Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 12/1/2012
Contact us with corrections or additions Florida Last Updated: 9/26/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 3/27/2013
Mandate: Statute 1003.41 (2010) specifies that “Public K-12 educational instruction in Florida is based on the ‘Sunshine State Standards’” including the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Health Education (2008) adopted by the State Board of Education. The standards delineate the academic achievement of students, for which the state will hold schools accountable, in grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9-12.
 
Statute 1003.42 (2010) requires comprehensive health education that addresses concepts of community health; consumer health; environmental health; family life, including an awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy; mental and emotional health; injury prevention and safety; Internet safety; nutrition; personal health; prevention and control of disease; and substance use and abuse. The health education curriculum for students in grades 7 through 12 shall include a teen dating violence and abuse component that includes, but is not limited to, the definition of dating violence and abuse, the warning signs of dating violence and abusive behavior, the characteristics of healthy relationships, measures to prevent and stop dating violence and abuse, and community resources available to victims of dating violence and abuse.

There is no stand alone health education course required for graduation. However, Statute 1003.428 includes the following language regarding the inclusion of health education within the required physical education credit: “One credit in physical education to include integration of health.” Districts may  choose the Health Education Opportunities through Physical Education (HOPE) course which contains health education content and skills or the physical education Personal Fitness course and a physical education activity course which include health-related fitness skills to meet this requirement.

Curriculum Content
The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Health Education (2008) which are based on the National Health Education Standards, describe the state’s learning expectations for grades 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8, and 9-12..

State Assessment Requirement: No policy.

 

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 6/16/2011
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MandateStatute 1003.455 (2007) requires each school district board to provide 150 minutes of physical education each week for students in grades K-5. This was expanded in 2008 to include the requirement for students in grade 6 who are enrolled in a school that contains one or more elementary grades. It requires instruction to be at least 30 consecutive minutes on any day physical education instruction is given. Beginning with the 2009-10 school year, students in grades 6-8 are required to complete the equivalent of one class period per day of physical education for one semester of each school year.

     Last Updated: 10/27/2011

Statute 1003.428 (2007) requires one credit in physical education to include integration of health beginning with students entering their first year of high school in the 2007-2008 school year. 

Exemptions:  Statute 1003.428 (2007) states that participation in an interscholastic sport at the junior varsity or varsity level for two full seasons shall satisfy the one-credit requirement in physical education if the student passes a competency test on personal fitness with a score of "C" or better. Completion of one semester with a grade of "C" or better in a marching band class, in a physical activity class that requires participation in marching band activities as an extracurricular activity, or in a dance class shall satisfy one-half credit in physical education or one-half credit in performing arts. This credit may not be used to satisfy the personal fitness requirement or the requirement for adaptive physical education under an individual education plan (IEP) or 504 plan. Completion of 2 years in a Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) class, a significant component of which is drills, shall satisfy the one-credit requirement in physical education and the one-credit requirement in performing arts. This credit may not be used to satisfy the personal fitness requirement or the requirement for adaptive physical education under an individual education plan (IEP) or 504 plan.
 
Statute 1003.455 (2008) provides exemption from the requirements of physical education for students in grades K-8. Exemption may be provided if a student meets one of the following requirements: 1) The student is required to enroll in a remedial course, 2) A parent requests in writing that a student enroll in another course offered by the school, or 3) A parent notifies the school in writing that a student is participating in physical activities outside the school day which are equal to or in excess of the mandated requirement.
 
Curriculum Content: The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Physical Education (2008), which are based on the National Standards for Physical Education, describe the state's learning expectations for grades K-12. The state does not provide or recommend particular curriculum materials.
Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 1/1/2006

Not specifically required.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 12/1/2010

Statute 1003.42 (2010) requires each district school board to provide all courses required for high school graduation and appropriate instruction designed to ensure that students meet the adopted standards. It further requires that instructional staff of the public schools teach comprehensive health education that addresses various concepts including mental health.

Statute 1003.43 (2004) includes health education in the physical education requirement, which states: “One credit in physical education to include integration of health.” The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Health Education (2008) focus on the ten components of health education, one being mental and emotional health.

Character Education: Statute 1003.42 (2010) requires each public school to teach “a character-development program in the elementary schools, similar to Character First or Character Counts, which is secular in nature. The character-development program shall be required in kindergarten through grade 12. Each district school board shall develop or adopt a curriculum for the character-development program that shall be submitted to the department for approval. The character-development curriculum shall stress the qualities of patriotism; responsibility; citizenship; kindness; respect for authority, life, liberty, and personal property; honesty; charity; self-control; racial, ethnic, and religious tolerance; and cooperation.”

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 3/27/2013

Mandate: Statute 1003.42 (2012) requires each district school board to provide courses and appropriate instruction in comprehensive health education that addresses twelve components. Those which include instruction in HIV, STD and pregnancy prevention are family life, including awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence as the expected standard and the consequences of teenage pregnancy; personal health; prevention and control of disease; and substance use and abuse. The statute mentions that the state's course descriptions for comprehensive health education "shall not interfere with the local determination of appropriate curriculum which reflects local values and concerns."

Curriculum Content: The skills-based Sunshine State Standards for Health and Physical Fitness (1996) are written in general terms and do not specifically call for instruction in HIV/AIDS, STDs, or pregnancy prevention, though these topics are implied.

Statute 1003.46 (2002) allows school to teach about the risk factors associated with AIDS and the means used to control its spread, specifying that the instruction shall be appropriate for the grade and age of the student and shall reflect current theory, knowledge, and practice regarding AIDS and its prevention." The statute directs that any instruction regarding human sexuality shall emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage is a certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, STDs including AIDS, and other associated health problems," and that instruction must teach that each student has the power to control personal behavior and encourage students to base actions on reasoning, self-esteem, and respect for others."

Parental Approval: Statute 1003.42 (2012) allows that, "Any student whose parent makes written request to the school principal shall be exempted from the teaching of reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS, it symptoms, development, and treatment" (an "opt-out" policy).

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 3/27/2013

Statute 1003.42 (2010) requires a credit in life management skills, which includes nutrition education, for high school graduation.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 3/31/2013

Statute 1003.42 (2011) requires each district school board to provide all courses required for high school graduation and appropriate instruction designed to ensure that students meet the adopted standards. It further requires that instructional staff of the public schools “shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction, including instruction on comprehensive health education that addresses concepts substance use and abuse.

Alcohol: Statute 1003.42 (2011) requires instruction in “the true effects of all alcoholic and intoxicating liquors and beverages and narcotics upon the human body and mind.”

The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Health Education (2008) focus on the ten components of health education (community health, consumer health, environmental health, family life, mental and emotional health, nutrition, prevention and control of disease, personal health, safety and injury prevention, substance use and abuse and seven associated health-related skills. 

Tobacco
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  Although not specifically mentioned, tobacco prevention is addressed within The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Health Education (2008) focus on the ten components of health education (community health, consumer health, environmental health, family life, mental and emotional health, nutrition, prevention and control of disease, personal health, safety and injury prevention, substance use and abuse and seven associated health-related skills. 

Drugs: Although not specifically mentioned, drug abuse prevention is addressed within the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Health Education (2008) focus on the ten components of health education (community health, consumer health, environmental health, family life, mental and emotional health, nutrition, prevention and control of disease, personal health, safety and injury prevention, substance use and abuse and seven associated health-related skills.

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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 3/27/2013

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 1006.147(4)(l) (2012) requires “a procedure for providing instruction to students, parents, teachers, school administrators, counseling staff, and school volunteers on identifying, preventing, and responding to bullying or harassment.” 

Dating Violence:  Statute 1003.42 (2010) requires the health education curriculum for students in grades 7 through 12 shall include a teen dating violence and abuse component that includes, but is not limited to, the definition of dating violence and abuse, the warning signs of dating violence and abusive behavior, the characteristics of healthy relationships, measures to prevent and stop dating violence and abuse, and community resources available to victims of dating violence and abuse:” A specific amount of instruction is not required.

Fighting/Gangs: H.E.B. 1.1.6, 1.2.5, and 1.3.5 of the Sunshine State Standards for Health and Physical Fitness (1996) call for instruction not only strategies to avoid threatening situations but also how to seek help when needed in grades K-8.  In addition, H.E.B. 3.1.7, 3.2.6, 3.2.7, 3.3.6, 3.3.7, 3.4.6, and 3.4.7 require students in K-12 receive instruction on knowing various ways to resolve conflict using nonviolent, positive behavior, and understanding the possible causes of conflict among youth in schools and communities.

Statute 1006.07(6) (2011) requires district school boards to provide for the welfare of students by using the Safety and Security Best Practices to conduct a self-assessment of the district's current safety and security practices. The self-assessment includes indicators for districts to adopt violence and drug prevention, safety and health curricula and programs and to teach students at each grade level violence prevention, conflict resolution, and communication/decision making skills. 

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: While not specifically required, suicide and other self-abuse prevention can be taught through the Sunshine State Standards for Health and Physical Fitness.
 

 

 
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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 10/27/2011

Professional Development: Statute 1003.32(1)(h) (2002) gives each teacher and other instructional personnel the authority to request and receive training and other assistance to improve skills in classroom management, violence prevention, conflict resolution, and related areas. The statute further requires teachers and other instructional personnel to seek professional development to improve classroom management skills when data show that they are not effective in handling minor classroom disruptions.

Statute 1006.07(6) (2004) requires district school boards to provide for the welfare of students by using the Safety and Security Best Practices to conduct a self-assessment of the district's current safety and security practices. The self-assessment includes indicators for the district to have in place and identify the training required for all types of school staff which includes training in classroom management, substance and alcohol abuse, and violence. Each teacher should also be provided with in-service training to teach student positive social skills, substance and alcohol abuse prevention, violence prevention, conflict resolution, and communication/decision making skills. Further, the district should teach instructional and non-instructional staff and students the early warning signs associated with students who pose a threat of future violent behavior, such as suicide, how to recognize them, and what to do when they are suspected.

Statute 1006.07 (2010) requires districts boards to provide access to suicide prevention educational resources, as approved by the Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention, to all instructional and administrative personnel as part of the school district professional development system under Statute 1012.98.
Statute 1006.148 (2010) requires each district school board to provide training for teachers, staff, and school administrators to implement their district’s policy prohibiting teen dating violence and abuse.

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 10/27/2011

Pre-service Requirement: Statute 1012.55 (2010) requires each person employed as a teacher in any public school to hold a state issued certificate. For certification in K-12 health education, Rule 6A-4.0191 (2000) requires a candidate to have a bachelor's degree or higher with either a teacher education major in health or 30 semester hours in health that includes areas specified in the Rule.

Professional Development:State Board of Education Administrative Rule 6A-4.0051 (2001) requires health education teachers to pass a subject area test approved by the Florida State Board of Education or complete 6 semester hours of college credit, 120 in-service points, or a combination thereof for certification renewal. Similarly, statute 1012.585 (2004) requires a minimum of 6 college credits, 120 in-service points, or a combination thereof for renewal of a professional certificate. For those with specialization areas, 3 credit hours or equivalent in-service points are required in the area of specialization. Alternatively, a candidate may opt to pass the state board approved subject area test in lieu of course credit or in-service points.
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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 3/30/2013

Pre-service Requirement: For certification in K-12 physical education, Rule 6A-4.0283 (2003) requires a candidate to have a bachelor's degree or higher with either a teacher education major in physical education or 30 semester hours in physical education that includes areas specified in the Rule

Professional Development: Statute1012.585 (2012) requires a minimum of 6 college credits, 120 in-service points, or a combination thereof for renewal of a professional certificate. For those with specialization areas, 3 credit hours or equivalent in-service points are required in the area of specialization. Alternatively, a candidate may opt to pass the state board approved subject area test in lieu of course credit or in-service points.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 3/30/2013

Pre-service Requirement: Statute 1012.55 (2012) requires each person employed as a school nurse to hold a license to practice nursing in the state. Statute 464.008 (2003) outlines the qualifications for RNs and LPNs, to include a high school diploma or the equivalent and completion of an approved professional nursing program.  The preferred entry level is a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing or higher.

Professional Development: The Florida Board of Nursing requires all registered nurses to attend education courses in HIV/AIDS, domestic violence, medical errors prevention and other practice related courses totaling a minimum of 24 contact hours for registered nursing license renewal biennially.  While it is not required, the Department of Health School Health Program encourages national school nurse certification and when funding is available, provides training to assist nurses in fulfilling this recommendation.

Student-to-Nurse Ratio: No state policy.

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 3/30/2013

Pre-service Requirement: Statute 1006.062(1) (2012) requires each district school board to include in its approved school health services plan, a procedure to provide training by a licensed health professional for school personnel designated by the school principal to assist students in the administration of prescription medication.

Professional Development: Code 64F-6.004 requires that all employees who staff school health rooms to be currently certified in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation by a nationally recognized certifying agency.

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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 3/30/2013

Pre-service Requirement: Pre-service Requirement: At a minimum, for certification specializing in school psychology (Grades PK-12), a candidate must have: 1) a specialist's degree or higher in school psychology and a year-long supervised school psychology internship in an elementary or secondary school, 2) a master's degree or higher in school psychology and three years of full-time experience as a school psychologist, or 3) hold a valid certificate as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Details are outlined in State Board of Education rule  6A-4.0311 Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) (1992).

Professional Development: State Board of Education Administrative Rule 6A-4.0051 (2004) provides the guidelines for renewal of a professional certificate which includes earning inservice training points or a passing score on a subject area test.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: No state policy.

 

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 3/30/2013

Pre-service Requirement: At a minimum, for certification specializing in school social work for grades PK-12, a candidate must have a bachelor's degree or higher with an undergraduate or graduate major in social work. Details are outlined in State Board of Education Administrative rule 6A-4.035 (1996).

Professional Development: State Board of Education Administrative rule 6A-4.0051 (2004) provides the guidelines for renewal of a professional certificate which includes completion of six (6) semester hours of college credit or the equivalent or earning in-service training points. 

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: No state policy.

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

Pre-service Requirement: No state policy.

Professional Development: No state policy.

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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 3/30/2013

Pre-service Requirement: Statute 1012.55(2)(a) (2012) requires each person who is employed and renders service as an athletic coach in any public school in any district of this state shall hold a valid temporary or professional certificate or an athletic coaching certificate. The athletic coaching certificate may be used for either part-time or full-time positions. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to any athletic coach who voluntarily renders service and who is not employed by any public school district of this state. For an endorsement in athletic coaching, 6A-4.0282 (2005) requires (1) Certification in another subject, and (2) Nine (9) semester hours in athletic coaching to include the areas specified below: (a) Three (3) semester hours in care and prevention of athletic injuries and the effects and dangers of drug use including performance e nhancing drugs, (b) Three (3) semester hours in coaching theory, (c) A course in theory and practice of coaching a specific sport, and (3) A valid cardiopulmonary resuscitation course completion card or certificate issued by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross or an equivalent cardiopulmonary resuscitation course completion card or certificate issued by an entity approved by the Florida Department of Health pursuant to Rule 6A-4.0828 (2005) F.A.C.

Professional Development: No state policy.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 7/22/2008

Additional Accountability Requirements:Statute 18.1003.453 (2006) requires every school district to annually review its school wellness policy.

Guidance Materials: The Department of Education is required by Statute 18.1003.453 to provide on its website links to information regarding the nutritional content of foods and beverages and to healthful food choices in accordance with the dietary guidelines of the United States Department of Agriculture and provide examples of wellness classes that offer nutrition education for teachers and school support staff and encourage school districts to offer classes that are taught by a licensed nutritional professional for the school nutrition department.

The Department of Education is also required by law to provide links to every school district's wellness policy and multiple examples of school wellness policies for school districts; however, the Department of Education has not produced its own model.

Other: Statute 18.1003.453 requires that LEAs submit a copy of their local wellness policy and also a copy of any revisions made thereafter.

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 8/5/2014

Food Services: Statute Statute 570.981 (2011)  requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules regarding the administration and operation of the school food service programs. Each district shall then adopt policies that provide for an appropriate food and nutrition program that is consistent with the State Board policy. Each school district is also required to implement a school breakfast program in all elementary schools.

Statute 570.982 (2011) requires each district school board to develop a plan by May 1, 2006, to sponsor a summer nutrition program, beginning the summer of 2006, to operate sites in the school district as follows: (a) within 5 miles of at least one elementary school at which 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals and for the duration of 35 consecutive days; and (b) except as operated pursuant to paragraph (a), within 10 miles of each elementary school at which 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. The bill allows for an exemption from this requirement provided that school boards seeking such exemption include the issue on the agenda of a regular or special school board meeting that is publicly noticed, provide residents an opportunity to participate in the discussion, and vote on whether to be exempt. Exemptions must be reported to the Commissioner of Education. The board must reconsider its decision to be exempt each year.  If a district school board elects to be exempt from sponsoring a summer nutrition program, it may encourage not-for-profit entities to sponsor the program.

Adequate Time to EatNo state policy.

School Breakfast: Statute 570.981 (2011) requires that universal free breakfast must be offered in schools in which 80 percent or more of the students are eligible for free and reduced price lunch meals. It also requires each elementary, middle, and high school to make a breakfast meal available if a student arrives at school on the school bus less than 15 minutes before the first bell rings and shall allow the student at least 15 minutes to eat the breakfast.

Food Allergies: No state policy.

Farm-to-School: Statute 570.981 (2011)  establishes the Florida Farm Fresh Schools Program within the Department of Education. The Program is required to work with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop policies pertaining to school food services which encourage (1) School districts to buy fresh and high-quality foods grown in-state, (2) In-state farmers to sell their products to school districts and schools, (3) School districts and schools to demonstrate a preference for competitively priced organic food products. It also requires schools to make “reasonable efforts” to select food based on a preference for those that have maximum nutritional content. The Department s of Education and Agriculture must provide guidance, outreach and training about the benefits of fresh food products from in-state. 

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 9/26/2014

Department of Agriculture Administrative Rule 5P-1.003 (2000) requires each district school board to control the sale of food and beverage items in competition with the district approved food service program, including those classified as “foods of minimal nutritional value,” listed in Code of Federal Regulations 210, Appendix B.  These items may be sold in secondary schools only, with the approval of the school board, one (1) hour following the close of the last lunch period. A school board may allow the sale of carbonated to students in high schools by a school activity or organization authorized by the principal at all times if a beverage of one hundred (100) percent fruit juice is sold at each location where carbonated beverages are sold. However, carbonated beverages may not be sold where breakfast or lunch is being served or eaten. Non-carbonated beverages, including one hundred (100) percent fruit juice, may be sold at all times during the day at any location. Consideration should be given to allowing only the sale of nutritious food and beverage items which meet at least USDA dietary guidelines for Americans.

 

Fundraising Exemptions:

Per Department of Agriculture Administrative Rule 5P-1.003 (2014), they will allow five days in elementary schools, 10 days in middle and junior high schools, 15 days in senior high schools, and 10 days in combination schools (those that provide instruction in grade groupings that include more than one of the categories described above (e.g., PK-8, 6-12, K-12, etc.).)  No exempted fundraiser is allowed to occur until 30 minutes after the last meal period.  The implementation of the rule will be monitored by the “Healthy School Teams” that schools are encouraged to establish, and compliance must be tracked and reported to a designated LEA official. 

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 3/30/2013

General Physical Activity Requirement: No state policy.

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

Recess Before Lunch:  No state policy.

Walking/Biking to School
: Statute 335.066 (2002) establishes a Safe Paths to Schools Program in the Department of Transportation to consider the planning and construction of bicycle and pedestrian ways to provide safe transportation for children from neighborhoods to schools, parks, and the state’s greenways and trails system.

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 3/31/2013

Interscholastic Athletics: Statute 1000.05 (2012) prohibits the exclusion of students from participating in any interscholastic, club, or intramural athletics offered by a public K-20 educational institution based on gender. The Statute further requires equal athletic opportunity for both genders.

Statute 1002.20 (2012) mandates that all students first enrolling in a school be eligible to participate in high school athletic competition. The Statute also specifies that students who meet academic and conduct requirements shall be eligible to participate in extra-curricular activities.

Statute 1006.15 (2012) outlines the eligibility requirements for participation in interscholastic activities as a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in the previous semester; fulfillment of the requirements laid out in an academic performance contract if the student's GPA falls below a 2.0; have a 2.0 cumulative GPA; and the maintenance of satisfactory conduct.

Statute 1006.20 (2012) designates the Florida High School Athletic Association as the governing nonprofit organization of athletics in Florida public schools. If the Association fails to meet the provisions of the Statute, the Commissioner of Education has the authority to designate another nonprofit organization to govern athletics with State Board of Education approval.

Concussion and Sports-Related Head Injury: Statute 1006.20 (2012) requires the Florida High School Association (FHSAA) must adopt guidelines to educate athletic coaches, officials, administrators, and student athletes and their parents of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury. It also requires the organization to adopt bylaws or policies that require the parent of a student who is participating in interscholastic athletic competition or who is a candidate for an interscholastic athletic team to sign and return an informed consent that explains the nature and risk of concussion and head injury, including the risk of continuing to play after concussion or head injury, each year before participating in interscholastic athletic competition or engaging in any practice, tryout, workout, or other physical activity associated with the student’s candidacy for an interscholastic athletic team.

FHSAA is required to adopt bylaws or policies that require each student athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or competition to be immediately removed from the activity. A student athlete who has been removed from an activity may not return to practice or competition until the student submits to the school a written medical clearance to return stating that the student athlete no longer exhibits signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion or other head injury. Medical clearance must be authorized by a health care practitioner trained in the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of concussions as defined by the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee of the Florida High School Athletic Association.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): Statute 1006.165 (2012) requires each public school that is a member of the Florida Athletic Association must have an operational AED on school grounds. Each school must ensure that all employees or volunteers who are reasonably expected to use the device obtain appropriate training, including a course in CPR or first aid that includes CPR training, and demonstrated use of the AED. 
Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 3/31/2013

Statute 1002.20(23) (2012) requires public school classrooms to be orderly and disciplined, conducive for students to learn without the distraction caused by disobedient, disrespectful, violent, abusive, uncontrollable, or disruptive students.

Statute 1006.07 (6)(2010) requires district school boards to “use the Safety and Security Best Practices developed by the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to conduct a self-assessment of the school districts’ current safety and security practices. Based on these self-assessment findings, the district school superintendent shall provide recommendations to the district school board which identify strategies and activities that the district school board should implement in order to improve school safety and security. Annually each district school board must receive the self-assessment results at a publicly noticed district school board meeting to provide the public an opportunity to hear the district school board members discuss and take action on the report findings. Each district school superintendent shall report the self-assessment results and school board action to the commissioner within 30 days after the district school board meeting.”

The district school board is required to maintain a student code of conduct according to Statutes 1003.02 (2012) and 1006.07 (2) (2012) and to adopt a zero tolerance policy for crime and victimization of students according to Statute 1006.13 (2009). Statute 1006.11 (2012) mandates the State Board of Education to adopt standards for the use of reasonable force by school board personnel to maintain a safe, orderly learning environment.

Statute 1003.04 (2012) requires parents of students to cooperate with school district authority when students are removed from the classroom and the school bus and placed in alternative educational setting due to the student's disobedient, disrespectful, violent, abusive, uncontrollable, or disruptive behavior.

Statute 1006.145 (2012) subjects any person to school rules for anyone who commits a disturbance on school grounds or interrupts the orderly conduct of a school or any activity as a second degree misdemeanor. 

The Legislature has for many years provided an appropriation of over $75 million directly to school districts as a part of the Florida Education Finance Program (FEFP) to provide for Safe Schools activities. While there is no statutory language governing the use of these funds, provisional language in the annual appropriations act is provided each year. The 2010 Appropriations Act provided $67,133,784 for safe schools activities to include: after school programs for middle school students; other improvements to enhance the learning environment, including implementation of conflict resolution strategies; alternative school programs for adjudicated youth; suicide prevention programs; and other improvements to make the school a safe place to learn [Chapter 2010-152, Laws of Florida, Specific Appropriation 78, page 24].

Fighting/Gangs: Statute 1006.07(2)(g) (2012) requires the district school board to provide notice in the code of student conduct that prohibits violence against any district school board personnel by a student is subject for in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or imposition of other disciplinary action by the school and may also result in the imposition of criminal penalties. The statute further requires district school boards to provide for the welfare of students by using the Safety and Security Best Practices  to conduct a self-assessment of the district's current safety and security practices. Based on these self-assessment findings, the district school superintendent must provide recommendations to the school board around strategies and activities that the district school board should implement in order to improve school safety and security. The statute also includes requirements for public report of the results and reporting to the commissioner.

Although the state does not have a policy that specifically addresses gang activity or membership in a school setting, statute 1006.14(6) (2012) deems it unlawful for any person, group, or organization whose membership is comprised of students enrolled in a public K-12 school to establish a fraternity, sorority, or other secret society or solicit others to join. 

Weapons: Statute 1006.07(2) (2011) requires that any student in possession or is determined to have brought a firearm or weapon while on school property, at any school function, or onto any school-sponsored transportation vehicle, will be expelled, with or without educational services for a minimum of 1 school year and will be referred to the criminal justice or juvenile justice system.

In addition, statute 1006.13(2) (2009) requires school districts to adopt a policy of zero tolerance for crime and victimization of students. The policy shall require that students who bring a firearm or weapon to school, to any school function, or onto any school-sponsored transportation or possessing a firearm at school be subject to expulsion not less than one full school year.

Drugs and Alcohol:  Statute 1006.07(2) (2011) requires district school boards to adopt a student code of conduct that includes consistent policies and specific grounds for disciplinary action, including in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, expulsion, and any disciplinary action that may be imposed for the possession or use of alcohol on school property or while attending a school function or for the illegal use, sale, or possession of controlled substances.

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Statute 1006.07(6) (2011) requires district school boards to provide for the welfare of students by using the Safety and Security Best Practices to conduct a self-assessment of the district's current safety and security practices. Based on these self-assessment findings, the district school superintendent must provide recommendations to the school board around strategies and activities that the district school board should implement in order to improve school safety and security. The statute also includes requirements for public report of the results and reporting to the commissioner.

Statute 1006.12 (2012) allows school boards to establish school resource officer programs in collaboration with law enforcement agencies. Resource officers must be certified law enforcement officer and is required to abide by school board policies. 

Statute 1006.13(3) (2009) requires each district to enter into agreement with the county sheriff's office and local police department specifying guidelines to ensure that acts that pose a serious threat to school safety, whether committed by a student or adult, are reported to a law enforcement agency. Statute 1013.13 (2011) requires the district school superintendent to provide to local law enforcement and the fire department a copy of the floor plans and other relevant documents for each educational facility in the district.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 4/23/2013

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 1006.147 (2008) prohibits bullying or harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution. during any program or activity conducted by a public K-12 educational institution, during any school-related or school-sponsored program or activity, or through the use of data or computer software accessed through a computer, computer system or network of a public K-12 educational institution. Specific definitions of bullying and harassment are outlined in the statute. Statute 1006.147 (2008) provides immunity from a cause of action to a school employee, school volunteer, student, or parent who promptly reports in good faith an act of bullying or harassment to the appropriate school official.

Statute 1006.147 (2008) requires school districts to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying and harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution. The policy must substantially conform to the model policy of the state Department of Education, and must afford all students the same protection regardless of their status under the law. It requires requires “a procedure for providing instruction to students, parents, teachers, school administrators, counseling staff, and school volunteers on identifying, preventing, and responding to bullying or harassment.”  Additional requirements of the policy are outlined in the statute.

Statute 1006.148 (2010) requires district school boards to adopt and implement a dating violence and abuse policy prohibiting dating violence and abuse by any student on school property, during a school-sponsored activity, or during school-sponsored transportation; provides procedures for responding to incidents of dating violence or abuse; defines dating violence and abuse, providing for a component in the health education curriculum with emphasis on prevention education; and be implemented in a manner that is integrated with a school district’s discipline policies.

Statute 1006.07(6) requires district school boards to provide for the welfare of students by using the Safety and Security Best Practices to conduct a self-assessment of the district's current safety and security practices. Based on these self-assessment findings, the district school superintendent is required to provide recommendations to the district school board which identify strategies and activities that the district school board should implement in order to improve school safety and security. Annually each district school board must receive the self-assessment results at a publicly noticed district school board meeting to provide the public an opportunity to hear the district school board members discuss and take action on the report findings. Statute 1006.07(2) states that violation of the district's sexual harassment policy is grounds for in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, expulsion, or imposition of other disciplinary action.

State Board of Education Administrative Rule 6A-19.008 (1985) requires schools to have environments that are free of harassment and prohibit any slurs, innuendos, or other verbal or physical conduct reflecting on one's race, ethnic background, gender, or handicapping condition, which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment, or interferes with student's school performance or participation or other educational opportunities.

Cyberbullying: Statute 1006.147 (2008) prohibits bullying and harassment prohibits bullying or harassment of any student or employee of a public K-12 educational institution through the use of data or computer software that is accessed through a computer, computer system or computer network of a public K-12 educational institution. The definition of "harassment" in the statute includes any threatening, insulting or dehumanizing gesture, use of data or computer software, or written, verbal, or physical conduct directed against a student or school employee that does one of the following: (1) places them in reasonable fear of harm or to his or her person or damage to his or her property, (2) substantially interferes with a student's educational performance, opportunities, or benefits, or (3) substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school. The definition of "'bullying and 'harassment'" includes perpetuation of actions by an individual or group with intent to demean, dehumanize, embarass, or cause physical harm to a student or school employee by accessing or knowingly causing or providing access to data or computer software through a computer, computer system, or computer network within the scope of the district school system.

Hazing: Statute 1006.135 (2005), referred to as the Chad Meredith Act, defines hazing and makes the hazing of students at a high school with grades 9-12 a criminal offense as defined within the statute. The bill prohibits the following defenses to a charge of hazing: obtained consent of the victim; the conduct or activity that resulted in the death or injury was not part of an official organizational event or was not otherwise sanctioned or approved by the organization; or the conduct or activity that resulted in death or injury was not done as a condition of membership in an organization.

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 4/23/2013

Response and Management Plans: Statute 1006.07(4) (2004) requires the district school board to provide for the proper attention to health, safety, and other matters relating to the welfare of students, including emergency drills and procedures. The district board shall formulate policies and procedures for emergency drills and actual emergencies, including natural disasters, fires, bomb threats, etc. The board shall also establish model emergency management and emergency preparedness procedures for weapon-use and hostage situations, hazardous materials or toxic chemical spills, weather emergencies, and exposure as a result of a manmade emergency. The statute further requires district school boards to provide for the welfare of students by using the Safety and Security Best Practices to conduct a self-assessment of the district's current safety and security practices. The self-assessment includes indicators that the district has developed a district-wide plan for potential attacks against school sites or students. The Statewide Policy for Strengthening Domestic Security in Florida’s Public Schools addresses the Florida Domestic Security Strategy, which is a comprehensive approach to ensure that Florida will address all known vulnerabilities, providing a level of certainty that, given the nature of the possible target and its potential vulnerability, it has taken every prudent step to limit that vulnerability consistent with the value of the potential target.

Reporting Incidents of Violence: Statute 1006.13(3) (2002) requires each district to enter into agreement with the county sheriff's office and local police department specifying guidelines to ensure that felonies and violent misdemeanors are reported to law enforcement. Statute 1006.09(6-7) (2002) requires each school principal to report data concerning school safety and discipline to the Department of Education on prescribed forms and to develop a plan to verify the accuracy of reported incidents.

Statute 1003.32 (2003) requires each teacher or other school staff member to report any suspicion of a crime of violence committed on school property. Any person making such a report shall be immune from civil or criminal liability. Further, the school board is to take reasonable steps to ensure that teachers, other school staff, and students are subject to any undue risk of violence or harm when there is knowledge of a potential risk of physical violence in the schools. 

Statute 1006.141 (2002) allows the department to establish and operate a statewide toll-free school safety hotline in contract with the Florida's Sheriffs Association. This hotline is for the purpose of reporting incidents that affect the safety and well-being of the school's population.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 4/23/2013

Statute 386.212 (2002) prohibits any person under the age of 18 to smoke tobacco in, on, or within 1,000 feet of school property between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and midnight.

Statute 386.289 (2011) expressly preempts regulation of smoking to the state and supersedes any municipal or county ordinance. School districts, however, may further restrict smoking by persons on school district property.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 10/27/2011

Statute 1001.42(16)(a) (2007) requires the district school board to maintain a system of school improvement and education accountability.  This system shall be consistent with, and implemented through, the district's continuing system of planning and budgeting and requires the board to annually approve and require implementation of a school improvement plan for each school in the district.  Plans must address certain state educational priorities and student performance standards and be based on an analysis of student achievement and other school performance data.  This statute was amended by Chapter 2004-255, Laws of Florida, to require school improvement plans to address other issues including indoor environmental air quality.

Statute 1013.12 (2007) requires the Commissioner of Education to adopt and administer rules prescribing safety and health standards for occupants of educational and ancillary plants as part of the State Uniform Building Code for Public Educational Facilities. Each board shall prescribe policies and procedures establishing a comprehensive program of safety and sanitation for the protection of occupants in the educational and ancillary plants.  The requirements include annual fiscal year inspection of each facility to determine compliance with standards of casualty safety as prescribed in the rules of the commissioner. Furthermore, a provision provides for annual fire safety inspections by a Certified Fire Marshall with the subsequent report outlining a plan of action as well as the schedule for corrective action.  In addition to each board, the statute also allows safety or sanitation inspections to be conducted at any time by the Department of Education or any other state or local agency of any educational or ancillary plant.

Statute 1013.37 through 1013.38 (2007) further emphasizes that all public educational or ancillary plants must conform to the State Uniform Building Code for Public Educational Facilities Construction and such educational plants are exempt from all other state, county, district, municipal and local building codes.  Each board is required to provide for periodic inspection during the construction phase of educational plants.  It is the responsibility of each district school board and community college district board of trustees to ensure all plans and educational and ancillary plants meet the standards of the Uniform Building Code and to provide enforcement of this code.  Inspectors are required to be certified under chapter 468 to administer and enforce the provisions of the code. 

Deviations from the adopted standards require the district school board to conduct a public hearing to quantify and demonstrate comparative costs as well as provide an explanation for the proposed deviations from the adopted standards.

Before a contract has been let for construction, the board must approve the phase III construction documents.  The board may not occupy a facility until the project has been inspected to verify compliance with statutes, rules and codes affecting the health and safety of the occupants.  The board shall maintain a record of the project completion and permanently archive of phase III construction documents. 

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 4/23/2013

The State Requirements for Educational Facilities (2008) requires each board to establish policies for pest management in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Pest Management in Schools guidelines. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulates the occupation of pest control pursuant to Chapters 482 and 487, Florida Statutes. Statute 482.111(1) (2007) requires individuals who engage in pest control work to obtain an operator’s certificate. Statute 487.0435 (2007) provides for the agency to issue certified applicator licenses in the following classifications: certified public applicator; certified private applicator; and certified commercial applicator.                                                 

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 4/23/2013

Statute 1003.02 (2007) requires the district school board to select and purchase playground areas of adequate size located at centers at which schools are to be constructed. Florida Building Code Section 423.10.05 establishes minimum safety standards for the construction of new playgrounds. Included in this section is the adoption of the “Handbook for Public Playground Safety” by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and ASTM/CPSC “Playground Audit Guide.” Playgrounds are required to be inspected yearly and meet the minimum requirements of the State Requirements for Educational Facilities Section 5(2)(k).

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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 4/24/2013
Vision and Hearing: Section 381.0056 (2012), Florida Statutes, defines “screening” to mean presumptive identification of unknown or unrecognized diseases or defects by the application of tests that can be given with ease and rapidity to apparently healthy persons. This section of statute also requires each county health department to develop, jointly with the district school board and the local school health advisory committee, a school health services plan. The local school health services plan must include provisions for vision and hearing screening. Rule 64F—6.003, Florida Administrative Code, specifies minimum grade level requirements for vision and hearing screening.

Chronic Health Conditions: Section 381.0056 (2012), Florida Statutes, requires each county health department to develop, jointly with the district school board and the local school health advisory committee, a school health services plan. The local school health services plan must include provisions for scoliosis screening. Rule 64F-6.003, Florida Administrative Code, requires a minimum grade level requirement for scoliosis screening.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening: Section 381.0056 (2012), Florida Statutes, requires school health services programs administered jointly by the Department of Health and the Department of Education to administer growth and development screening for students as outlined in Rule Rule 64F-6.003, Florida Administrative Code. Although BMI is not explicitly mandated for student growth and development screenings, the Florida Department of Health has adopted the Centers for Disease Control clinical growth charts for boys & girls, which utilize BMI growth curves.  Calculation of BMI is required for all students in 1st, 3rd, 6th, and optionally 9th grades. 
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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 4/24/2013

Staff Administration: Statute 1006.062 (2012) requires local districts to adopt policies governing the administration of medication, which includes requiring a written statement by a parent or guardian granting permission for a designated school employee to administer medication.

Self-Administration of Asthma Medication: Statute 1002.20 (2012) allows students with asthma to carry a metered dose inhaler in school when written approval from a parent and physician is given.

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis Medication1002.20 (2012)  allows a student who has or is at risk of experiencing a life-threatening allergic reaction to carry and self-administer an epinephrine auto-injector while in school, participating in school-sponsored activities, or in transit to and from school provided parental and physician authorization have been provided. The policy further exempts a school district, county health department or any other employee from any liability with respect to the student's use of an epinephrine auto-injector.

Self-Administration of Diabetes Medication: Statute 385.203 (2010) authoizes students with diabetes to carry equipment and suplies to manage their diabetes while in school, at school-sponsored activities, or in transit to and from school or school-sponsored activities with written authorization from the student's parents and physician. It requires the State Board of Education, in cooperation with the Department of Health, to adopt rules to encourage every school in which a student with diabetes is enrolled to train personnel in routine and emergency diabetes care, and to protect other students from unauthorized use of diabetes medications or supplies.

Self-Administration of Pancreatic EnzymeAuthorizes a student with cystic fibrosis or who has experience pancreatic insufficiency or is at risk for pancreatic insufficiency to carry and self-administer a prescribed pancreatic enzyme with written authorization from the student's parent and prescribing practitioner.

Psychotropic Medications: Statute 1006.0625 (2005) forbids a public school to deny any student access to programs or services because the parent of the student has refused to place the student on psychotropic medication. A public school teacher and school district personnel may share school-based observations of a student's academic, functional, and behavioral performance with the student's parent and offer program options and other assistance that is available to the parent and the student based on the observations. However a public school teacher and school district personnel may not compel or attempt to compel any specific actions by the parent or require that a student take medication.

Storage and Record-keeping: Section 1006.062, Florida Statutes, requires each prescribed medication to be received, counted, and stored in its original container. When the medication is not in use, this section of statute also requires that medication shall be stored in its original container under lock and key in a location designated by the school principal.

Medical Emergencies: Section 381.0056, Florida Statutes, defines “emergency health needs” to mean onsite management and aid for illness or injury pending the student’s return to the classroom or release to a parent, guardian, designated friend, or designated health care provider. Rule 64F-6.004, Florida Administrative Code, specifies requirements regarding policies, procedures, and protocols for the management of student health emergencies.

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

Requirement to Provide Services: Statute 1000.05 (2004) requires guidance services and counseling services to be made available to all students equally.

Statute 1006.07(6) (2004) requires district school boards to provide for the welfare of students by using the Safety and Security Best Practices to conduct a self-assessment of the district's current safety and security practices. The self-assessment includes indicators for districts to have an emergency crisis team available to each school that provides counseling and other support in the adjustment after an emergency and in the re-entering of the school environment. The district should further make available appropriate psychological counseling for students exhibiting early warning signs of future violent behavior.

Statute 1006.025 (2004) requires each school board to submit a guidance report to the Commissioner of Education. This report shall include examination of student access to guidance counselors, the degree to which the district implemented a guidance model program, evaluation of training available to guidance counselors, and others. 

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: State Board of Education Administrative Rule 6A-6.0331(a) (1996) requires special programs to be organized so exceptional students may receive supplementary consultation and related services, which provides assistance to school staff in basic, vocational or exceptional classes. Additionally, Statute 1003.57 (2002) provides that each school board shall provide for an appropriate program of special instruction, facilities, and services for exceptional students.

Statute 1006.04 (2002) provides for educational multi-agency services for students with severe emotional disturbance and requires district school boards to provide educational programs.  State departments and agencies administering children's mental health funds should provide mental health treatment and residential services when needed forming a multi-agency network to provide support for students with severe emotional disturbance. 

Substance Abuse: Statute 381.0056(5) (2002) requires school health services plans to include health counseling", which could include substance abuse.

Suicide Prevention: Statute 1006.07(6) requires district school boards to provide for the welfare of students by using the Safety and Security Best Practices to conduct a self-assessment of the district's current safety and security practices. The self-assessment includes indicators for districts to provide timely access to professionally trained staff to evaluate at-risk students for suicidal behavior and to develop procedures to support students re-entering the school environment following a suicide attempt or the surviving of a suicide attempt of a peer.

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: Florida does not require or prohibit schools or districts to provide voluntary HIV, STD, or pregnancy testing or counseling services to students. Statute 1006.062 (2002) prohibits school district personnel from referring students to or offer students at school facilities contraceptive services without the consent of a parent or legal guardian." This provision is repeated in Statute 1002.20 (2004) on K-12 student and parent rights.

Immunity of Liability: No state policy.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 4/24/2013

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

Exemptions:  Immunization exemptions for personal or philosophical reasons are not permitted under Florida law. Section 1003.22, Florida Statutes, stipulates that only  a county health department may issue a religious exemption for a child who is not immunized because of the family’s religious tenets or practices. This section of statute also provides for Temporary Medical Exemption as well as Permanent Medical Exemption. Rule 64D-3.046, Florida Administrative Code, specifies immunization documentation requirements as well as grade-level immunization requirements.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 4/24/2013

Section 760.01(2) Florida State Statutes (2012) "Civil Rights Act" In accordance with the Florida's Civil Rights Act, individuals with AIDS or HIV should be given the same protection under the Act as a handicapped person.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 4/24/2013

Section 760.01(2) Florida State Statutes (2012) "Civil Rights Act" In accordance with the Florida's Civil Rights Act, individuals with AIDS or HIV should be given the same protection under the Act as a handicapped person.

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 4/24/2013

Statute 1003.21 (2012) states that pregnant or parenting student shall receive the same education instruction as other students, but may voluntarily be assigned to a program suited to their special needs. The state also requires local districts, in statute 1003.54 (2012), to maintain a teenage parent program that provides pregnant students with the option of remaining in a regular classroom or enrolling in a special program to address their needs. Further, it exempts students participating in the teenage parent program from minimum attendance requirements for pregnancy or parenting-related absences, but requires all missed work to be made up.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 4/24/2013

No state policy for Individual Health Plans, but Statute 1006.062 (2012) requires child-specific training for health-related services.

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 4/24/2013

State Level: No state policy.

Local Level: Statute 381.0056 (2006) requires each county health department to develop, jointly with the district school board and the local school health advisory committee, a school health services plan. The legislation includes that each school health advisory committee must, at a minimum, include members who represent the eight component areas of the Coordinated School Health model as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. School health advisory committees are encouraged to address the eight components of the Coordinated School Health model in the school district's school wellness policy pursuant to Statute 1003.453.

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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: 4/24/2013

Florida Statute 381.0056 requires health records of individual students to be kept private in accordance with Statute 1002.22(2)(d) (2004) which guarantees every student the right to privacy for all personally identifiable records or reports or information of a student. A state or local educational agency, board, or public school may not permit the release of such records or information without the consent of the student's parent or the student him or herself. The Statute does, however, list persons or organizations to which such records may be released.

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

No state policy.

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