Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 12/1/2012
Contact us with corrections or additions Connecticut Last Updated: 8/4/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Mandate: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16b (1997) of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) requires instruction in health education, but does not specify grades, levels or amounts. However, each local and regional board of education must offer health and other curriculum that is planned, ongoing and systematic. The Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2007) offers recommendations for number of instructional hours for each grade level in mandated content areas. Commencing with classes graduating in 2018, one-half credit in health and safety education, as described in section10-16b, will be required for graduation from high school (PA 10-111). 

Curriculum Content: The state does not have coursework requirements in health education in order to graduate from high school. However, Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16b defines what content must be offered in health and safety education. The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) defines what students should know and be able to do in grades prek-12. This curriculum framework provides content standards and performance indicators for health and safety education, HIV/AIDS and alcohol, nicotine and tobacco prevention education.

State Assessment Requirement: None.

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 5/16/2013

Mandate: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16b (1997) requires students in public schools receive physical education instruction. Statute Chapter 170, Section 10-221o of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Section 9 of Public Act 12-116 and Section 5 of Public Act 12-158 of the Connecticut General Statutes (2012) requires each local and regional board of education to provide time devoted to physical exercise for students in Grades K-5, inclusive, of not less than 20 minutes in total for each regular school day, with the exception of those students requiring special education and related services.

The State Board of Education's Position Statement on Nutrition and Physical Activity (2010) states that local school boards should establish policies and procedures that require schools to allow time in the curriculum for physical education and to incorporate these concepts throughout all subjects. Statute Chapter 170 Sec 10-221a requires one credit of physical education for graduation, and Public Act 11-135(iii) requires in addition two credits in career and life skills electives, such as nutrition and physical activity, commencing with the graduating class of 2018.

The Action Guide for School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies (2009) provides guidelines and policy recommendations to local districts for physical education, along with other areas.

Exemptions: Statute Chapter 170 Sec 10-221a allows any student who presents a certificate from a physician stating that, in the opinion of the physician, participation in physical education is medically contraindicated because of the physical condition of such student, shall be excused from the physical education requirement, provided the credit for physical education may be fulfilled by an elective.

Curriculum Content: Determination of eligible credits shall be at the discretion of the local or regional board of education, provided the primary focus of the curriculum of eligible credits corresponds directly to the subject matter of the specified course requirements (10-221d).

The state does not have specific coursework requirements in physical education in order to graduate from high school. The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) provides standards and a suggested curriculum framework for physical education.

Physical Fitness Assessment: All students in grades 4, 6, 8, and 10 participating in physical education are required to complete physical fitness assessment. Fitness assessment data are to be reported to the Connecticut State Department of Education annually for inclusion in each school district Strategic School Profile.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006
Not specifically required.
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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16bHealthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) further recommends that students in grades K-12 learn accurate information about their physical development, including mental and emotional health. In addition, The Connecticut Comprehensive School Counseling Guide (2008) outlines content standards and student competencies in the personal/social domain that promotes psychosocial development that includes evidence-based education, prevention and intervention services designed to address mental health and emotional issues to remove barriers to student success.

Chapter 169 Sec. 10-203a of the Connecticut General Statutes, directed the Connecticut State Department of Education to develop The Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health. The statute recommends that each local and regional board of education establish a comprehensive and coordinated plan to address the physical health needs of students based on these guidelines. These Guidelines also include information on social, emotional and mental health issues. 

Character Education: No state policy.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 6/20/2012

 Mandate: Per Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-19 (1995), “each local and regional board of education shall offer during the regular school day planned, ongoing and systematic instruction on acquired immune deficiency syndrome, as taught by legally qualified teachers."

Curriculum Content: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-19 states that “The content and scheduling of the instruction shall be within the discretion of the local or regional board of education." The Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2007) offers recommendations for number of instructional hours for each grade level in mandated content areas. The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) defines what students should know and be able to do in grades prek-12 in comprehensive sexuality education including HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention.This document provides content standards and performance indicators for health education as well as a suggested curriculum framework for local school districts. The State Board of Education also provides guidance in the Guidelines for the Sexual Health Component of Comprehensive Health Education (2012).

Parental Approval: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-19 states, “Each local and regional board of education shall adopt a policy, as the board deems appropriate, concerning the exemption of pupils from such instruction upon written request of the parent or guardian" (an “opt-out" policy).

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 12/2/2011

 The State Board of Education's Position Statement on Nutrition and Physical Activity (2010) states that local school boards should establish policies and procedures that require schools to allow sufficient time in the curriculum for nutrition education and to incorporate these concepts throughout all subjects, as well as connecting to programs that extend beyond the school day.

Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16b (1997) requires students in public schools receive instruction on nutrition. The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) provides standards and a suggested curriculum framework for nutrition education. The Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2007) offers recommendations for number of instructional hours for each grade level in mandated content areas.  This document provides content standards and performance indicators for health education including nutrition as well as a suggested curriculum framework for local school districts.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Alcohol: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-19 (1995) “specifies that, the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to understand and avoid the effects of alcohol shall be taught every academic year to pupils in all grades in the public schools. The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) provides guidelines for grades preK-12 on the dangers of using alcohol and strategies to remain free of alcohol use. The Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2007) offers recommendations for number of instructional hours for each grade level in mandated content areas.

Tobacco: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-19 specifies that, “the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to understand and avoid the effects of nicotine shall be taught every academic year to pupils in all grades in the public schools." The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) provides guidelines for grades pre K-12 on the dangers of using tobacco and strategies to remain free of tobacco use. The Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2007) offers recommendations for number of instructional hours for each grade level in mandated content areas.


Drugs: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-19 specifies that ”the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to understand and avoid the effects of drugs shall be taught every academic year to pupils in all grades in the public schools." The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) provides guidelines for grades preK-12 on the dangers of using drugs and strategies to remain free of drug use. The Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2007) offers recommendations for number of instructional hours for each grade level in mandated content areas.
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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Bullying/Harassment: Standard 2 of the Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) recommends students in grades K-12 learn how to avoid and reduce any form of sexual harassment.

Fighting/Gangs: Standard 2 of the Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) recommends students in grades K-12 learn non-violent conflict resolution skills. Students in grades 5-12 should learn strategies to reduce and avoid abuse and assault. Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16b (1997) requires public schools to provide instruction in safety education, which may include the dangers of gang membership.

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16b requires public schools to provide instruction in mental and emotional health education, including youth suicide prevention. Standard 2 of the Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) also recommends students in grades K-12 learn the warning signs of and how to prevent suicide. 

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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Professional Development: Statute Chapter 170, Section 10-220a (2004) requires each local or regional board of education to provide an in-service training program for its teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel who hold the initial educator, provisional educator or professional educator certificate. The offerings required include the nature and the relationship of drugs, as defined in subdivision (17) of section 21a-240, and alcohol to health and personality development, and procedures for discouraging their abuse, (2) health and mental health risk reduction education which includes, but need not be limited to, the prevention of risk-taking behavior by children and the relationship of such behavior to substance abuse, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV-infection and AIDS, as defined in section 19a-581, violence, teen dating violence, domestic violence, child abuse and youth suicide, (3) the growth and development of exceptional children, including handicapped and gifted and talented children and children who may require special education, including, but not limited to, children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or learning disabilities, and methods for identifying, planning for and working effectively with special needs children in a regular classroom, (4) school violence prevention, conflict resolution and prevention of bullying.

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirement for prospective health teachers is bachelor's degree with a major in health. The specific details of initial licensure are outlined in Statute Chapter 166, Section 10-145b (2004).

Professional Development: Regulation 10-145d-417 (2003) requires 90 hours of professional education every five years for re-certification.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 12/16/2010

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirement for prospective physical education teachers is bachelor's degree with a major in physical education. The specific details of initial licensure are outlined in Statute Chapter 166, Section 10-145b (2004).

Professional Development: Regulation 10-145d-417 (2003) requires 90 hours of professional education every five years for re-certification.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 4/3/2012

Pre-service Requirement: Public Health Code 10-212-2 (1982) requires each school nurse to be a registered professional nurse currently licensed in the state of Connecticut with at least one-year work experience as a registered nurse in the past five years and 12 credits of academic preparation or 18 continuing education units or 180 workshop or in-service hours. Public Health Code 10-212-2  (2002) requires the person hold a degree, diploma or certification from an approved nursing program and the passing of a board approved examination for licensure as a registered nurse.

Professional Development: Public Health Code 10-212-2 (1982) requires school nurses to participate in 10 hours of professional development approved by the local or regional board of education every two years.

Student-to-Nurse Ratio: There is no specific state policy concerning ratios. However, Statute 10-212 requires each local or regional board of education to appoint one or more school nurses or nurse practitioners.

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 12/16/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Statute 10-212a-2 (2010) state that “the board of education shall determine who shall administer medications in a school – a licensed nurse or, in the absence of such licensed nurse, qualified personnel for schools.”

Professional Development
: Statutes Section 10-212a-3 (2010) requires each Board of Education which allows qualified personnel for schools, in the absence of a school nurse, to administer medications to students to provide training to designated qualified personnel for schools in the safe administration of medications at least annually.

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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 12/16/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Regulations 10-145d-555 and 556 (2003) requires school counselors serving grades K-12 to have a master's degree, to hold or be eligible to hold an initial educator certificate, have completed a full-time supervised school internship of 10 school months in a preK-12 school setting, have a minimum of 30 credit hours in a planned program in school counseling services, have the recommendation of the preparing institution based on seven specified areas, have completed counseling and guidance laboratories and practicum, and have completed at least 36 clock hours of study in special education.

Professional Development: Certified professional school counselors shall be required to complete 90 contact hours of continuing education (professional development) during each successive five-year period for re-certification, which is based on the Regulation 10-145d-417.

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: No state policy.
 

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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Pre-service Requirement: Regulations 10-145d-560 (2003) requires school psychologists to have a master's degree, have completed as part of or in addition to the master’s degree, at least 45 graduate credit hours in a planned program in school psychological services, have the recommendation of the preparing institution based on six specified areas, have completed in addition to the supervised practicum or field work experience, a 10 month internship or its equivalent in a period not to exceed 20 school months in a school setting  and have completed at least 36 clock hours of study in special education.

Professional Development: As professional educators", school psychologists must meet the same requirements for professional development as teachers in Regulation 10-145d-417, which requires 90 hours of professional education every five years for re-certification.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: No state policy.

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 12/16/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Regulations 10-145d-559 and 560 (2003) requires school social workers to have a master's degree in social work from a school of social work accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and have completed at least 36 clock hours of study in special education. As of 2012, school social workers will also be required to have taken a three-credit course focused specifically on practices in the school setting, and will be required to have performed 300 hours of internship in a school setting.

Professional Development: As professional educators", school social workers must meet the same requirements for professional development as teachers in Regulation 10-145d-417, which requires 90 hours of professional education every five years for re-certification.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: None specified.

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

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 6/21/2010

Pre-service Requirement: A coaching permit (2000) requires that the applicant be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, have three semester hours of credit from a regionally accredited institution or 45 clock hours of instruction as specified and be certified in standard first-aid and CPR.

Professional Development: A coach must renew their CPR certification annually and their first-aid training every three years. A coach must also complete 15 hours of seminars, courses, and workshops on safe and healthful coaching practices and understanding child and adolescent development, as approved by the Department, every five years".

Public Act 10-62 (2010) requires any person who holds a coaching permit by the State Board and is a coach of intramural or interscholastic athletics to complete an initial training course regarding concussions and head injuries prior to commencing the coaching season. The coach must also annually review current and relevant information regarding concussions. Beginning in 2015, and each year thereafter, a coach must complete a refresher course not later than 5 years after completion of the initial training, and again once every five years as condition of the reissuance of a coaching permit. Requirements of the course are outlined in the Act. The State Board is required to develop or approve a training course along with a refresher course.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 12/16/2010

Additional Accountability requirements: None 

Additional Content Requirements: None 

Guidance Materials: The Department of Education produced a comprehensive Action Guide for School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies (2009). Adopted by the State Board of Education, the action guide includes lessons learned from the state's school nutrition policy pilot projects to help inform districts in implementing and developing their wellness policies. The document includes steps for creating a policy, resources for addressing the required components and implementation guidance. It also addresses communication and promotion of wellness, and measurement and evaluation of programs and policy.

The Department also created the School Wellness Policy: Getting it Started (2006) PowerPoint presentation that teaches about the components of a wellness policy and implementation. It then created the School Wellness Policy: Keeping it Going (2006) PowerPoint presentation that explains how to implement and maintain a wellness policy. 

The Department developed the Action Guide for Child Care Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies (2010) to help local and community child care, early education and after school programs establish and implement policies and practices that encourage healthy lifestyles in children. The action guide includes best practices for promoting healthy eating and physical activity for children from infancy through school age, based on current science, public health research, and national recommendations and standards. Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2007) provides further guidance organized by the CDC eight component Coordinated School Health Model (an integrated and comprehensive system of delivering health-related services in the school community).

Other: The State Board of Education released a Position Statement on Nutrition and Physical Activity (updated in 2010) that urges schools to adopt policies that address Section 204 requirements. It also addresses the role of the community, family, and individual students in promoting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The Department of Education conducted a review (2008) of the content of district school wellness policies using a school wellness policy assessment tool developed in partnership with the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University. The results are summarized in the School Wellness Policy Report (2008).

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 8/4/2014

Food Services: Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-215d (1991) calls for the State Board of Education to adopt regulations addressing nutrition standards for breakfasts and lunches provided to students by local boards of education. The regulations should be developed in consultation with the Department of Public Health, the School Food Services Association and the Connecticut Dietetic Association. The Action Guide for School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies (2009) provides guidelines and policy recommendations for school meals, along with other areas.

Statute Chapter 170, Section 10-221p (2006) requires each local board of education to make available in schools nutritious and low-fat foods which include low-fat dairy products and fresh or dried fruit at all times when food is available for purchase by students during the regular school day.

Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-215e (2006) requires that the Department of Education publish a set of nutrition standards by January 1 of each year (Connecticut Nutrition Standards ). The standards will not apply to foods sold as part of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program unless such items are purchased separately from a school lunch or breakfast that is reimbursable under such program.
Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-215f requires districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program to certify annually to the Department of Education whether all food items made available for sale will meet the Connecticut Nutrition Standards. If the district implements healthy food certification under Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-215f of the Connecticut General Statutes, then all foods sold in vending machines and school stores must always meet the Connecticut Nutrition Standards. The Position Statement on Nutrition and Physical Activity (2010) states that local school boards should establish policies and procedures to ensure that all foods and beverages available on school premises, including school meals, vending machines, school stores, fundraisers, classroom parties and other events, meet state nutrition standards that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and national health recommendations that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and national health recommendations.

Statute Chapters 170, Section 10-221q (2006) allows only the following five categories of beverages to be sold to students from any source, including but not limited to, school stores, vending machines, school cafeterias, and any fundraising activities on school premises, whether or not school sponsored:
  • Milk that may be flavored but contain no artificial sweeteners and no more than four grams of sugar per ounce.
  • Nondairy milks such as soy or rice milk, which may be flavored but contain no artificial sweeteners, no more than 4 grams of sugar per ounce, no more than 35% percent of calories from fat per portion and no more than 10% percent of calories from saturated fat per portion.
  • 100% hundred per cent fruit juice, vegetable juice or combination of such juices, containing no added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners.
  • Beverages that contain only water and fruit or vegetable juice and have no added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners. These beverages must also meet the requirements specified in Requirements for Beverages Containing Water and Juice.
  • Water, which may be flavored but contain no added sugars, sweeteners, artificial sweeteners or caffeine.
  • Portion sizes of beverages, other than water as described in subdivision (5) of this subsection, that are offered for sale shall not exceed twelve ounces.
The State Board of Education's Position Statement on Nutrition and Physical Activity (2010) states that local school boards should establish policies and procedures that help schools promote good nutrition. Nutrition goals should also be incorporated into school improvement plans.

Adequate Time to Eat: Statute 10-221o (2004) requires each local school district to offer all full day students a daily lunch period of not less than 20 minutes.

School Breakfast: Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-215g (2006) establishes an in-classroom school breakfast pilot program through a competitive grant program for the purpose of assisting up to ten severe need schools to establish or expand in-classroom school breakfast programs.

Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-215h (2010) requires a child nutrition outreach program to increase participation in the federal School Breakfast Program. The child nutrition outreach program shall encourage schools to participate in the federal School Breakfast Program; employ innovative breakfast service methods where students eat their breakfast in their classrooms or elsewhere after school starts, rather than only before school and only in the cafeteria; and apply to the in-classroom breakfast grant program pursuant to section 10-215g.
Statute Chapter 172, Section 10-266w (2003) allows for grants to assist in providing school breakfasts to all students in each eligible severe need school. The sum of three thousand dollars for each severe need school in the school district which provides a school breakfast program and up to ten cents per breakfast served in each severe need school. Public Act 11-48, Section 198 (2011) revised the definition of a severe need breakfast school to one where twenty per cent or more of the lunches served to students at the school in the fiscal year two years prior to the grant year were served free or at a reduced price. School Breakfast is required in K-8 schools where 80 percent of lunches served are free or reduced price.

Food Allergies: Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-212c (2006) requires the Department of Education, in conjunction with the Department of Public Health, to develop and make available to each local and regional board of education guidelines for the management of students with life-threatening food allergies. Each local and regional board is then required to implement a plan based on these guidelines. The resulting Guidelines for Managing Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Connecticut Schools (2006) address education and training of school personnel, procedures for responding to life-threatening allergic reactions to food, processes for the development of individualized health care and food allergy action plans for affected students and protocols to prevent exposure to food allergens. Each local and regional board of education is required to implement a plan based on the guidelines. It is important to note that Statute 10-212c (2006) created an entitlement to an individualized health care plan for children with life-threatening food allergies regardless of the child's status as a student with a disability.

Farm-to-School: Statute Chapter 423, Section 22-38d establishes a farm to school program within the Department of Agriculture (in consultation with the Department of Education).The program shall facilitate and promote the sale of Connecticut-grown farm products by farm to school districts, individual schools and other educational institutions. The Department of Agriculture is charged with encouraging and soliciting Connecticut farmers to sell their products to districts, schools and other educational institutions, to develop a database of farmers interested in selling their products to schools, to facilitate purchases by school districts and to provide guidance to farmers interested in the program. The Department of education is charged with establishing a yearly week-long promotional event, with encouraging and soliciting school districts, individual schools and other educational institutions to purchase Connecticut-grown farm products, with providing outreach, guidance and training to districts, PTA organizations, schools and school food service directors, and with arranging interaction between potential purchasers and farmers and between students and farmers.
 
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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 6/2/2014

Beverages: Statute Chapter 170, Section 10-221q (2006) specifies that beverages that do not meet the requirements of state statute can never be sold from a vending machine or school store at any time, even after school hours. Approved beverages are limited to the following: 

  • Milk, flavored or unflavored with no artificial sweeteners and no more than 4 grams of sugar per ounce.
  • Nondairy milk such as soy or rice milk, which may be flavored but contain no artificial sweeteners, no more than 4 grams of sugar per fluid ounce, no more than 35 percent of calories from fat and no more than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat;
  • 100% fruit, vegetable or combination juice, with no added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners;
  • Beverages containing only water and fruit or vegetable juice, having no added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners. These beverages must also meet the requirements specified in Requirements for Beverages Containing Water and Juice;
  • Water, which may be flavored but contain no added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners or caffeine; and
  • Portion sizes, excluding water as described above, may not exceed 12 ounces.
  • Beverages that do not meet the requirement of state statute can only be sold to students on school premises if the local board of education votes to permit them and the following conditions are met: 1) the sale is in connection with an event occurring after the end of the regular school day or on the weekend; 2) the sale is at the location of the event; and 3) the beverages are not sold from a vending machine or school store. Schools are permitted to sell beverages that are not allowed by Chapter 170, Section 10-221q to teachers and other school staff members, as long as they are not accessible to students (e.g., a soda machine in teachers' lounge or coffee sold only to adults in the cafeteria). However, the Connecticut State Department of Education encourages districts to consider this issue in relation to the promotion of staff wellness practices.

 

Food: Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-215f requires districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program to certify annually to the Department of Education whether all food items made available for sale will meet the Connecticut Nutrition Standards

Statute Chapter 170, Section 10-221p (2006) requires each local board of education to make available in schools nutritious and low-fat foods which include low-fat dairy products and fresh or dried fruit at all times when food is available for purchase by students during the regular school day.

 

Fundraising:

If the district implements healthy food certification under Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-215f of the Connecticut General Statutes, then all foods sold in vending machines and school stores must always meet the Connecticut Nutrition Standards. In accordance with Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-215f, if a school district chooses to certify for the healthy food option (abiding by the Connecticut Nutrition Standards and receiving additional funding), all food offered for sale to students at all times, in all schools and from all sources (including, but not limited to school stores, vending machines, school cafeterias and any fundraising activities on school premises) must meet the Standards. This includes a la carte items in the cafeteria, fundraisers, snacks provided for a fee to students, food items offered for sale from an in-school culinary arts program, and foods provided for special occasions (e.g., end-of-the-year parties) if a fee is collected to cover the cost of food.

 

The Position Statement on Nutrition and Physical Activity (2010) states that local school boards should establish policies and procedures to ensure that all foods and beverages available on school premises, including school meals, vending machines, school stores, fundraisers, classroom parties and other events, meet state nutrition standards that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and national health recommendations. It also indicates that district policies and procedures should assist all administrators and staff with eliminating practices that are counterproductive to students’ health and learning or that contradict positive health messages, such as food rewards, taking away recess as punishment and selling unhealthy foods and beverages to raise funds. The SDE position statement also states that districts should use healthy eating goals and science-based nutrition standards, such as the Connecticut Nutrition Standards, to determine which foods and beverages are allowed for sale or distribution on school premises (e.g., cafeteria a la carte sales, vending machines, school stores, fundraisers, classroom parties, sporting events and other activities).

 

For all districts participating in USDA’s National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, After-School Snack Program or Special Milk Program, Section 10-215b-1 (1992) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies prohibits the sale of tea, coffee, soft drinks and candy from thirty minutes before the start of any state or federally subsidized milk or food service program until thirty minutes after such program. If the district implements healthy food certification, the sale of candy is prohibited at all times. Section 10-215b-23 (1992) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies specifies that the income from the sale to students of food and beverages anywhere on the school premises during this timeframe must accrue to the school food authority for the benefit of the school food service programs.

 

Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers will meet the standards outlined above, with no exemptions allowed.

 

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 5/16/2013

General Physical Activity Requirement.: The State Board of Education's Position Statement on Nutrition and Physical Activity (2005) states that local school boards should establish policies and procedures that, help schools promote regular physical activity."  Local boards should also require schools to allow time in the curriculum for physical activity and to incorporate these concepts throughout all subjects".  Physical activity goals should also be incorporated into school improvement plans.

The Action Guide for School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies (2009) provides guidelines and policy recommendations to local districts for physical activity, along with other areas.

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks: While not specifying "recess," Chapter 170 Section 10-221 (2003) requires each local and regional board of education to include a period of physical exercise in the regular school day for students in grades K-5. Public Act 12-116 (2012) requires a period of not less than 20 minutes total.

Recess Before Lunch: No state policy.

Walking/Biking to School: No state policy.

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 12/28/2010

Interscholastic Athletics: No state policy.

Concussion and Sports Related Head Injury: Public Act 10-62 (2010) requires any person who holds a coaching permit by the State Board and is a coach of intramural or interscholastic athletics to complete an initial training course regarding concussions and head injuries prior to commencing the coaching season. The coach must also annually review current and relevant information regarding concussions. Beginning in 2015, and each year thereafter, a coach must complete a refresher course not later than 5 years after completion of the initial training, and again once every five years as condition of the reissuance of a coaching permit. Requirements of the course are outlined in the Act. The State Board is required to develop or approve a training course along with a refresher course.

The Act also requires a coach of any intramural or interscholastic athletics to immediately remove a student athlete from participating in any intramural or interscholastic athletic activity who is observed to exhibit signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion following an observed or suspected blow to the head or body, or is diagnosed with a concussion, regardless of when such concussion or head injury may have occurred. The coach may not permit the student athlete to participate in any supervised team activities involving physical exertion, including, but not limited to, practices, games or competitions, until such student athlete receives written clearance to participate in such supervised team activities involving physical exertion from a licensed health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions. Following clearance the coach may not permit such student athlete to participate in any full, unrestricted supervised team activities without limitations on contact or physical exertion until the same conditions as listed above are met. The State Board of Education may revoke the coaching permit of any coach found to be in violation of this section. 

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): No state policy.

 

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

The State Board of Education's Position Statement on Creating a Healthy  Learning Environment that is Physically, Emotionally and Intellectually Safe (2010) states that school districts should "develop and implement policies and procedures that assist all staff and administrators in creating safe and healthy learning environments that address the needs of every student. Furthermore, boards of education must ensure compliance with all health and safety regulations, per Statute Chapter 169 Section 10-203 (1996) in order to provide a safe school environment. The State Board of Education's Position Statement on Student Support Services (2001) states that school districts should promote a positive school climate where individuals feel safe, supported, and connected while reducing risky behaviors.

Fighting/Gangs: Statutes Chapter 170 Section 10-233c (1998) and Section 10-233d(2001)state that suspension and expulsion proceedings determining whether a student's behavior was seriously disruptive may take into consideration gang involvement. 

Weapons: Statute Chapter 170 Section 10-233d states that a student who possesses a firearm, deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or martial arts weapon on school grounds, at a school sponsored activity, or in the commission of a crime off school grounds is subject to at least one year's expulsion. Notice of such an expulsion shall not be expunged from the student's cumulative educational record upon the pupil's graduation from high school. Statute Chapter 170 Sec. 10-233c state that suspension proceedings determining whether a student's behavior was seriously disruptive may take into consideration the unlawful use of a weapon.

Drugs and Alcohol: Statute Chapter 170 Section 10-221 (2003) requires each local and regional board of education [to] develop, adopt and implement policies and procedures dealing with the use, sale or possession of alcohol or controlled drugs by public school students on school property.

Statutes Chapter 170 Section 10-233c and Section 10-233d state that suspension and expulsion proceedings determining whether a student's behavior was seriously disruptive may take into consideration the involvement of alcohol. 

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Statute Chapter 170 Section 10-221 requires local and regional board of education to have policies and procedures dealing with the use, sale or possession of alcohol or controlled drugs by public school students on school property, including a process for coordination with, and referral of such students to, appropriate agencies and cooperating with law enforcement officials.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 5/16/2013

Bullying/Harassment: Public Act 11-232 (2011) requires each local and regional board of education to develop a district Safe School Climate Plan addressing the existence of bullying in schools. The Plan shall: (1) design anonymous procedures for students to report acts of bullying to school employees; (2) construct procedures for parents or guardians to file written reports of suspected bullying; (3) require school personnel to notify school administrators and the Safe School Climate Specialist when acts of bullying or written reports of bullying are received; (4) require the Safe School Climate Specialist to investigate the written reports; (5) incorporate intervention and prevention strategies for school employees to deal with bullying; (6) include language about bullying in student codes of conduct; require the notification of parents or guardians of the bullies and the victims of bullies to be notified not later than 48 hours after the incident is verified; (7) require schools to keep a log of the number of verified incidents of bullying for public reporting purposes; direct the development of case-by-case interventions for addressing repeated incidents of bullying against a single individual or by the same individual; (8) invite the parents or guardians of students who commit any verified acts of bullying and the parents or guardians of students against whom such acts were directed to communicate to them the measures being taken by the school to ensure student's safety and prevent further acts of bullying; (9) prohibit discrimination and retaliation against an individual who reports an act of bullying, prohibit the continuation and perpetuation of bullying through the dissemination of hurtful or demeaning material by any other student; (10) require the principal of a school, or the principal's designee, to notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency when they believe that any act of bullying constitute criminal conduct; (11) prohibit bullying on school grounds at a school-sponsored or school-related activity, function or program, whether on or off school grounds, at a school bus stop, on a school bus or other vehicle owned, leased or used by a local or regional board of education, or through the use of an electronic device or an electronic mobile device; (12) include provisions addressing bullying outside of the school setting under certain circumstances; and (13) require each school to post the District Safe School Climate Plan on the district’s website within 30 days of Board of Education approval.

SB1138 (2011) requires the Department of Education to provide annual training to school employees on the prevention, intervention and response to school bullying. 

Public Act 08-160 (2008) outlines "intervention and prevention" strategies that schools may include some of the following: (1) implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports process or another evidence-based model approach for safe school climate for the prevention of bullying identified by the Department of Education; (2) a school survey to determine the prevalence of bullying, (3) a school survey to determine the prevalence of bullying, (3) adequate adult supervision of outdoor areas, hallways, the lunchroom and other specific areas where bullying is likely to occur, and (4) the inclusion of grade-appropriate bullying prevention curricula in kindergarten through high school. Additional strategies are listed in the statute.

Chapter 170 Section 10-222d (2006) defines "bullying" as any overt act by a student or a group of students directed against another student with the intent to ridicule, harass, humiliate or intimidate the other student while on school grounds, [or] at a school-sponsored activity or on a school bus, which acts are repeated against the same student over time."

Cyberbullying: Public Act 11-232 (2011) defines cyberbullying as the act of bullying through the use of the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, cellular mobile telephone or other mobile electronic devices or any electronic communications. The statute defines "electronic communication" and "mobile electronic device." It requires school districts to develop a policy addressing bullying in schools, and requires that the policy prohibit bullying on school grounds or school-related activities, of which cyberbullying is included.

Hazing: No state policy addressing elementary or secondary schools.

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Response and Management Plans: Statute Chapter 170 Sec. 10-231 (2000) allows crisis response drills to be substituted for the mandated monthly fire drill once every three months in schools. Statute Chapter 170 Sec. 10-220f (1998) allows local and regional boards of education to establish school district safety committees to review the adequacy of emergency response procedures at each school.

The State Board of Education's Position Statement on Student Support Services (2010) recommends school districts establish school-based and/or district-wide support services teams to assess the health and mental health needs of schools and coordinate the delivery of an array of services, including crisis response.

Reporting Incidents of Violence: Statute Chapter 170 Sec. 10-222d (2002) requires local and regional boards of education to adopt policies and procedures allowing for the anonymous reporting of bullying by students, allowing written reporting of bullying by parents and guardians, and requirements for school personnel to notify school administrators when acts of bullying or written reports of bullying are received. Schools are also required to keep records of the number of verified bullying incidents and keep such record available for public inspection. 

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Statute Chapter 368, Section 19a-342 (2004) states that smoking is prohibited in public places including school buildings while school is in session or student activities are being conducted and requires signs to be posted in each building stating that smoking is prohibited by state law. Statute Chapter 943, Section 53-198 (1959) prohibits smoking on school buses.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Green Cleaning: Public Act 09-81 (2009) defines “green cleaning program,” and “environmentally preferable cleaning product. The Public Act requires each local and regional board of education to implement a green cleaning program for the cleaning and maintenance of school building and facilities in its district. It prohibits the use of a cleaning product inside a school unless it meets guidelines or environmental standards set by national or international environmental certification approved by the USDA, in consultation with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection. It requires that the annual school facility survey form to include questions regarding the phase-in of green cleaning programs at schools. Each local and regional board of education must provide school staff, and upon request, parents and guardians with a written statement of the school district’s green cleaning program. Requirements of the notice are outlined in the statute.

Statute Chapter 170, Section 10-220(d) (2003) requires schools to adopt and implement an indoor air quality program that provides for ongoing maintenance and improvement of indoor air quality in its facilities and inspection of school buildings as required.

Statue Chapter 170, Section 10-231f states that each local or regional board of education may establish an indoor air quality committee to increase staff and student awareness of facets of the environment that affect the health of the occupants of school facilities. In addition, Chapter 170, Section 10-231f prohibits any local or regional board of education from prhobibiting the school safety committee from addressing indoor air quality issues that affect the health of occupants of school facilities. 

     Last Updated: 1/9/2011
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Public Act 09-81 (2009) Requires that a local or regional board of education to provide a uniform inspection and evaluation program (such as Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools) of the indoor air quality of every school building that is or has been constructed, extended, renovated or replaced on or after January 1, 2003. The inspection and evaluation program must include a review, inspection or evaluation of the following: (1) The heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; (2) radon levels in the water and the air; (3) potential for exposure to microbiological airborne particles, including, but not limited to, fungi, mold and bacteria; (4) chemical compounds of concern to indoor air quality including, but not limited to, volatile organic compounds; (5) the degree of pest infestation, including, but not limited to, insects and rodents; (6) the degree of pesticide usage; (7) the presence of and the plans for removal of any hazardous substances that are contained on the list prepared pursuant to Section 302 of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, 42 USC 9601 et seq. ; (8) ventilation systems; (9) plumbing, including water distribution systems, drainage systems and fixtures; (10) moisture incursion; (11) the overall cleanliness of the facilities; (12) building structural elements, including, but not limited to, roofing, basements or slabs; (13) the use of space, particularly areas that were designed to be unoccupied; and (14) the provision of indoor air quality maintenance training for building staff. Local and regional boards of education must make available for public inspection the results of the inspection and evaluation at a regularly scheduled board of education meeting and on the board's or each individual school's website.

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 10/27/2011

Statutes Chapter 170, Section 10-231c (2000) and Chapter 170, Section 10-231d (2000) limits the application of pesticides in any building or grounds during school hours and requires notice to parents and staff on the board of education's policy on pesticide application including notice prior to pesticide application.

     Last Updated: 10/25/2011
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Statute Chapter 170, Section 10-231b prohibits the application of pesticides on the grounds of any public or private school with students in grade eight or lower. Until July 1, 2009, an application of a lawn care pesticide may be made on the playing fields and playgrounds of a public or private school with students in grade eight or lower pursuant to the model pest management program developed by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.  Public Act 22a-54 (2003).This limitation shall not apply in the case of an emergency application of pesticide to eliminate an immediate threat to human health. Statute 07-168 (2007) restricts the application of pesticides within any building or on the grounds of any school to a pesticide applicator with supervisory certification or operational certification under section

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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: 6/4/2013

Vision and Hearing: Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-214 (1996) requires each local or regional board of education to annually provide each pupil in K-6 and 9 a vision screening.  Audiometric screening for hearing is required to be provided annually to each pupil in K-3, 5, and 8.

Chronic Health Conditions: Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-206 (2004) (b) and (c) requires a licensed school health professional to conduct a chronic disease health assessment that includes asthma for each pupil prior to pubic school enrollment; once in the once in the 6th or 7th grade, and again in 9th or 10th grade. Postural screening is required annually in grades 5-9.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening: Not a mandatory requirement.

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 10/25/2011

Staff Administration: Public Health Code 10-212a (2009) allows a school nurse or, in the absence of such nurse, any other licensed nurse who shall administer medicines only to students enrolled in a school-based health clinic in the absence of a school nurse, the principal, any teacher, licensed athletic trainer, licensed physical or occupational therapist employed by a school district, or coach of intramural and interscholastic athletics of a school may administer prescribed medicinal preparations. The administration of medicines by any of the aforementioned employees must be under the general supervision of a school nurse. The statute also provides for immunity from liability for those administering medicines, with the exception of omissions of gross, willful or wanton negligence. It requires the State Board of Education to adopt regulations specifying (1) the conditions under which a coach of intramural and interscholastic athletics may administer medicines to a participating child and (2) conditions and procedures for the administration of medication by school personnel to students

Statute Section 10-212a-10 (2010) allows for the administration of a cartridge injector medication by a director or director’s designee, lead teacher or school administrator for school readiness programs and before- and after-school programs, only to a student with a medically-diagnosed allergic condition which may require prompt treatment to protect the student against serious harm or death.

Details of these statutes can be found in the Regulations for the Administration of Medications by School Personnel and Administration of Medication During Before- and After-School Programs and School Readiness Programs.

Self-Administration of Asthma MedicationThe Regulations for the Administration of Medications by School Personnel and Administration of Medication During Before- and After-School Programs and School Readiness Programs, Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-212a-4 requires that “in the case of inhalers for asthma…students may self-administer medication with only the written authorization of an authorized prescriber and written authorization from a student’s parent or guardian or eligible student.”

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis MedicationThe Regulations for the Administration of Medications by School Personnel and Administration of Medication During Before- and After-School Programs and School Readiness Programs, Connecticut General Statutes Section 10-212a-4 requires that “in the case of inhalers for asthma…students may self-administer medication with only the written authorization of an authorized prescriber and written authorization from a student’s parent or guardian or eligible student.”

Self-Administration of General MedicationSelf-Administration of General Medication: The Regulations for the Administration of Medications by School Personnel and Administration of Medication During Before- and After-School Programs and School Readiness Programs, Statute Section 10-212a-4 allows that with local board of education approval, students who have a verified chronic medical condition and are deemed capable to self-administer prescribed medications may do so with a written order from an authorized prescriber, written authorization from a parent or guardian or eligible student and approval from the school nurse.

Psychotropic Medications: Statute Chapter 169 Sec 10-212b (2003) requires each local and regional board of education to adopt and implement policies prohibiting any school personnel from recommending the use of psychotropic drugs for any child. These policies shall set forth procedures for communication between school health or mental health personnel and other school personnel about a child who may require a recommendation for a medical evaluation, establishing the method in which school health or mental health personnel communicate a recommendation to a parent or guardian that such child be evaluated by an appropriate medical practitioner, and for obtaining proper consent from a parent or guardian of a child for the school health or mental health personnel to communicate about such child with a medical practitioner outside the school who is not a school employee. These policies cannot prohibit school health or mental health personnel from recommending that a child be evaluated by an appropriate medical practitioner, school personnel from consulting with such practitioner with the consent of the parents or guardian of such child, the planning and placement team from recommending a medical evaluation as part of an initial evaluation or reevaluation, as needed to determine a child's eligibility for special education and related services or educational needs for an individualized education program.

Storage and Record-keepingThe Regulations for the Administration of Medications by School Personnel and Administration of Medication During Before- and After-School Programs and School Readiness Programs and Statute Section 10-212a-5 (2010) requires all medication, except those approved for self-medication, to be stored in a designated locked container, cabinet or closet with limited access by persons authorized to administer medications. Further, all medication shall be delivered and stored in its original container and removed from storage areas when unused, discontinued or obsolete. In the case of controlled substances, they are to be stored separately from other drugs and substances in a separate, secure, substantially constructed, locked metal or wood cabinet pursuant to Regulation 21a-262-8.

According to the Regulations for the Administration of Medications by School Personnel and Administration of Medication During Before- and After-School Programs and School Readiness Programs, Statute Section 10-212a-6 (2010), requires that each school or before- and after-school program and school readiness program where medications are administered shall maintain an individual medication administration record for each student who receives medication during school or program hours. The record must include the name of the student, medication, dosage, route and frequency of administration, the dates for initiating and terminating administration, quantity received, any student allergies to food or medicine, the date and time of administration or omission including the reason for the omission, the dose or amount of drug administered, the full written or electronic signature of the nurse or qualified personnel for schools administering the medication; and for controlled substances, a medication count which should be conducted and documented at least once a week and co-signed by the assigned nurse and a witness.

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 10/27/2011

Requirement to Provide Services: The Connecticut State Board of Educationcalls for every school district to develop a full range of school-based support services that foster prevention and intervention systems addressing health and social factors for student success in its Position Statement on Student Support Services (2010).

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: Statute Chapter 164 Section. 10-76t through 76w directs the Department of Education to assist school districts to better serve at-risk primary grade children through the availability of an early intervention mental health program for the detection and prevention of emotional, behavioral and learning problems.

Substance Abuse: No state policy requiring substance abuse services or counseling in the schools.

Suicide Prevention: Statute Chapter 170 Section 10-221 (2003) requires local and regional boards of education to adopt written policies and procedures for handling youth suicide prevention and youth suicide attempts. The Connecticut State Department of Education developed the Guidelines for Suicide Prevention: Policy and Procedure (2004) to provide guidance to school districts to review, update and revise policy. These boards may also establish a student assistance program to identify risk factors, establish intervention procedures, and provide referral services.

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: No state policy requiring HIV, STD and pregnancy testing and/or counseling.

Immunity of Liability: Statute Chapter 166 Section 10-154a (2004) states that professional school employees are immune from any liability when, in good faith, they disclose or do not disclose any information acquired through a professional communication with a student when such information concerns alcohol or drug abuse or related problems.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 10/27/2011

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."

ExemptionsPublic Health Code 10-204a-1 (2000) allows exemption from immunization requirements if a parent or guardian presents a statement that such immunization is contrary to the religious beliefs of the child.  Statute Chapter 169 Sec. 10-204a allows exemption from immunization requirements under the following circumstances: (1) Presentation of a certificate from a physician stating that such immunization is medically contraindicated because of the physical condition of such child, or (2) Presentation of a statement from the parents or guardian of the child that such immunization would be contrary to the religious beliefs of the child.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006

No state policy.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006

No state policy.

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006
No state policy.
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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 10/27/2011

Statute Chapter 169, Section 10-212c (2005) requires the department of education to develop guidelines for the management of students with life-threatening food allergies which shall include a process for developing individualized health care and food allergy action plans.

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 10/27/2011

State-level: The state does not mandate the formation of a school health coordinating or advisory council. However, Connecticut does recommend district and school health advisory councils as outlined in  Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2008) and the Position Statement on a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2009).

Local-level: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-19b (1987) states "Advisory councils on drug abuse education and prevention established by municipalities may serve as a resource for public schools in the field of substance abuse prevention and education and may assist in the development of out-of-school activity for students.”

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School Health Program Coordinators
     Last Updated: 12/10/2010

State-level: No state policy.

Local-level: No state policy. However, recommendations for a district and building level school health program coordinator are outlined in Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2008). The Position Statement on a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2009) recommends the designation of a district-level director to assist with implementing and evaluating the district’s coordinated school health approach. It also recommends that schools assign a staff member to serve as the director for the coordinated school health approach to assist with implementing and evaluating the school’s coordinated school health efforts.

Confidentiality
     Last Updated: 5/16/2013

Student Health-Related Records:  Per FERPA and its requirements regarding educational records.

Student Health-Related Services: When a school provides health care to students in the normal course of business, such as through its health clinic, it is also a “health care provider” as defined by HIPAA. If a school also conducts any covered transactions electronically in connection with that health care, it is then a covered entity under HIPAA. As a covered entity, the school must comply with the HIPAA Administrative Simplification Rules for Transactions and Code Sets and Identifiers with respect to its transactions. However, many schools, even those that are HIPAA covered entities, are not required to comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule because the only health records maintained by the school are “education records” or “treatment records” of eligible students under FERPA, both of which are excluded from coverage under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

When determining whether personally identifiable information from student health records maintained by the educational agency or institution may be disclosed, school officials are subject to FERPA and its requirements.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 1/2/2006
No state policy.
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