Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 11/1/2010
Contact us with corrections or additions North Carolina Last Updated: 6/3/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 9/17/2013
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Mandate: Statute §115C-81 (2003) requires North Carolina schools to provide comprehensive health education in Kindergarten through grade 9, though the law does not specify amounts of instructional time. State Board of Education Policy GCS-N-004 16 NCAC 6D.0503 (2002) requires high school students to complete 1 credit (out of 20) in health and physical education in order to graduate. (Details are also provided in NC Course of Study Graduation Requirements table.

Curriculum Content: North Carolina's Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) includes standards and a recommended curriculum which districts are expected to follow.

 

 

State Assessment Requirement: None specified.

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/18/2010

Mandate: State Board of Education Policy GCS-S-000 (2005) requires students enrolled in K-8 to participate in physical activity as part of the district's physical education curriculum. Elementary schools should consider providing 150 minutes per week and middle schools should consider 225 minutes per week including a minimum of physical education every other day for the school year. State Board of Education Board Policy GCS-N-004 (16 NCAC 6D.0503) (2002) requires high school students to complete 1 credit (out of 20) in health and physical education in order to graduate. (Details are also provided in NC Course of Study Graduation Requirements table.)

State Board of Education Policy GCS-S-000 (2005) prohibits taking away physical activity (including physical education) from students as a form of punishment. Similarly, it prohibits using severe and inappropriate exercise as a form of punishment.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) outlines the content that districts are expected to follow. The curriculum calls for students in grades K-1 2 to receive instruction in motor skills and movement patterns, skill acquisition and performance, establishing and maintaining regular participation in physical activity, accepting responsibility for personal fitness, demonstrating responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings, development of an awareness of the intrinsic value and benefits of participation in physical activity.

Physical Fitness AssessmentThe North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) requires that students in select grades complete a pre and post health-enhancing fitness assessment, including monitoring of the heart.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 6/21/2007

Statute §115C-81 (2003) requires districts to develop and teach students according to North Carolina’s Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006), which includes instruction on asthma awareness education at the fourth, sixth and eighth grade level.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 9/27/2010

Statute §115C-81 (2003) requires school health education to include mental and emotional health for grades K-9. Mental and Emotional Health is one of the "strands" of North Carolina’s Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006).  The course of study includes numerous goals and objectives that relate to the strand.  Topics covered include "anticipating and managing stressors; having positive and healthy self-esteem; controlling behaviors that are unhealthy for self or others; coping with failure or loss in a healthy manner; recognizing mental and emotional health needs; and accessing appropriate resources."

Part I of North Carolina’s Basic Education Plan for Public Schools (1994) requires school guidance programs to focus on a series of general development areas, which includes appropriate group behavior for grades K-3, relationships among people in grades 4-6, and coping and interaction skills in grades 7-12.

Character Education: §115C-81(h) (2003) requires each local board to develop and implement character education instruction that is to be incorporated into the standard curriculum.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 9/27/2010

Mandate: Statute 115C-81 (2009) requires schools to provide instruction for students in grades K-9 on preventing sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS and other communicable diseases, and reproductive health and safety education.  Each local school administrative unit must provide a reproductive health and safety education program commencing in the seventh grade. The requirements of the curriculum are outlined in the statute. Materials must be age appropriate and the information conveyed must be objective and based upon peer reviewed scientific research and accepted by professionals and credentialed experts in the field of sexual health education.

Statute 115C-81 (2009) requires each local school administrative unit to provide instruction on sexually transmitted diseases, the effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved methods of reducing the risk of contracting a STD and preventing pregnancy, and information on local resources for testing. Instruction must include rates of infection among pre-teen and teens of each known STD and the effects of contracting each STD, including HPV. Instruction must also address awareness of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and risk reduction.

Statute 115C-47 (2007) requires local boards of education to ensure that schools provide parents and guardians of students in grades 5-12 with information about cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia, HPV and the vaccines available to prevent these diseases. The information must be provided at the beginning of the school year. It must include causes and symptoms, methods of transmission, methods of prevention and benefits of vaccination.

Curriculum Content: The North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) outlines the content that districts are expected to follow.

North Carolina offers a model policy, Communicable Diseases - Students, that suggests that schools' curriculum include age-appropriate information concerning safe health practices that will inhibit and prevent the spread of diseases, including HIV and AIDS."

Parental Approval: Statute 115C-81 requires that "local boards of education shall adopt policies to provide opportunities either for parents and legal guardians to consent or for parents and legal guardians to withhold their consent to the students' participation in any or all of these programs." In other words, each school district is required to establish either an opt-out" or opt-in" policy.

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 6/21/2007

Statute §115C-81 (2003) requires school health education to include nutrition for grades K-9. The North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) outlines the content that districts are expected to follow. Nutrition and weight management is one of the “strands” of the curriculum.  The curriculum calls for students in grades K-12 to receive instruction in achieving high-level wellness through wise nutritional choices and a variety of regular physical activity.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 5/21/2008

Alcohol: Statute 115C-81 (2003) requires a comprehensive education program that includes alcohol and drug use prevention education must be available to every child in North Carolina schools in kindergarten through high school.  The Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006), which includes instruction on alcohol use prevention education at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, outlines the content that districts are required to follow.

Tobacco: Statute 115C-81 requires districts to develop and teach students according to North Carolina's Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006), which includes instruction on tobacco use prevention education at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Drugs: Statute 115C-81 requires districts to develop and teach students according to North Carolina's Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006), which includes instruction on drug use prevention education at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. The statute itself also requires a comprehensive drug and alcohol education program be implemented for grades K-12.

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

Bullying/Harassment: Competency Goal 4 of the Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) requires students learn how to respond to teasing and bullying in grade 2.

Fighting/Gangs: Competency Goal 4 of the Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) requires students in grades 1, 5, and 9-12 learn how to resolve conflicts without fighting. Goal 2 requires students learn anger management skills in grades 2-3 and 5.

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: Competency Goal 2 of the Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) requires students learn how to identify the signs of suicide and seek help in grade 8. Also, part I of North Carolina's Basic Education Plan for Public Schools (1994) requires school guidance programs to focus on a series of general development areas, which includes coping skills in grades 7-12.

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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 9/16/2009

Professional Development: State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-007 (2004) requires each LEA to designate individuals to participate in the Department of Public Instruction's anti-bullying, anti-harassment, and anti-discrimination training.

The state does not require teachers to participate periodically in professional development covering health education topics. Session Law 2002-103 (2002) does require local boards of education to provide information and staff development for school personnel in assisting students with diabetes.

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 2/16/2009

Pre-service Requirement: To be licensed as a physical educator or health educator in NC, an individual must complete an approved teacher education program, which in NC includes a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 at the time of admission to and exit from a teacher education program, a  satisfactory Praxis I score for admission to the program, a minimum of 10 weeks of student teaching, completion of a technology product of learning and completion of a program of study that meets state-approved standards and indicators for the specialty area.

Professional Development: No state policy.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 2/16/2009

Pre-service Requirement: To be licensed as a physical educator or health educator in NC, an individual must complete an approved teacher education program, which in NC includes a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 at the time of admission to and exit from a teacher education program, a  satisfactory Praxis I score for admission to the program, a minimum of 10 weeks of student teaching, completion of a technology product of learning and completion of a program of study that meets state-approved standards and indicators for the specialty area.

Professional Development: No state policy.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 5/21/2009

Pre-service Requirement: The Student Services Job Description requires school nurses to have completed training necessary for licensure as a registered nurse. For licensure as a registered nurse, Section 90-171.29 of the Nursing Practice Act (2001) requires the completion of an approved registered nurse education program and the passing of a board approved examination for licensure as a registered nurse. Statute 115C-315 (2002) does not require school nurses to be nationally certified to continue employment in the public schools.

Professional Development: No state policy.

Student-to-Nurse Ratio: Part III of the North Carolina's Basic Education Plan for Public Schools (1994) requires there to be one nurse for every 3,000 students in a school district.

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 9/17/2013

Pre-service Requirement: Statute 115C-12(31) requires the State Board of Education to develop guidelines for individual diabetes plans.  Some of these requirements include outlining the responsibilities and appropriate staff development for teachers and other school personnel in each student’s individual diabetes plan, as well as information and staff development to be made available to teachers and other school personnel in order to appropriately support and assist students with diabetes. Statute115C-375.2 requires local boards of education to adopt and implement these guidelines.

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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 9/27/2010

Pre-service Requirement: The State Board of Education requires the completion of an approved education program in a regionally accredited college or university, a master's degree, or a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in a school counselor program.

Professional Development: The State Board of Education requires 10 semester hours or 15 units of renewal credit of course work directly related to school counseling is required every five years for license renewal.

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: Part III of North Carolina's Basic Education Plan for Public Schools (1994) requires there to be one counselor for every 400 students in a school district.

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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 5/21/2009

Pre-service Requirement: The State Board of Education requires the completion of an approved school psychology program at the sixth year level at a regionally accredited college or university and successful completion of a school psychology exam. 

Professional Development: The State Board of Education requires 10 semester hours or 15 units of renewal credit of course work directly related to school psychology is required every five years for license renewal.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: Part III of North Carolina's Basic Education Plan for Public Schools (1994) requires there to be one psychologist for every 2,000 students in a school district.

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 5/21/2009

Pre-service Requirement: The State Board of Education requires the completion of an approved school social work program at the bachelor's degree level at a regionally accredited college or university.

Professional Development: The State Board of Education requires 10 semester hours or 15 units of renewal credit of course work directly related to social work is required every five years for license renewal.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: Part III of North Carolina's Basic Education Plan for Public Schools (1994) requires there to be one social worker for every 2,500 students in a school district.

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: 7/21/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 9/16/2009

Additional accountability requirements: State Nutrition Consultants review local wellness policies as part of the School Meal Initiative Review. During the on-site review the Consultants meet with the school personnel responsible for the local wellness policy to discuss and document progress towards achieving the goals/objectives of the wellness policy.

LEAs are required to annually complete a checklist to report how the district is meeting the objectives for nutrition education, physical education, guidelines for all foods served on campus, and other components of the wellness policy. This document is required before the LEA may renew their Agreement with the state agency to administer the federally-funded Child Nutrition Programs for the upcoming year.

Additional Content Requirements: None

Guidance Materials: The Eat Smart, Move More initiative produced recommended standards for all foods in schools (2004) and recommended standards for physical activity in schools (2005). Using these standards as a starting document, the State of Board of Education, in partnership with the Child Nutrition Services and Child Nutrition Administrators from local school districts, developed the NC Nutrition Standards for Elementary Schools (2006) for school meals, a la carte items, and foods available in and after school snacks.

The Concerned Citizens for the Wellness Policy is an organization with a database containing each local wellness policy within the state of North Carolina.

Other: The Healthy Active Children Policy Progress Report is a summative report presented to the State Board of Education each year per State Board of Education Policy GCS-S-000 (2005). It contains information regarding School Health Advisory Councils, minutes per week of physical activity and physical education, and trend data.

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 9/17/2013

Food Services: Statute 115C-263 (1981) requires local boards of education to provide school food services to the extent practicable in its public school system. Statute 115C-264 (2005) requires public child nutrition programs to participate in the federal National School Lunch Program.  The statute also prohibits public schools from using cooking oil that contains trans-fatty acids in their school food programs or sell processed foods containing trans-fatty acids. State Board of Education Policy TCS-S-000 (1993) prohibits the sale of foods and beverages to students in competition with the non-profit Child Nutrition Program. All food and beverages served to students during the school day must be operated on a non-profit basis by the Child Nutrition Program. Revenue from the sale of all foods and beverages sold to students during the school day must accrue to the non-profit Child Nutrition Program. 

The Board of Education Nutrition Standards for Elementary Schools (2006) requires school meals  meet the following minimum nutrition standards: (1)  Meals served must be consistent with the current edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Federal Regulations as approved for North Carolina and State Board of Education Policy on Nutrition Standards for School Meals; and (2) When averaged over the week, reimbursable meals will contain 20-35% of calories from fat, and < 10% total calories from saturated fat.  Trans fat and sodium levels will be monitored regularly and kept as low as possible.

In addition, the standards require a la carte items to meet the following criteria: (1) less than 35% total calories from fat, excluding seeds and nuts, (2) no more than 10% total calories from saturated fat, (3) no more than 1% total calories from trans fat, and (4) no more than 35% added sugar by weight. Item must be in the same serving size as offered that day as part of the reimbursable program with a limit of one additional entree portion. Single serving dairy products may contain no more than 200 calories, with no more than 35% total calories from fat, 10% total calories from saturated fat, 1% total calories from trans fat, and 35% added sugar by weight. Nuts and seeds may not exceed a 1 ounce portion. Yogurt or frozen yogurt may only be served in single servings. Food preparation methods for fruits and vegetables are limited to baking, roasting, broiling, boiling and steaming. Beverages are limited to water, 1% or less fat, 50% or more fruit juices with no added sweeteners and 100% frozen fruit products with no added sweeteners.

Adequate Time to Eat: No state policy.

School Breakfast: SB 415 (2011) appropriates funds to provide school breakfast at no cost to students at all grade levels qualifying for reduced-priced meals.

Food Allergies: No state policy.

Farm-to-School: No state policy.

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 6/3/2014
Statute 115C-264.2 mandates the following vending machine standards:  (1) Soft drinks are not to be sold (a) during breakfast or lunch periods, (b) at elementary schools or (c) contrary to the requirements of the National School Lunch Program; (2) Sugared carbonated soft drinks, including mid-calorie carbonated soft drinks, are not offered for sale in middle schools; (3) Not more than fifty percent (50%) of the offerings for sale to students in high schools are sugared carbonated soft drinks; (4) Diet carbonated soft drinks are not considered in the same category as sugared carbonated soft drinks; and (5) Bottled water products are available in every school that has beverage vending.  Each school may, with the approval of the local board of education, sell beverages to students in vending machines during the school day so long as all of these prerequisites are met.
 
Statute 115C-264.2 stipulates that snack vending in all schools must meet the Proficient Level of the NC Eat Smart Nutrition Standards by.  Proficient level standards include eliminating the availability of snack vending to elementary students, and ensuring that seventy-five percent (75%) of snack vending products at the middle and high school levels do not exceed 200 calories per portion or snack vending package.
 
16 NCAC 06H .0104 requires all competitive food sales to be exercised on a non-profit basis. The State Board of Education Nutrition Standards for Elementary Schools (2006) requires a la carte items meet the following criteria: (1) less than 35% total calories from fat, excluding seeds and nuts, (2) no more than 10% total calories from saturated fat, (3) no more than 1% total calories from trans fat, and (4) no more than 35% added sugar by weight. Item must be in the same serving size as offered that day as part of the reimbursable program with a limit of one additional entree portion. Single serving dairy products may contain no more than 200 calories, with no more than 35% total calories from fat, 10% total calories from saturated fat, 1% total calories from trans fat, and 35% added sugar by weight. Nuts and seeds may not exceed a 1 ounce portion. Yogurt or frozen yogurt may only be served in single servings. Food preparation methods for fruits and vegetables are limited to baking, roasting, broiling, boiling and steaming. Beverages are limited to water, 1% or less fat, 50% or more fruit juices with no added sweeteners and 100% frozen fruit products with no added sweeteners.

Statute 115C-264.2 stipulates that snack vending in all schools must meet the Proficient Level of the NC Eat Smart Nutrition Standards.

 

Fundraising Exemption:

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

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 5/7/2010

Recess Before Lunch: No state policy.

Walking/Biking to School
: No state policy.

     Last Updated: 12/20/2010
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General Physical Activity Requirement: State Board of Education Policy GCS-S-000 (2005) requires schools to provide a minimum of 30 minutes daily of moderate to vigorous physical activity to all K-8 students. This may be completed through regular physical education, physical activities, recess, dance, classroom energizers, or other curriculum based physical education activity program. The physical activity must involve physical exertion of at least a moderate to vigorous intensity level and for a duration sufficient to provide a significant health benefit to students.

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks
: Although there is no specific recess requirement, State Board State Board of Education Policy GCS-S-000 (2005) requires schools to provide a minimum of 30 minutes daily of moderate to vigorous physical activity to all K-8 students.  Recess is often used to fulfill this requirement. In addition, the policy prohibits taking away structured/unstructured recess and other physical activity from students as a form of punishment. In addition, it prohibits using severe and inappropriate exercise as a form of punishment for students.

 

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 9/8/2011

Interscholastic Athletics: 16 NCAC 06E .0202 (2000) only allows students in grades 7-12 to participate in interscholastic athletic competition. Requirements to qualify for participation are outlined in the code.

Concussion and Sports-related Head Injury: Statute 115C-12(23) (2011) requires the Department of Public Instruction, along with other organizations outlined in the statute, to develop an athletic concussion safety training program for the use of coaches, school nurses, school athletic directors, volunteers, students who participate in interscholastic athletic activities in public schools and their parents. The requirements of the program are outlined in the statute. The statute requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules governing interscholastic athletic activities conducted by local boards of education, including eligibility for student participation. The rules must require all coaches, school nurses, athletic directors, first responders, volunteers, and students who participate in interscholastic athletic activities and their parents to receive a concussion and head injury information sheet annually. School employees, first responders, volunteers, and students must sign the sheet and return it to the coach before they can participate in interscholastic athletic activities. Parents must sign and return the sheet before their children can participate in any interscholastic activities. A student participant exhibiting symptoms consistent with concussion must be removed from the activity and may not return to play or practice that day. They may return to play or practice on a subsequent day only upon being evaluated and cleared in writing by a licensed professional (as defined in the statute). The statute requires each school to develop a venue specific emergency action plan to deal with serious injuries and acute medical conditions in which the condition of the patient may deteriorate rapidly. Requirements of the plan are outlined in the statute.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): No state policy.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 9/27/2010

State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-007 (2004) states that every student in public or charter schools should be provided with a safe, orderly, and caring learning environment free from harassment, bullying, or discrimination.

Statute 115C-105.47 (1999) requires each local board to develop a safe school plan that provides for a safe, secure, and orderly climate in every school and emphasizes appropriate personal conduct for all students and school personnel. Statute 115C-105.33 (1997) allows a school improvement team or parent organization at a school to ask the local board for assistance in promoting or restoring an orderly learning environment in the school. A copy of the request must be filed with the State Board, and the State Board may provide the school with an assistance team upon request.

Statute 115C-390 (1991) allows school employees to use reasonable force in carrying out legal authority to restrain or correct pupils and maintain order except as restricted by local boards.

Fighting/Gangs: State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-002 (1998) states that student attacks which result in severe or aggravated bodily injury to the victim are grounds for expulsion. Statute 115C-391 (2001) further states that the student, if 13 years of age or older, may be moved to an alternative educational setting for assaulting another student, a teacher, or other adult. If such an option does not exist, the student may then be suspended for 365 days.

Statute 115C-105.32 (1996) encourages schools to review its need for a comprehensive conflict resolution program. If the program is needed, a school may choose from a list developed by the State Board of Education or develop its own material and curricula with local board of education approval.

Weapons: State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-002 states that possession of a weapon on any school property, including vehicles is ground for expulsion. Possession by a student under the age of 18 of any firearm, whether on school property or not, is also grounds for expulsion. Any attempted theft or attack by a student using or threatening to use a dangerous weapon, defined in this policy, is grounds for expulsion. Statute 115C-391 allows the superintendent of or local board of education to suspend a student for 365 calendar days for bringing or possessing a weapon onto education property or to a school-sponsored curricular or extracurricular activity off educational property.

Statute 14-269.2 (2004) categorizes the possession of any gun, rifle, pistol, or other firearm of any kind on educational property as a Class I felony.

Drugs and Alcohol: No specific state policy. 

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Statute 115C-105.47 requires local safe school plans to have a plan to work effectively with local law enforcement officials to ensure that schools are safe and laws are enforced. State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-000 (1999) requires teacher to report to principals and principals to report to law enforcement violent incidents detailed in this policy. Principals and school officials are also to collaborate with their local law enforcement agency leaders to determine the best reporting procedure.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 9/16/2009

Bullying/Harassment: Statute 115C-407.5 (2009) defines bullying or harassing behavior and requires each local school administrative unit to adopt a policy prohibiting bullying or harassing behavior. The requirements of the policy are outlined in  the statute. The statute defines bullying or harassing behavior as that which may place a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to his or her person or damage to their property, create or is certain to create a hostile environment. It also states that bullying or harassing behavior includes "acts reasonably perceived as being motivated by any actual or perceived diffferentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with a person who has or is perceived to have one or more of these characteristics." 

Statute 115C-407.5 (2009) prohibits bullying of students or school employees and acts of reprisal or retaliation against a victim, witness or a person without reliable  information about an act of bullying or harassment. It also requires that witnesses report the incident to the appropriate school official.

Btate Board of Education Policy HRS-A-007 requires local school boards to develop and maintain policies and procedures to prevent, intervene, investigate, document, and report all acts of bullying and harassment. Statute 115C-335.5 (2001) allows each local board of education to adopt a policy addressing sexual harassment of school employees by students, or other local school employees or school board members.

Cyberbullying: Statute 115C-407.5 (2009) includes electronic communication in its definition of "bullying or harassing behavior." The statute prohibits such communication that places a a student or school employee in actual and reasonable fear of harm to their person or property, or creates or is certain to create a hostile environment. Each school must adopt a policy prohibiting bullying or harassing behavior that includes a definition no less inclusive than that of Statute 115C-407.5 (2009).

Hazing: Statute 14-35 (2003) states that it is illegal for any school or college in the state to engage in hazing, or to aid or abet any other student in committing this offense.

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 12/18/2010

Response and Management Plans: Statute 115C-105.47 (1999) requires each local school board to develop a local school administrative unit safe school plan to provide that every school is safe, secure, and orderly. While crisis management/emergency response plans are not explicitly mentioned, they are implied as a component for school safety under this statute.

Reporting Incidents of Violence: State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-007 (2004) requires local school boards to develop and maintain policies and procedures to prevent, intervene, investigate, document, and report all acts of bullying, harassment, and discrimination. Statute 115C-47 (2004) requires local school boards to report all acts of school violence to the State Board of Education.

State Board of Education Policy HRS-A-000 (2010) requires principals that have actual knowledge of any cirminal offenses on school property to report those offenses to law enforcement. It also requires local education agencies to annually report the following crimes to the State Board of Education: assault resulting in serious personal injury, sexual assault, sexual offense, rape, kidnapping, indecent liberties with a minor, assault involving the use of a weapon, posession of a firearm, weapon or controlled substance in violation of the law, assault on school officials, employees or volunteers, homicide, robbery with a dangerous weapon, making bomb threats or engaging in bomb hoaxes, willfully buring a school buidling,  or unlawfully, underaged sales, purchase, provision, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 4/28/2008
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Statute §115C-407 (2007) requires local boards of education to adopt, implement and enforce a written policy prohibiting smoking at all times by any person in school buildings, in school facilities, on school campuses, and in or on any other school property owned or operated by the local school administrative unit. The policy shall prohibit the use of all tobacco products by persons attending a school-sponsored event at a location not listed in the statute when in the prescence of students or school personnel or in an area where smoking is otherwise prohibited by law. The policy must include adequate notice to students and school personnel, posting of signs prohibiting the use of tobacco at all times by any person in and on school property, and a requirement that school personnel enforce the policy.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 5/21/2009

Statute 115C-48 (2006) requires local boards of education to adopt policies and procedures to reduce students' exposure to diesel emissions.  115C-12(34) (2006) requires the State Board of Education to study methods for mold and mildew prevention and mitigation and incorporate recommendations into the public school facilities guidelines as needed.

Statute 130A-236 (1998) requires the Commission for Health Services to adopt rules establishing sanitation requirements, which include cleanliness, adequate lighting, ventilation, and waste disposal, for public, private, and religious schools and requires the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources to conduct an annual inspection of schools.

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 10/23/2008

Statute 115C-45 (2006) requires local boards of education to adopt policies that address the use of pesticides in schools. These policies must include notification of the students' parents or guardians and school staff on the schedule of pesticide use on school property and their right to request notification.  Certain pesticide products (outlined in the statute) are exempt from notification.  In addition, the policies must require the use of Integrated Pest Management, as defined in the statute.  Study methods for mold and mildew prevention and mitigation and incorporate recommendations into the public school facilities guidelines as needed.

115C-12(34) (2006) requires the State Board of Education to establish guidelines for Integrated Pest Management consistent with the policy of The North Carolina School Boards Association.  It also requires the State Board to establish guidelines for notification of students' parents, guardians, or custodians as well as school staff of pesticide use on school grounds.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 5/22/2008
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Statute 115C-46 (2006) requires local boards of education to prohibit the purchase or acceptance of chromated copper arsenate-treated wood for future use on school grounds.   Existing arsenic-treated wood must be sealed or removed according to guidelines established under Statute 115C-12(34) (2006). Local boards of education are encouraged to test the soil on school grounds for contamination caused by the leaching of arsenic-treated wood. Statute 115C-12(34) requires the State Board of Education to develop guidelines for sealing existing arsenic-treated wood in playground equipment or establish a time line for removing existing arsenic-treated wood on playgrounds and testing the soil on school grounds for arsenic contamination.

Shared Use Agreements
     Last Updated: 6/20/2013

Code 115C-12-35 (2009) instructs the state board of education to encourage local boards of education to enter into agreements with local governments and other entities regarding the joint use of their facilities for physical activity. The agreements should delineate opportunities, guidelines, and the roles and responsibilities of the parties, including responsibilities for maintenance and liability. Code 115C-524 (1992) authorizes local boards of education to permit, through agreement, non-school groups to use school property for other than school purposes so long as use is consistent with the proper preservation and care of the public school property. No liability may attach to the board of education, individually or collectively, for personal injury suffered by use of the school property.

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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 7/1/2010

Vision and Hearing: Statute 130A-440 (2006) a vision screening in accordance with standards adopted by the Governor's Commission on Early Childhood Vision care, within 180 days of the start of the school year. For children who receive and fail to pass a vision screening, a comprehensive eye examination is required. If a public school teacher, administrator, or other appropriate school personnel has reason to believe that a child enrolled in K-3 is having problems with vision, the school personnel may recommend to the parent that the child have a comprehensive eye examination. Funds may be available from the Governor's Commission on Early Childhood Vision Care to pay providers for the examination, including corrective lenses. Once the comprehensive exam is completed, the parent shall submit a provider-signed transmittal form to the school.

Chronic Health Conditions: North Carolina does not require schools or districts to identify students with asthma. However, Statute 130A-440 requires every child in the state entering kindergarten to receive a health assessment and present it to the school principal.

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

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 9/17/2013

Staff Administration: Statute 115C-375.1 allows any teacher or school employee to administer any drugs or medication prescribed by a doctor upon written request of the parents The statute provides for immunity from liability in civil damages for any authorized act or act of omission relating to it, unless the act or omission amounts to gross negligence, wanton conduct or intentional wrongdoing.

Statute 115C-12(31) requires the State Board of Education to develop guidelines for individual diabetes plans.  Some of these requirements include outlining the responsibilities and appropriate staff development for teachers and other school personnel in each student’s individual diabetes plan, as well as information and staff development to be made available to teachers and other school personnel in order to appropriately support and assist students with diabetes. Statute115C-375.2 requires local boards of education to adopt and implement these guidelines.

Self-Administration of Asthma Medication: Statute 115C-375.2 (2005) requires local boards of education to adopt policies authorizing students with asthma to possess and self-administer asthma medication on school property, at school-sponsored events, and in transit to and from school. District policy shall require that written authorization from the student's parent or guardian permitting the self-administration of medication, a written statement from the student's health practitioner verifying the student's health condition and prescription of medication, a written treatment plan for emergency protocol provided by the student's health practitioner, and a written statement by the parents indicating that school employees are immune from any liability for any injury resulting from the self-administration of medication. The student and parent must also provide back-up asthma medication to be kept on file in the school in the event of an emergency.

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis Medication: Statute 
115C-375.2 (2005) requires local boards of education to adopt policies authorizing students with an anaphylactic reaction to possess and self-administer medication on school property, at school-sponsored events, and in transit to and from school. District policy shall require that written authorization from the student's parent or guardian permitting the self-administration of medication, a written statement from the student's health practitioner verifying the student's health condition and prescription of medication, a written treatment plan for emergency protocol provided by the student's health practitioner, and a written statement by the parents indicating that school employees are immune from any liability for any injury resulting from the self-administration of medication. The student and parent must also provide back-up anaphylaxis medication to be kept on file in the school in the event of an emergency.

Self-Administration of Diabetes Medications
Statute 115C-12(31) requires the State Board of Education to develop guidelines for individual diabetes plans.  Some of these requirements include outlining the responsibilities and appropriate staff development for teachers and other school personnel in each student’s individual diabetes plan, as well as information and staff development to be made available to teachers and other school personnel in order to appropriately support and assist students with diabetes.Although not specifying rules regarding self-administration, Statute115C-375.2 requires local boards of education to adopt and implement these guidelines

Psychotropic Medications: No state policy.

Storage and Record-keeping: No state policy.


 
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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 5/21/2009

Requirement to Provide Services: Part II of North Carolina's Basic Education Plan for Public Schools (1994) requires school districts to provide school counseling, psychological, and social work services to help prevent or correct any conditions which might interfere with learning. School counselors, per the State Board's school counselor job description, are required to provide individual and group counseling services to meet the developmental, preventive, and remedial needs of students.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: Part II of the North Carolina's Basic Education Plan for Public Schools requires pre-school screening programs which screen for cognitive, social, and emotional maturity. Further, the required dropout prevention program may give funding to local programs that generally seek to recognize students who may face problems and prevent and ameliorate those problems before they become severe. Programs that counsel at-risk students by focusing on preventing and alleviating the problems that may lead to them dropping out, behavior improvement programs, and special programs for at-risk students that meet local needs (e.g. school psychology services) also may receive state funding.

Substance Abuse: Part II of the North Carolina's Basic Education Plan for Public Schools requires school social work services to include referral to community agencies for help with substance abuse. Special programs for counseling at-risk students, such as substance abusers, are recommended as part of a drop-out prevention strategy.

Suicide Prevention: North Carolina has no policy that specifically addresses suicide prevention, but part II of the Basic Education Plan for Public Schools general requirement to provide school counseling, psychological, and social work services includes crisis intervention and general counseling.

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: North Carolina does not require schools or districts to provide voluntary HIV, STD, or pregnancy testing or counseling services to students. However, Part II of the North Carolina's Basic Education Plan for Public Schools does suggest counseling services for pregnant and adolescent mothers be provided as part of a drop-out prevention strategy.

Statute 115C-81 says that students may only receive information about obtaining contraceptives and abortion referral services in accordance with a local board's policy regarding parental consent". Contraceptives may not be distributed on school property. 

Immunity of Liability: No state policy.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 5/18/2011

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." 

Statute 115C-47 (2007) requires local boards of education to ensure that schools provide parents and guardiansof students grades 5-12 with information about cervical cancer, cervical dysplasia, HPV and the vaccines available to prevent these diseases. The information must be provided at the beginning of the school year.

Exemptions: Statute 130A-156 (1999) allows for medical exemption if a licensed physician certifies that a required immunization is or may be detrimental to a person's health due to one of the contraindications adopted by the Commission for Health Services.  NC General Statute 130A-157 (2002) allows for religious exemption from immunization requirements if the bona fide religious beliefs of an adult, parent, guardian or person in loco parentis of a child are contrary to the immunization requirements.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 9/27/2010

North Carolina has no state law or administrative rule that addresses staff with HIV. However, the state offers a model policy on Communicable Diseases - Employees. They also offer a checklist of suggestions on Components of a Strong School HIV Policy.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 9/27/2010

North Carolina has no state law or administrative rule that addresses attendance for students with HIV. However, the state offers a model policy on Communicable Diseases - Students. They also offer a checklist of suggestions on Components of a Strong School HIV Policy.

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 12/31/2007

Statute §115C-375.5 (2006) requires that pregnant and parenting students receive the same educational instruction as other students.  It instructs local districts to adopt policies ensuring that pregnant or parenting students are not discriminated against or excluded from any program, class or extracurricular activity.  The policy also must allow for excused absences for pregnancy and related conditions and illness of a custodial child.  In addition, the local policy must address homework, make up work and the availability of a homebound teacher to minimize falling behind from absences.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 12/18/2010

Statute 115C-113 (2000) requires each local education agency to prepare an individualized education program that includes statements of related services provided to a child based on his or her disability. Statute 115C-108 (1985) includes medical services in its definition of related services.

Statute 115C-149 (1989) requires that an appropriate education is provided for drug and alcohol addicted children; however, these children are not children with special needs".

Statute 115C-12(31) requires the State Board to adopt guidelines for the development and implementation of individual diabetes care plans. The guidelines must include (1) procedures for the development of an individual diabetes care plan, (2) procedures for regular review of an individual care plan, (3) information to be included in a diabetes care plan, including the responsibilities and appropriate staff development for teachers and other school personnel, an emergency care plan, the identification of allowable actions to be taken, the extent to which the student is able to participate in the student's diabetes care and management, other information necessary for teachers and other school personnel in order to offer appropriate assistance and support to the student, and (4) information and staff development to be made available to teachers and other school personnel in order to appropriately support and assist students with diabetes. Statute 115C-375.5 requires local boards of education to implement the guidelines provided by the State Board of Education regarding individual diabetes care plans. It also requires local boards of education and boards of directors of charter schools to report annually whether or not they have students with diabetes enrolled and information showing compliance with Statute 115C-12(31).

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 9/27/2010

State-level: No state policy. 

Local-level: Board Policy on Healthy Active Students, State Board of Education Policy GCS-S-000 (2003) mandates that each school district establish and maintain a local School Health Advisory Council.

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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: 5/21/2009

Student Health-related Records:Statute 115C-402 (2002) requires that a student's official record be maintained and is not a public record. On a more general level, Statute 115C-401.1 (2001) prohibits the disclosure of personally identifiable information" about students.

Student Health-related Services: Statutes 115C-401 (1981) and 8-53.4 (1983) state information given to a school counselor to enable him to render counseling services is privileged except when waived in open court by the student or when disclosure is compelled by a resident or presiding judge.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 1/30/2006
No state policy.
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