Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 12/1/2012
Contact us with corrections or additions Rhode Island Last Updated: 9/29/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Mandate: Statute 16-22-4 (1956) requires health and physical education instruction in grades 1 through 12 for an average of at least 20 minutes in each school day. Health education is not listed among the state’s high school graduation requirements. 

Section 2.1 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009), approved by the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education, requires that all public and private schools “have a comprehensive school health program consisting of health education, health services and a healthful school environment, approved by the State Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.” This section also establishes local accountability to ensure program implementation; the development of local manuals of procedure; the assignment of adequate personnel; and reports to the state.

Curriculum Content: Statute 16-22-4 (2008) requires the required health education curriculum to be based on the health education standards of the Rhode Island Health Education Framework: Health Literacy for All Students (2010). 

Statute 16-1-5 (2004) assigns the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish a state mandated health education curriculum in grades K-12 and a mandated assessment program in areas of health and fitness. This requirement is satisfied by Section 5 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009). The rules outline the state’s Mandated Health Instructional Outcomes: Required Content Areas and provide for formal approval of Rhode Island Health Education Framework: Health Literacy for All Students (2010), which contains standards and student performance descriptions (performance indicators) and is based on the National Health Education Standards.

Rhode Island’s Early Learning Standards  framework for early childhood programs includes standards for Physical Health and Development.

More specifically, Statute 16-22-15 (1987) requires a cardiopulmonary resuscitation training course for students and Statute 16-22-16 (1987) requires a blocked air passage training course.

Statutes 16-2-9(a) and 16-21-28 (2005) requires that the school committee of each school district establish a school health and wellness subcommittee. This subcommittee is charged with making recommendations regarding health education curriculum and instruction, physical education curriculum and instruction, and nutrition and physical activity policies. This subcommittee is to be chaired by a member of the school committee, and consist of a majority of non-school employees, including at least one parent.

State Assessment Requirement: None specified.

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Mandate: Statute 16-22-4 (2008) requires all children in grades 1-12 attending public schools to receive instruction in health and physical education for an average of at least 20 minutes in each school day. Section 3.5 of the Rules and Regulations of School Health Programs (2009) stipulate that recess, free play and after school activities cannot be counted as physical education.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: Statute 16-22-4 (2008) requires the physical education curriculum to be based on the physical education standards of the Rhode Island Physical Education Framework: Supporting Physically Active Lifestyles through Quality Physical Education (2003) by September 2012.

The state also outlines an Early Learning Standards framework for early childhood programs includes standards for Physical Health and Development: "Young children's future health and well-being are directly related to strengthening their large and small muscles, using their sensory experiences and practicing healthy behavior. Statutes 16-2-9(a) and 16-21-28 (2005) requires that the school committee of each school district establish a school health and wellness subcommittee. This subcommittee is charged with making recommendations regarding health education curriculum and instruction, physical education curriculum and instruction, and nutrition and physical activity policies. This subcommittee is to be chaired by a member of the school committee, and consist of a majority of non-school employees, including at least one parent.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Statute 16-1-5 (2004) assigns the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish an assessment program in areas of health and fitness.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

Not specifically required.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 1/30/2013

Section 5.1.10 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs (2009) stresses that mandated health instructional outcomes must include the emotional, behavioral, and social factors that influence both mental and physical health.  Rhode Island's Early Learning Standards framework for early childhood programs also includes standards for Social and Emotional Development.

Rhode Island's Health Education Framework (2010) establishes required health education guidelines for grades K-12. Standard 1 requires all students to learn the indicators and interrelationships of mental, emotional, and social health; Standard 3 requires students in grades K-4 and 9-10 to learn how to identify mental health habits and stress management techniques; and Standard 5 requires students in grades K-10 to learn healthy ways to express feelings.

Character Education: Not specifically required

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Mandate: Statute 16-22-17 (1987) requires the state department of elementary and secondary education to  establish comprehensive AIDS instruction, which shall provide students with accurate information and instruction on AIDS transmission and prevention, and which course shall also address abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred means of prevention, as a basic education program requirement."

Statute 16-1-5 (2004) assigns the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish a state mandated health education curriculum in grades K-12. This is fulfilled in Section 5 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009), which lists education on HIV/AIDS, Family Life and Sexuality, Human Growth and Development, and Prevention and Control of Disease, among other topics. The framework for this policy is found in Rhode Island'sComprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes (2012), which is an addendum to the Health Education Framework (2010).

Curriculum Content: As noted earlier, Statute 16-22-17 (1987) requires comprehensive AIDS instruction, which shall provide students with accurate information and instruction on AIDS transmission and prevention. According to Statute 16-22-18 (1987), Family Life and Sexuality courses must address the responsibilities of family membership and adulthood, including issues related to reproduction, abstinence, dating, marriage, and parenthood as well as information about sexually transmitted diseases, sexuality and lifestyles... courses in family life or sex education within this state shall include instruction on abstinence from sexual activity and refraining from sexual intercourse as the preferred method for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases." Section 5.1.7 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) additionally includes sexual orientation as a part of the required family life and sexuality curriculum.

Health Literacy for All Children: The Rhode Island Health Education Framework (2010), which contains standards and student performance indicators, recommends that districts choose curriculum programs that address sexual behaviors that result in HIV, STDs and unintended pregnancy, among other topics.

Parental Approval: Statute 16-22-18 (1987) allows a parent to review curriculum program instruction materials for courses in family life or sex education, and to remove a student from such instruction (an opt-out" policy).

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Section 5.1.11 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs  (2009) stresses that mandated health instructional outcomes must include the role of nutrition in the promotion and maintenance of good health, the framework being the Comprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Alcohol: Statute 16-22-12 (1976) requires health education for grades 1-12 to include the effects of alcohol abuse upon the human system. Statute 16-22-3 (1956) requires instruction in "physiology and hygiene," with special reference to the effects of alcoholic liquors, stimulants and other narcotics upon the system. Statute 16-1-5 (1956) requires the Commissioner of Education to establish health education, alcohol and substance abuse programs for students in grades K-12. The program must include a mandated health education, alcohol and substance abuse curriculum for grades K-12. The Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009) requires health instructional outcomes to include the causes, effects, treatment, and prevention of alcohol use. Rhode Island'sComprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes provides the framework for education on alcohol.

Tobacco: The Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009) requires health instructional outcomes to include the causes, effects, treatment, and prevention of tobacco use. Rhode Island'sComprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes provides the framework for education on tobacco.

Drugs: Statute 16-22-12 (1976) requires health education for grades 1-12 to include the effects of drug abuse upon the human system. Statute 16-22-3 (1956) requires instruction in "physiology and hygiene," with special reference to the effects of alcoholic liquors, stimulants and other narcotics upon the system. Statute 16-1-5 (1956) requires the Commissioner of Education to establish health education, alcohol and substance abuse programs for students in grades K-12. The program must include a mandated health education, alcohol and substance abuse curriculum for grades K-12. The Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires health instructional outcomes to include the causes, effects, treatment, and prevention of drug use. Rhode Island'sComprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes provides the framework for education on drugs.

Statute 35-4-18 (1986) creates a health education, alcohol, and substance abuse prevention program" for the purpose of establishing continuous health education programs dealing primarily in areas of alcohol and substance abuse for students in grades kindergarten through twelfth, administered by the Department of Mental Health, Retardation, and Hospitals and the Department of Education.

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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Bullying: In accordance with Statute 16-21-33 (2011) and Statute 16-21-34 (2011), any form or degree of bullying at school is prohibited. The RI Safe Schools Act, Statute 16-21-34 (2011) requires all schools in Rhode Island to adopt the statewide bullying policy developed by the Rhode Island Department of Education to ensure a consistent and unified statewide approach to the prohibition of bullying at school.

The Rhode Island Statewide Bullying Policy (2011) was promulgated pursuant to the authority set forth in Statute 162134 of the General Laws of Rhode Island.  Known as the Safe School Act, the statute recognizes that the bullying of a student creates a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the student's health and negatively affect learning. Bullying undermines the safe learning environment that students need to achieve their full potential.  See section on Bullying, Harassmentand Hazingbelow.

Rhode Island'sComprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes provides the framework for education on bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment.

Dating Violence: 
Statute 16-22-24 (2007) requires each school district to incorporate age-appropriate dating violence education into the annual health curriculum framework for students in grades 7-12.  Dating violence education shall include defining dating violence, recognizing warning signs and characteristics of healthy relationships.  In addition, students must be provided with the school district's dating violence policy as required in Statute 16-21-30 (2007).  Section 5.1.15.2 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009) requires mandated health education instruction to include a definition of dating violence, and warning signs and characteristics of healthy relationships. It also requires students to be provided with the school districts' dating violence policy.

Fighting/Gangs: Standard 5 of Rhode Island's Health Education Framework (1996) requires students in grades K-12 to learn non-violent conflict resolution strategies, the difference between positive and negative responses in conflicts, the causes of conflict, and conflict prevention. Standard 3 requires students in grades K-10 to be taught how to reduce and avoid threatening situations.

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: Section 5.1.15.1 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009) stresses that mandated health instructional outcomes must include the causes, effects, and treatment of behaviors related to suicide pursuant to Statute 16-22-14 (1986), which requires the department of elementary and secondary education to develop and prescribe a suicide prevention awareness program for public school students in grades 9-12, that is to be incorporated in existing health education courses.
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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Professional Development: Statute 16-22-14 (1986) requires the board of regents to institute workshops to be developed and provided by Samaritans, Inc. for those public school teachers designated to teach the suicide prevention awareness program.

Statute 16-21-30 (2007) requires that each school district shall provide dating violence training to all administrators, teachers, nurses and mental health staff at the middle and high school levels. Upon the recommendation of the administrator, other staff may be included or may attend the training on a volunteer basis. The dating violence training shall include, but not be limited to, basic principles of dating violence, warnings signs of dating violence and the school district's dating violence policy, to ensure that they are able to appropriately respond to incidents of dating violence at school. Thereafter, this training shall be provided yearly to all newly hired staff deemed appropriate to receive the training by the school's administration.

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Pre-Service Requirement: TheRegulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island (effective January 1, 2012) details a comprehensive redesign of the certification system that updates the requirements and procedures that govern educator certification in Rhode Island.  Specific details of Rhode Island Health Teacher Certificate are outlined in All Grades Health Teacher, Grades PK-12. Applicants must achieve a passing score of 160 on the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching ‐ Grades K‐6 (0622/5622) OR a passing score of 157 on the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching ‐ Grades 7‐12 (0624/5624). Applicants prepared in a program where the language of instruction was not English must achieve a passing score of 64 on the Versant Pro Speaking and Writing assessments.         See Certification Tests - Effective September 1, 2013.

Professional Development: See the RI Professional Teacher Standards, RI Standards for Educational Leadership, and RI Code of Professional Responsibilities. As per the Regulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island, professional development is embedded in the state approved local evaluation system requirement that all educators receive annual evaluation ratings and professional growth plans.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Pre-service Requirement: TheRegulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island (effective January 1, 2012) details a comprehensive redesign of the certification system that updates the requirements and procedures that govern educator certification in Rhode Island.  Specific details of Rhode Island Physical Education Certificate are outlined in All Grades Physical Education Teacher, Grades PK-12.

Applicants must achieve a passing score of 160 on the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching - Grades K-6 (0622/5622) OR a passing score of 157 on the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching - Grades 7-12 (0624/5624). Applicants prepared in a program where the language of instruction was not English must achieve a passing score of 64 on the Versant Pro Speaking and Writing assessments.        See Certification Tests - Effective September 1, 2013

Professional Development: See the RI Professional Teacher Standards, RI Standards for Educational Leadership, and RI Code of Professional Responsibilities.  As per the Regulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island,professional development is embedded in the state approved local evaluation system requirement that all educators receive annual evaluation ratings and professional growth plans.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 1/30/2013

Pre-Service Requirement: Statute 16-21-8 (1976) requires each school district to employee a certified nurse-teacher personnel. Section 7.2.1 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009) requires a candidate for certification as a nurse-teacher personnel to be licensed as a registered nurse and certified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. For licensure as a registered nurse, the Rules and Regulations for the Licensing of Nurses (2004) requires the possession of a high school diploma, successful completion in an approved professional nursing education program, and the passing of the NCLEX-RN examination.

TheRegulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island (effective January 1, 2012) details a comprehensive redesign of the certification system that updates the requirements and procedures that govern educator certification in Rhode Island.  Specific details of Rhode Island School Nurse Teacher Certificate are outlined in All Grades School Nurse Teacher, Grades PK-12. The All Grades School Nurse Teacher Certificate is valid for assignment as an All Grades School Nurse Teacher and as an

All Grades Health teacher in grades PK 12 in Rhode Island public schools.

Applicants must achieve a passing score of 160 on the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching - Grades K-6 (0622/5622) OR a passing score of 157 on the Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching - Grades 7-12 (0624/5624). Applicants prepared in a program where the language of instruction was not English must achieve a passing score of 64 on the Versant Pro Speaking and Writing assessments.        See Certification Tests - Effective September 1, 2013.

Professional Development: See Section 8.0 Continuing Education Requirements of the Rules and Regulations Pertaining to the Licensing of Professional (Registered), Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, and Practical Nurses and Standards for the Approval of Basic Nursing Education Programs[R5-34-NUR/ED]

As per the Regulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island,professional development is embedded in the state approved local evaluation system requirement that all educators receive annual evaluation ratings and professional growth plans.

Student-to-Nurse Ratio: No state policy.

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 1/30/2013

Pre-Service Requirement: No state policy.

Professional Development: Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires schools to provide training for school personnel who might administer an epinephrine autoinjector in a case of anaphylaxis. For administration of glucagon, Section 19.4.3.1 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) require prior authorization by a parent or legal guardian for non-certified staff to voluntarily assist in emergency administration.

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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 1/30/2013

Pre-Service Requirement: TheRegulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island (effective January 1, 2012) details a comprehensive redesign of the certification system that updates the requirements and procedures that govern educator certification in Rhode Island.  Specific details of the Rhode Island School Counselor Certificate are outlined in School Counselor. The School Counselor Certificate is valid for assignment as a School Counselor in grades PK - 12 in Rhode Island public schools. Applicants prepared in a program where the language of instruction was not English must achieve a passing score of 64 on the Versant Pro Speaking and Writing assessments. Applicants must meet all Rhode Island assessment requirements.

See Certification Tests - Effective September 1, 2013.

Professional Development:  See the RI Professional Teacher Standards, RI Standards for Educational Leadership, and RI Code of Professional Responsibilities. As per the Regulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island,professional development is embedded in the state approved local evaluation system requirement that all educators receive annual evaluation ratings and professional growth plans.

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: No state policy.
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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 1/30/2013

Pre-Service Requirement: TheRegulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island (effective January 1, 2012) details a comprehensive redesign of the certification system that updates the requirements and procedures that govern educator certification in Rhode Island.  Specific details of the Rhode Island School Psychologist Certificate are outlined in School Psychologist. The School Psychologist Certificate is valid for assignment as a School Psychologist in grades PK - 12 in Rhode Island public schools. Applicants prepared in a program where the language of instruction was not English must achieve a passing score of 64 on the Versant Pro Speaking and Writing assessments. Applicants must meet all Rhode Island assessment requirements.


Professional Development
: See the RI Professional Teacher Standards, RI Standards for Educational Leadership, and RI Code of Professional Responsibilities. As per the Regulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island,professional development is embedded in the state approved local evaluation system requirement that all educators receive annual evaluation ratings and professional growth plans.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: Board of Regents Regulations for Elementary & Secondary Education Governing the Education of Children With Disabilities (2010) requires a school district with 1,500 students enrolled in public and non-public schools and children ages three to five to employ one full-time school psychologist per 1,500 students. If the population of enrolled students falls between even multiples of 1,500, an additional part-time school psychologist is to be employed.
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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 1/30/2013

Pre-Service Requirement: TheRegulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island (effective January 1, 2012) details a comprehensive redesign of the certification system that updates the requirements and procedures that govern educator certification in Rhode Island.  Specific details of the Rhode Island School Social Worker Certificate are outlined in School Social Worker. The School Social Worker Certificate is valid for assignment as a School Social Worker in grades PK - 12 in Rhode Island public schools. Applicants prepared in a program where the language of instruction was not English must achieve a passing score of 64 on the Versant Pro Speaking and Writing assessments. 

See Certification Tests - Effective September 1, 2013.

Professional Development: See the RI Professional Teacher Standards, RI Standards for Educational Leadership, and RI Code of Professional Responsibilities. As per the Regulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island, professional development is embedded in the state approved local evaluation system requirement that all educators receive annual evaluation ratings and professional growth plans. The social worker must also maintain their state social worker's license.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: Board of Regents Regulations for Elementary & Secondary Education Governing the Education of Children With Disabilities (2010) requires a school district with 2,500 students enrolled in public and non-public schools and children ages three to five must employ one full-time social worker or equivalent per 2,500 students. If the population of enrolled students falls between even multiples of 2,500, an additional part-time school social worker is to be employed.

Requirements for Food Service Personnel
     Last Updated: 6/30/2009

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 1/30/2013

Pre-service Requirement: TheRegulations Governing the Certification of Educators in Rhode Island (effective January 1, 2012) details a comprehensive redesign of the certification system that updates the requirements and procedures that govern educator certification in Rhode Island.  Specific details of the Rhode Island Coach Permit Certificate are outlined in Athletic Coach Permit. The Athletic Coach Permit is valid to serve as an Athletic Coach in Rhode Island public schools.

Statute 16-91-3 (2010) requires that all coaches and volunteers involved in a youth sport or activity must complete a training course and a refresher course annually thereafter in concussions and traumatic brain injuries. Training may consist of videos, classes, and any other generally accepted mode and medium of providing information.

Statute 16-21.4-4 (2006) requires mandatory first aid courses for athletic coaches to include health information relating to performance-enhancing dietary supplements.

Professional Development
: Statute 16-11.1-1 requires coaches to have current and valid first aid certification each year.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 1/30/2013
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Additional Accountability Requirements: Statute 16-2-9(a)(25) (2005), Statute 16-21-28 (2005) and Statute 16-7.1-2(h) (2005) require the school committee of each district to establish a district-wide coordinated school health and wellness subcommittee, chaired by a member of the full school committee, to implement policies and plans to meet Section 204 requirements. In addition, the law requires that all [district] strategic plans include strategies to decrease obesity and improve the health and wellness of students and employees through nutrition, physical activity, health education, and physical education.

Additional Content Requirements: None

Guidance Materials: Rhode Islands' Coordinated School Health Program, THRIVE, has produced a comprehensive District Health & Wellness Subcommittee Toolkit to aid subcommittees in creating and implementing wellness policies as required by state and federal law.

The Board of Regents and Department of Health officially endorsed the Rhode Island Nutrition and Physical Activity Model Policy Language and Rhode Island Nutrition Guidelines for School Vending and a La Carte Foods in 2006, which was initially developed by the Rhode Island Healthy Schools Coalition.

Other: None

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 8/21/2013
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Food Services:  The State Board of Education requires all school districts to comply with the Rhode Island Nutrition Requirements for Food Service Programs (2009) requires schools that provide the school lunch program and/or school breakfast program to abide by the guidelines in the requirements which exceed USDA standards. The requirements are as follows:

  • Whole Grains: All of the grains served that are considered as a “bread serving” (rice, bread, pasta, cereal etc.) as part of reimbursable meals & snacks will be at least 51% whole grain. This percentage increases by 10% per year until it reaches 100% whole grain by 2013/2014. Grain products must have no more than 7 grams of total sugar per ounce (grains with fruit may have more). See the approved whole grain list.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: In all menu planning options, schools must serve, at a minimum: 2 servings of fruit and/or vegetable per breakfast, 3 servings of fruit and/or vegetable per lunch, 1 serving of fruit and/or vegetable per each after school snack.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Schools must offer at a minimum 3 different fruits in 1 week, 5 different non-fried vegetables in 1 week, 1 serving of fruit or vegetable per day will be dark green or orange. One serving of fruit or vegetable per day must be fresh or raw.
  • Juice: Schools may offer no more than one serving of 100% juice per day for breakfast and lunch and one serving of 100% juice for every 5 consecutive snacks served.
  • Sugar/Added Sugars: 100% juice or milk served as part of school lunch, school breakfast, or after school snack, may have no more than 4 grams of total sugar per ounce.
  • Sodium: May not exceed 575 mg for all components of school breakfast, 1070 mg for school lunch 1000 mg for soup served as a part of lunch, 350 mg for afterschool snack.
  • Milk: 1% or skim, non-flavored with no more than 4 grams of total sugar per ounce.
  • Cooked legumes: One or more servings of cooked legumes must be at least once per week.


Statute 16-8-10 (1956) requires all public elementary and secondary schools to make type A lunches available to student attending those schools in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the department of elementary and secondary education. Statute 16-8-10.1 (1998) requires all public schools to make a breakfast program that meets any rules and regulations adopted by the commissioner available to students attending school.

Adequate Time to Eat: No state policy.

School Breakfast
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Statute 16-8-10.1 (2005) requires all public schools to make a school breakfast program available to students attending the school.

Farm-to-School
: No state policy. The Rhode Island Farm to School Project at Farm Fresh RI helps school districts source locally.

     Last Updated: 1/30/2013
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Food Allergies: Statute 16-21-31 (2007) requires any school with a student that has an allergy to peanuts/tree nuts and/or food derived from peanut/tree nuts products to post a notice within the school building in a conspicuous place at every point of entry and within the cafeteria facility.  The notice must advise that there are students at the school with allergies to peanuts/tree nuts. 

Statute 16-21-32 (2007) requires the governing body of each elementary, middle or junior high school to develop a policy designed to provide a safe environment for students with peanut/tree nut allergies. When a school is aware that an enrolled student has a peanut/tree nut allergy with potentially serious health consequences, the school must implement a protocol, consistent with the governing body’s policy that provides the student with protections while he or she is attending school or participating in school-sponsored activities. The policy must include the development of an individual health care plan and an emergency health care plan for each student with a food allergy. The plans must be developed collaboratively and signed by the school nurse, the student’s health care provider, the parents/guardians of the student, and the student (if appropriate). Depending upon the nature and extent of the student’s peanut/tree nut allergy, the measures listed in the health plan may include the posting of signs at school, the prohibition of the sale of particular food items in the school, the designation of special tables in the cafeteria, the prohibition of particular food items in certain classrooms, and the complete prohibition of particular food items from a school or school grounds.

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 9/29/2014

Statutes 16-21-7 (1956, as amended in 2006 and 2007) and 16-21-29 (2006) require all elementary, middle, junior, and senior high schools to sell or distribute only healthier beverages and snacks. Healthier beverages are defined as: (1) Water, including carbonated water, flavored or sweetened with 100% fruit juice and containing no added sweetener; (2) Two percent fat milk, one percent fat milk, nonfat milk, and dairy alternatives, such as fortified soy beverages, plain or flavored, with a sugar content of not more than four grams per ounce; (3) 100% fruit juice or fruit based drinks that are composed of no less than 50% fruit juice and have no added sweetener; and (4) Vegetable-based drinks that are composed of no less than 50% vegetable juice and have no added sweetener. Healthier snacks are defined as: (1) Individually sold portions of nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs and cheese packaged for individual sale, fruit, vegetables that have not been deep fried and legumes; (2) Individually sold portions of low-fat yogurt with not more than four grams of total carbohydrates per ounce and reduced fat or low fat cheese packaged for individual sale; and (3) Individually sold enriched or fortified grain or grain products or whole grain foods that contain no more than 30% calories from fat, no more than 10% total calories from saturated fat, and no more than seven grams of total sugar per ounce.

Statute 16-21-7 (2007) requires all elementary, middle and junior high schools that sell or distribute beverages and snacks on their premises, including those sold through vending machines, to offer healthier beverages and snacks as defined in Statute 16-21-29 (2006). See the Approved Product List for Vending Machines and A La Carte Foods.

 

Fundraising Exemptions:

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

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

General Physical Activity Requirement: No state policy.

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

Recess Before Lunch:  No state policy.

Walking/Biking to School: No state policy.

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Interscholastic Athletics: No state policy.

Concussion and Sports-Related Head Injury: Statute 16-91-3 (2011) requires the department of education and the Department of Health to work together with the Rhode Island interscholastic League to develop and promulgate guidelines to inform and educate coaches, youth athletes, and their parents and/or guardians of the nature and risk of concussion and head injury including continuing to play after concussion or head injury. The statute requires parents or guardians to be provided with a concussion and head injury information sheet to be signed and returned by the youth athlete and their parent and/or guardian prior to the youth athlete’s return to practice or competition. It also requires school districts to use training materials made available by the CDC ("Heads Up: Concussion in the High School Sports/Concussion in Youth Sports") for training. The Department of Education must post training materials made available by the CDC on its website. It requires All coaches and volunteers involved in a youth sport or activity covered by this chapter must complete a training course and a refresher course annually thereafter in concussions and traumatic brain injuries. School districts are encouraged to have school nurses complete a training course in concussions and traumatic brain injuries.

School districts are encouraged to have all student athletes perform baseline neuropsychological testing, computerized or otherwise. Parents and/or guardians shall be provided with information as to the risk of concussion and/or traumatic brain injuries prior to the start of every sport season and they shall sign an acknowledgement as to their receipt of such information.

A youth athlete who is suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury in a practice or game shall be removed from competition at that time.

A youth athlete, who has been removed from play, may not return to play until the athlete is evaluated by a licensed physician who may consult with an athletic trainer, all of whom shall be trained in the evaluation and management of concussions. The athlete must receive written clearance to return to play from that licensed physician.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Statute 16-2-17 (1956) states that each student, staff member, teacher, and administrator have a right to attend/work at a school that is safe and secure, conducive to learning, and free from threat, actual or implied, of physical harm by a disruptive student. This statute also allows school committees or school principals to suspend a pupil found guilty of disruptive conduct or where a student represents a threat to the rights of students, teachers or administrators from attending/working in a safe and secure school environment.

Statute 16-21-21 (1995) requires each school committee to make, maintain, and enforce a student discipline code that fosters and promotes a positive learning environment.

Statute 16-21-30 (2007) requires each school district to establish a specific policy to address incidents of dating violence involving students at school.  The department of education is required to develop a model dating violence policy to assist school districts in this policy.  The policy must include a statement that dating violence will not be tolerated, dating violence reporting procedures, guidelines to responding to incidents of dating violence at school and discipline procedures for such incidents.

Fighting/Gangs: No state policy.

Weapons: Statute 16-21-18 (1995) and Section 38.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009) prohibit students from bringing or possessing a weapon, firearm, or realistic replica of a firearm within school premises, which includes areas being used for school purposes or activities, vehicles for school transportation, and roadways and paths along which school children or teachers are walking to school. Weapons possession is punishable by one year's suspension from school. Section 38.1.1 Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009) requires the discipline policies regarding incidents of students in possession of weapons to be imposed on a case-by-case basis.

Drugs and Alcohol: Section 39.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires all schools [to] have policies regarding possession of alcohol and other drugs and [to] have on-going prevention activities and programs". Statute 16-21-16 (1976) grants immunity from liability any teacher who reports suspicions about a minor student's abuse of narcotic drugs or other drugs to school officials pursuant to school policy.  Statute 16-21-21.1 (2007) requires that the discipline of any public school student for violating a school policy relating to the possession or use of alcohol, drugs or weapons not described in Statute 16-21-18 (1995) shall be imposed on a case-by-case basis pursuant to guidelines developed by the school committed for that district.

Statute 16-21.4-2 (2005) disallows any teacher, director, sports coach, or other school official from knowingly selling or distributing any performance-enhancing dietary supplement to students.

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Statute 16-21-24 (2001) requires school safety plans to include collaborative arrangements with local and state law enforcement officials.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013
Bullying/Harassment: In accordance with Statute 16-21-33 (2011) and Statute 16-21-34 (2011), any form or degree of bullying at school is prohibited.

The Rhode Island Statewide Bullying Policy (2011) was promulgated pursuant to the authority set forth in Statute 162134 of the General Laws of Rhode Island.  Known as the Safe School Act, the statute recognizes that the bullying of a student creates a climate of fear and disrespect that can seriously impair the student's health and negatively affect learning. Bullying undermines the safe learning environment that students need to achieve their full potential.  The purpose of the Policy is to ensure a consistent and unified statewide approach to the prohibition of bullying at school.  

Statute 16-21-33 (2011), the “Safe Schools Act” defines bullying, cyberbullying and “at school” and requires the state department of education to prescribe by regulation a statewide bullying policy. The policy applies to all public, approved private and collaborative schools. The policy must contain the following:
(1) Descriptions of and statements prohibiting bullying, cyber-bullying and retaliation at school, (2) Clear requirements and procedures for students, staff, parents, guardians and others to report bullying or retaliation
(3) A provision that reports of bullying or retaliation may be made anonymously with no disciplinary action against a student for reporting
(4) Clear procedures for prompt response and investigation of reports of bullying or retaliation, (5) The range of disciplinary actions that may be taken against a perpetrator for bullying or retaliation; balancing accountability with teaching appropriate behavior, along with a parental engagement strategy and a provision that states punishments for violations of the bullying policy shall be determined by the school’s appropriate authority (minimizing student suspension from school unless deemed a necessary consequence of the violations)
(6) Clear procedures for restoring a sense of safety for a victim assessing their needs for protection
(7) Strategies for protecting from bullying or retaliation a person who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying or witnesses or has reliable information about an act of bullying
(8) Procedures for promptly notifying the parents or guardians of a victim and a perpetrator, notification of preventative actions taken against future acts, and procedures for immediate notification of the local law enforcement agency when the criminal charges may be pursued against the perpetrator
(9) A provision that a student who knowingly makes a false accusation of bullying or retaliation shall be subject to disciplinary action
(10) A strategy for providing counseling or referral to appropriate services currently being offered by schools or communities for perpetrators and victims and their families
(11) A provision that requires a principal or designee to be responsible for the implementation and oversight of the bullying policy;
(12) Provisions for informing parents and guardians about the district bullying policy, including a link on the district’s home page and annual distribution to parents and guardians and notification within 24 hours of the incident to parents or guardians of the victim and alleged perpetrator
(13) Immunity from a cause of action for damages for those reporting, in good faith, an act of bullying
(14) Prohibit accessing social networking sites at school, except for educational or instructional purposes and with the prior approval from school administration.

Cyberbullying
: Statute 16-21-33 (2011) defines cyberbullying as "bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which includes, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, texting or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Within the section of this law, it also includes (1) the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person; (2) the knowing impersonation of another person as the author or posted content or messages the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of materials on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the creation, impersonation, or distribution results in any of the conditions enumerated in clauses. The statute requires the state department of education to adopt a statewide bullying policy that prohibits cyberbullying. Additional requirements of the policy are outlined under the Bullying/Harassment topic.

Hazing: Statute 11-21-2 (1956) makes hazing, defined in detail in Statute 11-21-1 (1909), a misdemeanor offense, punishable of up to a $500 fine and/or imprisonment from 30 days to one year.
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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Response and Management Plans: Statute 16-21-23 (2001) requires the school committee to adopt a comprehensive school safety plan that includes crisis intervention and emergency response and management. The plan shall be developed by members of the school committee, students, teachers, parent organizations, school safety personnel, school administration, and law enforcement officials. Statute 16-21-24 (2004) sets minimum requirements for school safety plans, school emergency response plans, and school crisis response plans. They are to include policies and procedures for responding to and preventing a wide variety of violent incidents. Emergency, crisis, and post-incident response teams are also to be created.

Statute 16-21-4 (2007) requires every public and private school to perform two evacuation drills and two lockdown drills (for potential dangers within the building) among the fifteen mandatory drills in each school year.

Reporting Incidents of Violence
: A Guide to Preventing Bullying, Teen Dating Violence andSexual Violence in Rhode Island Schools (6/2012)addresses the requirements of schools in reporting incidents of bullying, teen dating violence, and sexual violence.  The Rhode Island Statewide Bullying Policy (2011) requires school staff, volunteers, and students who observe an act of bullying or who have reasonable grounds to believe that bullying is taking place must report the bullying to school authorities. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. The victim of bullying, however, shall not be subject to discipline for failing to report the bullying. Student reports of bullying or retaliation may be made anonymously, provided, however, that no disciplinary action shall be taken against a student solely on the basis of an anonymous report.
 
Statute 16-21-16 (1976) grants immunity from liability any teacher who reports suspicions about a minor student's abuse of narcotic drugs or other drugs to school officials pursuant to school policy.
 
Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Statute 23-20.10.3 (2004) prohibits smoking in public places, including school buildings, and classrooms. "No Smoking" signs must also be conspicuously posted in these places. Violation of these policies is punishable with a fine of $250 for a first offense and up to $1,000 for a third. Detailed guidelines enforcing these policies are found in Rule 23-20.10 (2004). Statute 23-20.9-5 (1992) requires the governing body of each school to develop enforcement procedures to prohibit the use of tobacco by any person on school facilities. The statute also requires "Tobacco-Free School - Tobacco Use Prohibited" signs to be posted at every entrance of the building and in every school bus and school vehicle. Further details of tobacco use policy in schools are provided in Section 36 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009).

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

School buildings are subject to the provisions of Statute 23-24.5 and the Rules and Regulations for Asbestos Control (2007), promulgated by the Rhode Island Department of Health. See Section 26.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009).

School buildings are subject to the provisions of RIGL Chapter 23-61 and the Rules and
Regulations for Radon Control (2007), promulgated by the Department of Health. Section 28.0 of the
Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009)requires all to be tested for radon in the air to identify structures in which the potential exists for elevated radon concentrations.
Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Section 25.0, Pesticide Applications and Notification of Pesticide Applications at Schools, of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009).

Statute 23-25-37 (2001) requires each local school committee to provide staff and parents of each child enrolled in each school a written statement of the committee's pesticide application policy on school property and a description of any applications made at the school during the previous school year. It also mandates that no application of pesticide may be made in any building or on the grounds of any school during regular school hours or during planned activities at any school.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013
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Section 40.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires all playgrounds to be maintained and operated in a safe manner at all times and must comply with the guidelines of the most recent version of the Handbook for Public Playground Safety issued by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Vision and Hearing: Statute 16-21-14 (1961) requires hearing and vision screening tests be provided for schools statewide. Statute 16-21-14.1 (2006) requires a vision screening upon entering kindergarten or within 30 days of the start of the school year. Section 9.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009) requires each student receive a vision screening at a minimum upon school entry and in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 9th grades.

Statute 16-21-14 requires a hearing screening test be administered upon initial entry into school. Section 11.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health  (2009) requires each student first enrolled to receive a hearing screening test conducted by a properly trained and qualified person, and screened at intervals consistent with the current guidelines of ASHA.

Chronic Health Conditions
: Rhode Island does not require schools or districts to identify students with asthma. However, the state does require students who have not previously enrolled in a public or non-public school in that state shall have a medical history and physical examination that assesses the health and well-being of the student and evaluate any challenges to the child's success in school and school-related activities stated in Section 9.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009). The section further requires a second general health examination to be conducted upon entry into the 7th grade.

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

Dental: Section 14.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health(2009) requires every student upon initial enrollment into a public school to be given an initial dental screening by a licensed dentist or dental hygienist. Students are to then receive annual dental screenings by a licensed dentist or hygienist through 5th grade and screened at least once between the 6th and 10th grades. Statute 16-21-9 (1956) requires that communities provide for health and dental screenings of students. Statute 16-21-12 (1956) further states that the school committee may provide dental treatment of students who parents or guardians do not provide treatment within one month of receiving a notice resulting from this dental screening.

Lead: Statute 23-24.6-8 (1991)requires each public and private nursery school and kindergarten to obtain evidence from a parent that the child has been screened for lead poisoning prior to entry into school. Section 9.7 of Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) states that, in lieu of testing, parents may sign a certificate stating that blood testing is contrary to that person's beliefs.

Other: Statute 16-21-10 (1981) requires yearly scoliosis screenings for students in grades 6 through 8. 

Section 13.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) and Statute 16-21-10 (1981) require the school health program to provide for yearly screening or examination for scoliosis for all school children in grades 6-8 conducted by a certified nurse-teacher. Parent/guardian may have the screening or examination conducted by a private physician with the results made available to the school.

Section 12.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires every elementary student to be screened for speech and language impairments by a trained and qualified person if they had not been previously screened.

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 8/2/2013

Staff Administration: Statute 16-21-7 (2007) requires all schools to have a school health program to provide nursing care to students by certified nurse teachers at the written request of a physician and the parent or guardian of the student. Section 8.3.2 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) states that nurse-teacher personnel shall provide health services to school children including the administration of medications.

Section 20.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires each public school to develop protocols and procedures related to the administration of medication in schools and requires, at a minimum, for certified school-nurse teacher to administer medications to students in the public school.

Statute 16-21-22 (1998) also requires the state department of elementary and secondary schools and the department of health to develop policies, rules, and regulations pertaining to school health programs addressing procedures of anaphylaxis incidences. The policies should include a procedure whereby a parent may authorize the school department to administer the epinephrine on his or her child in case of an emergency provided that a doctor's letter or prescription notifying the school of the child's allergy and the need for epinephrine in an emergency is given.

Staff Administration of Diabetes MedicationsStatute 16.21.28.2 (2008) requires the Department of Education to incorporate into their policies, rules and regulations for addressing incidents of hypoglycemia resulting in unconsciousness, seizure and/or the inability to swallow in those children medically identified as having diabetes. The policies must include procedures whereby a parent or legal guardian of any child may authorize school employees or those employed on behalf of the school, when there is no school nurse immediately available, to administer glucagon to a child in an emergency, while at school or school sponsored activities. The policies also must require the glucagon to be kept in a conspicuous place, readily available, and provide for administration training by a licensed physician or other medical professional. Staff must be allowed to voluntarily assist with the emergency administration of glucagon when authorized by a parent or legal guardian, after completion of glucagon administration training. A parent or guardian must provide a diabetes management plan or a signed physician’s order prescribing the care and assistance needed.

Statute 16.21.28.2 (2008) states that school employees may not be subject to penalty or disciplinary action for refusing to be trained in glucagon administration. The statute also provides immunity from liability to school personnel and those employed on behalf of the school for “omissions in the use of glucagon which may constitute ordinary negligence.”

Self-Administration of Asthma Medication: Statute 16-21-22 (1998) requires policies allowing children to carry and use prescription medication and inhalers during school and at school functions. A child who needs to carry prescription medication or inhalers must provide the school medical documentation stating that the prescription medication or inhaler has been legitimately prescribed and that the child needs to carry it due to a medical condition. The statute exempts any school teacher, school administrator, or school health personnel from incurring liability for civil damages resulting from acts or omissions in use of the epinephrine or from the use of prescription inhalers by children.

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis Medication: Although not specifying the administration of epinephrine, Section 20.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires school districts to develop protocols and procedures permitting students to self-carry and/or self-administer prescription medication during school and at off-site school sponsored activities provided a written order is given by the prescriber and written authorization is given by the parent/guardian. Section 18.10 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) states that none of the requirements regarding staff-administration of epinephrine shall preclude the self-administration of an epinephrine auto-injector by a medically identified student.

Psychotropic Medications: No specific state policy.

Storage and Record-keeping: Section 20.5 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires the school nurse-teacher or other registered nurse to document each dose of medication administered or not administered when not done so as ordered. Section 20.6 requires all medications that are to be administered be kept in a secured cabinet.

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Requirement to Provide Services: No state policy.

Statutes 16-73-1, 16-73-2, and 16-73-3 (1993) creates child opportunity zones: to deliver comprehensive and coordinated social services at or near school sites.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: Statute 16-21-23 (2003) states that the school crisis response team shall be comprised of those selected school personnel willing to serve as members of a psychological response team to address the psychological and emotional needs of the school community.

Substance Abuse: No state policy.

Suicide Prevention: Statute 16-22-14 (1986) requires the department of elementary and secondary education to develop and prescribe a suicide prevention awareness program for public school students in grades 9-12.

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: No state policy.

Immunity of Liability: No state policy.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

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.

All Rhode Island students entering public or private preschools, elementary, middle, or high schools must have required immunizations. SeeSummary of Immunization Requirements & Guidelines for Granting Exemptions.

Exemptions: Statute 16-38-2 (1956) allows for exemption from immunization requirements under the following circumstances: (1) Certification from a licensed physician stating that a person is not a fit subject for immunization for medical reasons, or (2) Submission of a statement signed by the pupil (if over 18) or by the parent or guardian stating that immunization and/or testing for communicable diseases is contrary to that person's religious beliefs.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Statute 23-6.3-7 (2010) prohibits the disclosure of any individual's HIV test without the written consent of that individual.

The Rhode Island Departments of Education and Health produced Policy Guidelines Relating to HIV/Hepatitis (2011) that addresses non-discrimination, reporting, confidentiality, education, and universal precautions.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Statute 23-6.3-7 (2009) prohibits the disclosure of the results of an HIV test without the written consent of the individual.

The Rhode Island Departments of Education and Health have produced Policy Guidelines Relating to HIV/Hepatitis (2011) that addresses non-discrimination, reporting, confidentiality, education, and universal precautions.

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

No state policy.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Section 15.0 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires the certified nurse-school personnel to maintain a complete, cumulative school health record for each student, which includes information regarding a student's health history, including chronic conditions and treatment plans, and documentation of health care provider's orders and any parental permission to administer medications or medical treatment to be given in school.

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

State Level: Statute 16-2-9(a)(24) (2005) makes addressing the health and wellness of students and staff a duty of the school committee. Statute 16-2-9(a)(25) (2005) and Statute 16-21-28 (2005) require that the school committee of each school district establish a school health and wellness subcommittee. This subcommittee is charged with making recommendations regarding health education curriculum and instruction, physical education curriculum and instruction, and nutrition and physical activity policies. This subcommittee is to be chaired by a member of the school committee, and consist of a majority of non-school employees, including at least one parent.

Local Level: Statute 16-2-9(a)(25) (2005) and Statute 16-21-28 (2005) require that the school committee of each school district establish a school health and wellness subcommittee. This subcommittee is charged with making recommendations regarding health education curriculum and instruction, physical education curriculum and instruction, and nutrition and physical activity policies.

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School Health Program Coordinators
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Local Level: The Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) require each school district to develop a manual of procedures (protocols) governing health education, health services and a healthful school environment; to designate an individual(s) or committee to be accountable for the school or school district health program; and to designate a certified health educator to administer the health education program.

Confidentiality
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Student Health-Related Records: Sections 15.4 and 15.6 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health (2009) requires any school personnel who maintain cumulative school health records containing confidential health care information to ensure that information remains fully confidential or suffer prosecution by the Attorney General's Office.

Student Health-Related Services: Statute 23-6.3-7 (2009) prohibits the disclosure to a third party of an individual's HIV test without the written consent of individual.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 2/13/2013

Statute 16-38-5 (1956) states that it is unlawful to circulate in any school any questionnaire intentionally or unintentionally framed to ask pupils any intimate questions about themselves and/or their families unless the questionnaire has received the approval of the department of elementary and secondary education and the local school committee. Violation of this policy is punishable up to $100 in fines for each offense.

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