-Administration of Diabetes Medication:  Education Code 49414.5 (2003) allows, in the absence of a credentialed school nurse or other licensed nurse, each school district to provide voluntary emergency medical training to school personnel in how to administer emergency medical assistance to pupils with diabetes suffering from severe hypoglycemia if certain performance standards for training and supervision are developed by the American Diabetes Association in cooperation with several other entities for approval and distribution by the State Department of Health Services' Diabetes Control program. According to the code, pupils who have diabetes and specified authorization to test their blood glucose level and provide diabetes self-care are permitted to do so in any area of the school or school grounds during any school-related activity and, upon the request of the pupil's parent or guardian, in a private location. The California Supreme Court upheld the right of unlicensed school personnel to administer prescription medications as cited in Education Code 49423 and 49423.6, including insulin, in accordance with written statements of individual students, treating physicians, with parental consent and that persons that act under this authority do not violate the Nurse Practice Act. 

K.C. et al. v. Jack O'Connell, et al. (2007) clarifies the rights of students classified as disabled with diabetes. Under the decision, the California Department of Education is required to issue a Legal Advisory to all school districts providing guidance on health care services with diabetes, emphasizing that districts have an obligation to provide insulin administration and related services to students unable to self-administer. The Advisory spells out who may administer insulin at a school, and it requires that the local education agency must provide training in diabetes management to a volunteer, non-licensed staff member in cases when a school nurse or other licensed professional is not available. California Business and Professions Code 2725(b)(2) and the California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter 3, Article 4.1, 604 authorize the following types of persons to administer insulin in California's public schools pursuant to a Section 504 Plan or an IEP: (1) self-administration with parent authorization, (2) licensed nurse, registered nurse or physician, (3) parent, guardian or designee, (4) unlicensed voluntary school employee with appropriate training, (5) voluntary school employee who is unlicensed but who has been adequately trained to administer insulin pursuant to the student's treating physician's orders as required by the Section 504 Plan or the IEP.

Self-Administration of General Medication: California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter 3, Article 4.1, 605 (2003) authorizes the local education agency to establish rules governing self-administration including circumstances when self-administration is prohibited. Education Code 49423.1 (2004) allows a pupil to carry medication and self-administer medication provided appropriate statements from the physician are given. The code further releases the school district and school personnel from civil liability if the student suffers an adverse reaction by taking the medication.

Psychotropic Medications: No specific state policy. Unless specified, general medication in school laws apply to all medications that are prescribed by an authorized health care provider.

Storage and Record-keeping: California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter 3, Article 4.1 606 (2003) allows local education agencies to establish policies the delivery of medications to the school site and the storage of medications in a secure manner that maintains the medications' effectiveness. California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter 3, Article 4.1 607 (2003) allows local education agencies to establish policies addressing documentation of the administration of medication to pupils to ensure pupil confidentiality is maintained, a medication record is maintained, and an appropriate record of the pupils allowed to self-carry and administer medications is kept.

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 2/26/2009

Requirement to Provide Services: Although the state does not require schools to provide counseling services, Education Code 49600 (1987) allows school districts to provide a comprehensive educational counseling program, which includes personal and social counseling, for all pupils enrolled in the district.

Suicide Prevention: Education Code 49604 (1992) requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to send a notice to each middle school, junior high, and high school encouraging each school to provide suicide prevention training at least once to each school counselor during their employment, provide information on suicide prevention training curriculum, and inform schools of trainings provided by the department of education.

Education Code 44046 (1977) allows small school districts to contract with any qualified social service agency or organization to provide social work services in schools. Social workers are authorized to consult with parents and others in crisis situations, such as suicide threats. 

Immunity of Liability: Education Code 72621 (1980) and 49602 (1987) protect any person from incurring civil or criminal liability for keeping information discussed during counseling confidential.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: Education Code 49424 (1976) outlines the duty of a school psychologist as one that includes psychological counseling or other therapeutic techniques of children and parents.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 5/17/2011

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." 

In addition to the vaccines listed, AB354 (2010) requires all students in grades 7-12 to provide evidence of having a TDAP booster on or before the 10th birthday.

Exemptions
California Code of Regulations Title 17, Division 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter 8, Article 3, 6051 (1986) allows exemption from immunization requirements under the following circumstances:  (1)  Submission to the governing authority of a written statement from a licensed physician stating that the physical condition of the pupil or medical circumstances relating to the pupil are such that immunization (for one or more vaccines) is permanently indicated, or (2) Submission of an affidavit from the pupil's parent, guardian, adult who has assumed responsibility for his or her care and custody or emancipated minor.  The affidavit must state that immunization is contrary to his or her beliefs.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 9/15/2006

California has no state law or administrative rule that addresses staff with HIV beyond the requirements in The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. School districts have a legal obligation to determine on a case-by-case basis, based on sound medical information, whether an HIV-infected employee can remain and work in the school environment. Both state and federal law require employers to reasonably accommodate a disabled person. For more information on this topic, refer to California Health and Safety Code §120980 and §121025 (no date available).

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 8/17/2008

California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter 1, Article 1, 202 (no date available) states that a pupil who is infected with a contagious or infectious disease may not remain in any public school.

Both state and federal law require accommodations for disabled persons. It should be noted that there are important confidentiality issues related to disclosing an individual's HIV status or test results. For more information on this topic, refer to California Health and Safety Code 120980.

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 9/16/2006

In California, Education Code §48205(a)(6) (no date available) permits parenting students to be excused due to the illness or medical appointment of a child in their custody. Districts may voluntarily offer the Cal-SAFE Program, which provides academic and support services to expectant and parenting students and child care and development services to their children.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 10/24/2011

Although the state does not have a policy regarding individualized health plans for students in need of health services, the Guidelines for the Management of Asthma in California Schools (2004) does encourage asthma action plans prepared by healthcare providers for every student and an individualized school health care plan for students with severe and frequent asthma episodes that may impact their education program and require assistance from trained school staff.

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 2/26/2009

State-level: Education Code 49533 (2002) established the Child Nutrition Advisory Council, effective April 1975, consisting of one member of the California Department of Education, one school administrator, one school board member, one school food service director, one school food service supervisor or manager, one classroom teacher, one curriculum coordinator, one nutrition education specialist, a qualified consultant specializing in nutrition, education, child care, or health and welfare, as well as a few others (see Education Code for specifics), all appointed by the State Board of Education. The council is responsible for recommending plans and guidelines for school and child care meal service and nutrition education programs.

Education Code 32239.5 (2001) establishes a School Violence Prevention and Response Task Force consisting of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Attorney General, the Director of the Office of Criminal Justice Planning, and the Secretary for Education, along with 12 other members representing educators, health care practitioners, and law enforcement members.

Local-level: The state does not mandate the formation of a school health coordinating or advisory council, nor does it require schools or districts to do so. However, the Health Framework for California Public Schools (2003) encourages districts to develop school health councils to address specific needs.

Education Code 49433 (2002) allows school districts that have at least one elementary or middle school or high school participating in the three-year pilot program conducted by the California Department of Education to convene a Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee to develop and recommend to the governing boards policies on nutrition and physical activity. Details of the three-year pilot program can be found in Education Code 49433.7 (2002).

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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: 2/26/2009

Access to pupil records, including health records, is governed by Education Code 49075 (1976/2001) and 49076 (1976/2003), the California Civil Code 56.10 (no date available), as well as California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter 2, Article 3, 435 (no date available) and Title 17, Division 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter 13, Article 7, 6874 (no date available).

Student Health-Related Services:  Education Code 46010.1 (1986) requires each local district to notify pupils in grades 7-12 and the parents/guardians of all pupils enrolled in the district that pupils may be excused for confidential medical services by school authorities without the consent of the pupil's parent/guardian. Education Code 49091.12(b) (1998) also gives a pupil the right or ability to obtain confidential medical care or counseling related to the diagrams or texts of a drug- or alcohol-related problem, or mental health textbooks or counseling on an outpatient basis, without the consent of the pupils' parent/guardian.

Education Code 72621 (1987) and 49602 (1987) require that any information discussed by a student 12 years or older during counseling is confidential. Likewise, any information discussed by a parent/guardian of a student who is 12 years or older during counseling is also confidential.

In accordance with United States Code Title 20, Chapter 33, Subchapter 3, 1417, Education Code 56505(e)(5)(2007) requires the confidentiality of personally identifiable information about students with exceptional needs.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 2/26/2009

 

Education Code 51513 (1995) says that "No test, questionnaire, survey, or examination containing any questions about the pupil's personal beliefs or practices in sex, family life, morality, and religion, or any questions about the pupil's parents' or guardians' beliefs and practices in sex, family life, morality, and religion, shall be administered to any pupil in kindergarten or grades one to twelve, inclusive, unless the parent or guardian of the pupil is notified in writing that this test, questionnaire, survey, or examination is to be administered and the parent or guardian of the pupil gives written permission for the pupil to take this test, questionnaire, survey, or examination." However, notwithstanding 51513, Education Code 51938 (2004) states that "anonymous, voluntary, and confidential research and evaluation tools to measure pupils' health behaviors and risks, including tests, questionnaires, and surveys containing age appropriate questions about the pupil's attitudes concerning or practices relating to sex may be administered to any pupil in grades seven to twelve, inclusive, if the parent or guardian is notified in writing that this test, questionnaire, or survey is to be administered and the pupil's parent or guardian is given the opportunity to review the test, questionnaire, or survey and to request in writing that his or her child not participate."

 

United States Code Title 20, Subchapter 31, Subchapter 3, 1232h requires districts to directly notify parents at least annually at the beginning of the school year of the specific or approximate dates during the school year of the scheduling of any survey(s) containing one or more of the following items:

*  Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student's parent
*  Mental or psychological problems of the student or the student's family
*  Sex behavior or attitudes
*  Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior
*  Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships
*  Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers
*  Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student's parent
*  Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program)

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