Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 9/1/2004
Contact us with corrections or additions Texas Last Updated: 10/21/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 11/6/2012
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Mandate: Education Code §28.002 (2001) requires instruction in health education as part of the “enrichment curriculum” for Kindergarten through grade 12, subject to additional rules by the Texas State Board of Education. State Board of Education Administrative Code §74.1 (1998) specifies that each “district must ensure that sufficient time is provided for teachers to teach and for students to learn… health [and] physical education” in grades K-8, but at the high school level school districts only need to offer a health course and maintain evidence that students have the opportunity to take the course. Per State Board of Education Administrative Code §74.41 (2010), high school students must earn at least ½ credits in health education or health science in order to graduate.

 

 

 
     Last Updated: 9/24/2009

Curriculum Content: The state does not currently require that schools use a specific health education curriculum. However, State Board of Education Administrative Code §115 (1997) outlines the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education(1997), which are guidelines for instruction. Local school districts are free to decide for themselves what parts of the Health Education TEKS they choose to teach and the extent to which they choose to address a particular health topic. Also, under the terms of Statute §38.013 - §38.014 (2001), part of what is commonly referred to as “Senate Bill 19”, the Texas Education Agency is required to “make available to each school district a coordinated health program designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, and Type II diabetes in elementary school students” and every school system is required to be trained in its implementation by 2007. To date, the TEA has approved the use of two specific curriculum programs that satisfy this requirement and the state is coordinating training opportunities in their use.

State Assessment Requirement: None.

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 9/24/2009
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Mandate: Education Code 28.002 (2007) requires students in grades K-5 to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes throughout the school year. This may be accomplished through the physical education curriculum or daily recess. Students in grades 6-8 are required to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity (as a part of the physical education curriculum) for at least 30 minutes for at least four semesters.  If this is impractical due to scheduling or other factors, the district may require a student to participate in moderate or vigorous physical activity for 135 minutes per week or 225 minutes per two weeks on a block schedule.

     Last Updated: 9/16/2011

Administrative Code 74.2 (1993) requires school districts that offer K-5 must provide instruction in the physical education curriculum. State Board of Education Administrative Code 74.32 (2002) further mandates enrolled K-6 students to participate in a minimum of 30 minutes per day or 135 minutes per week of physical activity. State Board of Education Administrative Code 74.3 (2004) requires school districts offering grades 6-12 to provide instruction in physical education. Further, high school students are required to fulfill 1 credit of physical education to receive a high school diploma according to State Board of Education Administrative Code 74.51 (2003). Education Code 28.002 (2009) requires each school district to establish specific objectives and goals for the physical education curriculum, including student/teacher ratios. If the student/teacher ratios are more than 45:1, the district must specifically identify the manner in which the safety of the students will be maintained.

State Board of Education Administrative Code  74.31 (2001) requires districts to classify students for physical education into unrestricted, restricted, or adapted and remedial categories.

Education Code 38.013 (2003) requires the agency to provide one or more coordinated health programs that accounts for health education, physical education and physical activity, nutrition services, and parental involvement in each school district.

Exemptions: State Board of Education Administrative Code 74.11 (1997) allows for temporary or permanent medical exemption with a physician's note.  It also gives school districts permission to allow a student to substitute certain physical activities for credit towards the high school graduation requirements.  Waivers may be granted for credit to individual students for involvement in high quality private or commercially sponsored programs (minimum of 5 hours per week) and those in Olympic-level physical training (15 hours per week).  The Graduation Requirements state that the following activites can be substituted for the PE requirement: drill team, marching band, cheerleading, ROTC, athletics, dance I-IV, and approved private programs and certain career and technical education courses.

Education Code 28.002 (2009) requires a school board to provide exemption for any student who is unable to participate in the required physical activity because of illness or disability. In addition, boards must provide exemption to middle or junior high students that participate in an extracurricular activity with moderate or vigorous physical activity components. Students must provide proof of participation in the activity.

Curriculum Content: Education Code 28.002 (2009) requires a physical education curriculum that is sequential, developmentally appropriate, and designed, implemented and evaluated to enable students to develop the motor, self-management and other skills necessary to participate in physical activity throughout life. Each district is required to establish specific objectives and goals for the physical education curriculum. Requirements for the curriculum are outlined in the statute. Among them is the requirement that at least 50% of the physical education class be used for actual student physical activity and that the activity be, to the extent practicable, at a moderate or vigorous level.

State Board of Education Administrative Code 74.1 (2004) requires each school district offering K-12 to adopt a physical education curriculum. State Board of Education Administrative Code 116.1 to 116.52 (1998) describe the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Physical Education.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Education Code 38.101 (2007) requires a school district to assess the physical fitness of students enrolled in grades 3-12.  Students with a disability are exempted from this requirement. Education Code 38.102 (2007) requires the Commissioner of Education to adopt an assessment instrument that measures aerobic capacity, body composition, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility and includes age- and gender-specific criterion-referenced standards. Results are strictly confidential.  Education Code 38.103 (2007) requires the school district to provide summarized results to the Department of Education.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

Not specifically required.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 9/24/2009

The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education (1997) recommends personal and interpersonal skills be taught, including healthy expression of emotions and self-control in grades 1-12. Stress management skills and the various aspects of mental and social health are recommended for grades 3-10.

Character Education: Education Code §29.906 (2003) allows school districts to provide character education programs, stressing positive character traits, using integrated teaching strategies. Teaching specific religious or political beliefs are not authorized.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Mandate: Texas does not require schools to provide instruction in HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention education, although these topics are included throughout theTexas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education (1997) guidance document. If school districts choose to provide this instruction, Education Code

§28.004 (2005) requires that they must present abstinence from sexual activity as the preferred choice of behavior in relationship to all sexual activity for unmarried persons of school age; devote more attention to abstinence from sexual activity than to any other behavior; emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity, if used consistently and correctly, is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity; direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence from sexual activity before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and infection with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome; and teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates, if instruction on contraception and condoms is included in curriculum content. A school district may not distribute condoms in connection with instruction relating to human sexuality.

Curriculum Content: Per Education Code §28.004, curriculum must be approved by “a local school health education advisory council to assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction.”

Parental Approval: Education Code §28.004 (1995) allows for a parent to remove a student from instruction (an “opt-out” policy). In addition, Education Code §26.010 (1995) states, “a parent is entitled to remove the parent's child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent's religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent's child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity. A parent is not entitled to remove the parent's child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for an entire semester” (an “opt-out” policy). Education Code §28.004 (1995) requires districts that provide sexuality instruction to students to provide written notice to parents including a basic summary of the basic content of the instruction, a statement of a parent's rights, and information describing the opportunities for parental involvement in the development of the curriculum.
 

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 9/24/2009

Education Code §38.013 (2003) requires the agency to provide one or more coordinated health programs that accounts for health education, physical education and physical activity, nutrition services, and parental involvement in each school district. 

The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education (1997) recommends instruction in nutrition that includes identifying healthy and unhealthy foods, examining food labels, and healthy and unhealthy dietary practices be taught in grades K-6.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 7/23/2009

Alcohol: Code 28.002 (2009) requires the State Board of Education to adopt Texas Essential  Knowledge and Skills for addressing the dangers, causes, consequences, signs, symptoms, and treatment of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning. The code requires the Texas Education Agency to compile a list of evidence-based alcohol awareness programs from which a school district must choose for use in the district's middle school, junior high, and high school health curriculum.Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education (1997) recommends alcohol use prevention education is taught in grades K-12.

 

Tobacco: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education recommends tobacco use prevention education is taught in grades K-12.
 
Drugs: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education recommends drug use prevention education is taught in grades K-12.
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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 4/24/2008

The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education (1997) recommends violence prevention is taught in grades 3-6.

Bullying/Harassment: The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education the ethical and legal ramifications of harassment are taught in grades 9-10.

Fighting/Gangs: The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education recommends personal and interpersonal skills is taught, including conflict resolution, in grades 1, 3-4, 6-8, & 11-12. It is also recommended that students be taught how to identify and respond to/prevent the various forms of abuse (physical, emotional, sexual) in grades 3-10. Gang prevention measures are also recommended to be taught in grades 3-8.

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education recommends suicide prevention is taught in grades 9-10.

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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 6/8/2008

Professional Development: The state does not require teachers to participate in professional development covering health education or violence prevention topics.

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 9/29/2010

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirement for prospective health teachers in elementary, middle, and high school grades prior to licensure is a bachelor's degree, with an academic major; however, health coursework is not specified. The specific details of initial licensure are outlined in Education Code 21.050 (2001).

Professional Development: The state does not require health education teachers to participate in on-going professional development covering health education topics.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 6/10/2008

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Education Code 21.003 (1995) requires a school nurse to be certified by the proper state agency. 

Professional Development: None specified. 

Student-to-Nurse Ratio: None specified.

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 9/29/2010

Pre-service Requirement: None specified. 

Professional Development: Health & Safety Statutes 168.004 - 168.005 (2005) requires schools to seek out and train, per Texas Diabetes Council guidelines, one to three non-medical school personnel as unlicensed diabetes care assistants.

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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Education Code 21.003 (2007) requires a school counselor to be certified by the state. Administrative Code 239.20 (2001) requires a minimum of a master's degree, 2 years teaching experience, successful completion of state exam, completion of a state approved school counselor program. A school counselor must also have coursework as follows: Learner-Centered Knowledge, Skills, Process, Equity and Excellence for All Learners, Communications and Professional Development detailed in Administrative Code 239.15 (2001). A counselor is also required to have a valid professional teaching certificate and three creditable years of classroom teaching experience.

Professional Development: Administrative Code 239.15 (2001) requires that mandated school counselor continuing professional education activities follow the foundation laid forth in detail within this statute. Administrative Code 239.25 (2001) requires 150 hours of continuing professional education to be completed during the first 5 year renewal period.

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: Education Code 33.002 (2003) requires school districts, which receive certain funding for programs, provide at least 1 counselor for every 500 students at the elementary level. Those school districts with fewer than 500 students at the elementary level must provide a part-time counselor.

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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Education Code 21.003 (1995) requires a school psychologist to be certified by the proper state agency.

Professional Development: None specified.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio: None specified.

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Pre-service Requirement: Education Code 21.003 (1995) requires a school social worker to be certified by the proper state agency.

Professional Development: None specified.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: None specified.

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

Pre-service Requirement: None specified.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 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: 2/6/2012

Additional Accountability Requirements: None.

Additional Content Requirements: The state Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Division, has implemented mandatory guidelines via the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (2004) that local wellness policies are required to meet (but are encouraged to surpass). Beyond federal Section 204 requirements, the policy sets nutritional standards for foods outside the National School Lunch Program concerning total fat, saturated fat, sugars, and serving size limits. It also prohibits certain foods of minimal nutritional value during the school day and promotes exercise and healthy eating habits.

Guidance Materials: None

Other: The Education Service Center Child Nutrition Program (ESC/CNP) Specialist in the Department of Agriculture reviewed all local wellness policies adopted by the school districts in their region and completed a Wellness Policy Checklist to verify all local wellness policies meet the minimum federal requirements. If Checklist was incomplete, the policy and checklist were returned to the district for changes. If Checklist was complete, it was then submitted to the Texas Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Division where copies of all local wellness policies and their corresponding completed checklists were reviewed and placed in the school district file.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Division also includes wellness policy implementation and evidence of an active committee and implementation plan in its Coordinated Review Effort (CRE) and the School Meal Initiative (SMI) review process.

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 2/8/2012

Food ServicesThe Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (2010) requires that all schools participating in the federal child nutrition programs (National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and After School Snack Program) must comply with the following nutrition policies. At the elementary level, schools may not provide Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV), as defined by the USDA, or any other candy, at any time during the school day. FMNV include any carbonated beverage or soda, water ices (popsicles and others), chewing gum and certain candies. Such foods must not be sold or given away to students on school premises by school administrators or staff, students or student groups, parents or parent groups or any other person, company or organization.  At the middle school or junior high level, schools may not serve or provide access for students to FMNV and all other forms of candy until after the end of the last lunch period. At the high school level, schools may not serve or provide access to FMNV during meal periods in areas where reimbursable meals are served and/or consumed.  Access to candy not included in FMNV, however, is permitted.

Elementary, middle and high schools and other vendors may not serve items containing more than 28 grams of fat per serving size more than twice a week. By the 2006-07 school year, the goal is to reduce this to 23 grams of fat. French fries and other fried potato products may not be offered more than once per week (elementary) or three times a week (middle/junior high), may not exceed three ounces per serving, and students may only purchase one serving at a time. Baked potato products that are produced from raw potatoes and have not been pre-fried, flash-fried or deep-fat fried in any way may be served without restriction. Foods that are flash-fried by the manufacturer may be served but should be baked or heated by another method. All schools must eliminate frying as a method of on-site preparation for foods served as a part of school meals by 2009-10.  Beginning in 2006-07 school year, schools should reduce the purchase of any products containing trans fats. Schools also must abide by maximum portion sizes outlined in the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (2010) 

At all levels (elementary, middle/junior high and high school), fruits and vegetables should be offered daily on all points of service. They should be fresh whenever possible, and when frozen or canned, packed in natural juice, water or light syrup. Schools must offer two percent, one percent and skim milk at all points where milk is served. By 2006-07, all beverages served in elementary schools should be milk, unflavored water and 100 percent fruit and/or vegetable juice. Schools serving potato chips should use reduced fat (no more than 5 grams per ounce) whenever possible.

There are various exceptions to the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (2010) addressing issues such as school events, students with special needs, instructional use of food in the classroom, etc. 

Adequate Time to Eat: Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (2010) requires schools to provide adequate time to receive and consume meals. The minimum recommended "adequate time" after being served is 10 minutes for breakfast and 20 minutes for lunch.

School Breakfast: Code 33.901 (1995) requires school breakfast in public schools and open-enrollment charter schools in which 10 percent or more students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch.

Food Allergies: No state policy.

Farm-to-School: SB1027 (2009) establishes the interagency farm-to-school coordination task force and requires it to develop and implement a plan to facilitate the availability of locally grown food products in public schools. Some of the responsibilities the task force is charged with are as follows: (1) designing or updating nutrition or food education resources for schools, (2) expanding food-focused experiential education programs, (3) offer assistance in identifying funding sources and grants that allow schools to recover the costs associated with purchasing locally grown food, and (4) develop a database of locally grown food products, identify, design or make available training programs to enable local farmers and ranchers to market their products to schools.

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 10/21/2014

Education Code 28.004 (2003) requires school districts to make available for inspection a statement of whether local policies were adopted that ensure compliance with agency vending machine and food service guidelines and restricting student access to vending machines.

The Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (2010) states that by 2005-06 school year, no more than 30 percent of the beverages made available through vending machines on high school campuses should be sugared, carbonated soft drinks. Sugared, carbonated containers should be limited to no more than 12 ounces. Contracts and contract renewals after March 3, 2004 must expressly prohibit the sale of sugared, carbonated beverages in containers larger than 12 ounces.                                                

The Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (2010) prohibits elementary schools from serving competitive foods (or provide access to them through direct or indirect sales) to students anywhere on school premises throughout the school day until the end of the last scheduled class. Competitive foods are defined as items sold in vending machines, in school stores, or through school fundraisers by parents, administrators or other groups or organizations. This does not pertain to food made available by the school food service department. Elementary schools may allow one nutritious snack per day under the teacher's supervision. The snack may be in the morning or afternoon, but may not be at the same time as regular meal periods. The snack may be provided by a teacher, parent, school food service or other group and should be at no cost to the student. The snack must comply with the sugar and fat limits of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (2010) and may not contain any FMNV or dessert types (cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pudding, ice cream or frozen desserts). 

Middle or junior high schools may not serve competitive foods (or provide access to them through direct or indirect sales) to students anywhere on school premises during meal periods. This does not include food items made available by the school food service department. The competitive foods included in this policy do not include FMNVs, which are not allowed until after the last lunch period.

High schools may not serve or provide access to competitive foods during meal periods in areas where reimbursable meals are served and/or consumed. This does not pertain to food items made available by the school food service department. All competitive foods sold or provided to students must meet the nutrition standards of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (2010).

Carbonated beverages are not allowed to be provided to students any time, anywhere until after the end of the last scheduled class.

 

Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers for foods that are intended to be consumed on the school campus must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/22/2010

General Physical Activity Requirement: Education Code 28.002 (2007) requires students in grades K-5 to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes throughout the school year. This may be accomplished through the physical education curriculum or daily recess. Students in grades 6-8 are required to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity (as a part of the physical education curriculum) for at least 30 minutes for at least four semesters.  If this is impractical due to scheduling or other factors, the district may require a student to participate in moderate or vigorous physical activity for 135 minutes per week or 225 minutes per two weeks on a block schedule.

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks
: No state policy. However, Education Code 28.004 (2003) requires the local school health advisory council to consider and make policy recommendations to the district concerning the importance of daily recess for elementary school students..

Recess Before Lunch:
No state policy.

Walking/Biking to School: Transportation Code 201.614 (2001) establishes a Safe Routes to School Program within the Department of Transportation. Projects eligible to receive funding under the program include installation of new crosswalks and bike lanes, construction of multiuse trails, construction and replacement of sidewalks, implementation of traffic-calming programs in neighborhoods around schools and construction of bike lanes.

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 9/16/2011

Interscholastic Athletics: TAC 76.1001 (2003) states that an extracurricular activity is an activity sponsored by the school district that is not necessarily directly related to instruction of the essential knowledge and skills but may have an indirect relation to some areas of the curriculum. Further provisions of extracurricular activities are provided in the code.

Sports-Related Drug Testing: Education Code 33.091 (2007) requires the University Interscholastic League to develop rules for an annual random steroid testing program for high school students participating in athletic competition. The program must require the testing of a statistically significant number of students multiple times throughout the year at approximately 30 percent of high schools that participate in athletic competitions sponsored by the League. Information about the program can be found here.

Concussion and Sports Related Head Inury: Education Code 33.201 (2007) requires a school district to provide training to student participating in an extracurricular athletic activity about recognizing the symptoms of potentially catastrophic injuries, including head and neck injuries, concussions and injuries related to second impact syndrome. It also prohibits a coach, trainer or sponsor of an extracurricular athletic activity from encouraging or permitting a student that became unconscious during an extracurricular athletic activity from returning to practice or competition. The student may not participate in any extracurricular athletic activity until they receive written authorization for participation from a physician. The statute provides immunity from liability for civil damages for volunteers assisting with extracurricular activities, except when the act or omission is willfully or wantonly negligent.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): Education Code 38.017 (2007) requires each school district to make available at each campus at least one automated external defibrillator (AED).  The defibrillator must be available at each athletic practice held at a district campus. Each district campus must ensure the presence of at least one campus or district employee trained in the use of the defibrillator each time a substantial number of students are present. Each school district is required to develop safety procedures for a district or school employee to follow when responding to a medical emergency.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Objective 8 of Education Code 4.001 (2003) states that, school campuses will maintain a safe and disciplined environment conducive to student learning." Education Code 37.001 (2003) requires the board of trustees to adopt a student code of conduct for the district.

Fighting/Gangs: Texas has no specific state policy concerning physical fighting; however, Education Code 37.001 (2001) requires the board of trustees of an independent school district to adopt a student code of conduct, which must include circumstances in which a student may be removed from a classroom or campus and suspended or expelled. Such circumstances, per Education Code 37.005 37.007 (2001), including aggravated assault. Education Code 37.121 (2003) also states it is illegal to be a member of, pledge to be a member of, join, or solicit members to join a public school gang. Such offense is considered a class C misdemeanor.

Weapons: Education Code 37.125 (1995) states that exhibiting, using, or threatening to use or exhibit a firearm, interfering with the normal use of a building, portion of campus, or school bus being used to transport children to or from school-sponsored activities of a public or private school is a third degree felony.

Education Code 37.007 (2003) makes the use, exhibition, or possession of a firearm, illegal knife, club, or other weapon an expellable offense when committed on school property or while attending a school-sponsored or school-related activity, on or off school property. Further, it is also illegal to possess a firearm within 300 feet of school property. Firearms possession carries a mandatory one year expulsion.

Education Code 37.0021 (2003) states that locked, unattended confinement is not prohibited in an emergency situation while waiting for law enforcement if the student possesses a weapon and may potentially cause bodily harm to others.

Drugs and Alcohol: Education Code 38.007 (1995) requires the board of trustees of a school district to prohibit the use of alcoholic beverages at school-related or school-sanctioned activities on or off school property. Further, the board shall attempt to provide a safe alcohol-free environment to students coming to or going from school".

Education Code 37.007 makes the possession, sale, giving, delivery, use, or being under the influence of a controlled substance, dangerous drug, or alcoholic beverage an expellable offense within 300 feet of school property or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity. Such students are required to be removed to a disciplinary alternative education program, per Education Code 37.006 (2003).

Education Code 38.008 (1995) requires every school with students in the 7th grade or higher to post in a conspicuous location in the school gym and each other location where physical education is held a notice, detailed within this statute, about the dangers and illegality of anabolic steroids.

Education Code 33.091 (2007) requires the athletic league to adopt rules for the administration of a state wide random steroid testing program under which students participating in an athletic competition sponsored or sanctioned by the league are tested for the presence of steroids in students' bodies.   The rules for the steroid testing program must (1) require each school district to submit to the league a list of students who are subject to testing, (2) establish a statistically significant number of students, (3) provide for the generation of a random list of selected students to be tested by each school district, and (4) require each school district to test the selected students at a league-approved, certified laboratory.

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Education Code 37.015 (2003) requires every public or private school principal to notify law enforcement if there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offense, detailed in this statute, has or will occur in school, on school property, or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property. Education Code 38.007 also requires districts to collaborate with law enforcement to attempt to provide a safe alcohol-free environment to students coming to or going from school.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 9/22/2011

Bullying/Harassment: Education Code 27.0832 (2011) defines bullying and requires each board of trustees of each district to adopt a policy concerning bullying. The policy must (1) prohibit bullying and retalization against those providing information about a bullying incident, (2) establish procedures for providing notice of an incident to a  victim and bully's parent or guardian, (3) establish actions a student should take to obtain asistance and intervention in response to bullying, (4) outline counseling options for bullyies, victims and witnesses, (5) establish procedures for reporting and investigation of an incident, (5) prohibit disciplinary measures for a student who is found to be a victim of bullying acting in self-defense, and (6) require that bullying of a student with disabilities comply with IDEA requirements. The policy must be included in district handbooks and district improvement plans.

Education Code 37.083 (2011) defines bullying, harassment and "hit lists" and requires a districts to adopt and implement a discipline management program to be included in the district improvement plan. The program must provide for prevention of and education concerning unwanted physical or verbal aggression and sexual harassment in school, on school grounds and in school vehicldes. code of conduct to prohibit bullying, harassment and making hit lists. 

Education Code 37.083 (1995) allows schools to develop and implement a sexual harassment policy.  Education Code 37.0831 (2007) requires each school district to adopt and implement a dating violence policy.  The policy must include a definition of dating violence that includes the intentional use of physical, sexual, verbal or emotional abuse by a person to harm, threaten, intimidate, or control another person in a dating relationship.  It also must address safety planning, enforcement of protective orders, school-based alternatives to protective orders, training for staff, counseling and awareness education for students and parents.

Education Code 25.0342 (2011) allows a board of trustees of a school district to transfer a student who engaged in bullying to another classroom at the campus to which the bullying victim was assigned at the time the bullying occurred, or another campus in the district, in consultation with a parent or another person with authority to act on behalf of a student who is a victim of bullying (as defined in the code). In addition, the parent or person with authority may request to the board of trustees of a school district or the boards designee the transfer of a victim of bullying to another classroom at the campus or a different campus in the school district.

Education Code 37.123 (1995) prohibits disruptive activities on public or private school property, a Class B misdemeanor, which includes obstructing the passage of persons in a school building, with or without the use or threat of use of violence. Education Code  37.124 (1995) prohibits the disruption of classes, including preventing or attempting to prevent a student from attending class or a required school activity on or within 500 feet of school property. Violation of this policy is a Class C misdemeanor.

Cyberbullying: Education code 27.0832 (2011) includes "expression by electronic means" in the definition of bullying, occuring on school property, at a school-sponsored or school-related activity or school-operated vehicle. Education Code 27.0832 (2011) defines bullying and requires each board of trustees of each district to adopt a policy concerning bullying.

Hazing: Education Code 37.152 (1995) prohibits the act, the encouragement, direction, or aiding, and the reckless permitting of hazing. If any of these lead to serious bodily injury, the offenders are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. If no serious injury occurs, the offenders are guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. If death results from the hazing, the offenders are guilty of a state jail felony. Also, if one has firsthand knowledge of the planning or occurrence of a hazing incident and fails to report it in writing to the appropriate school official, they are guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

Education Code 37.153 (1995) prohibits organizations from condoning, encouraging, or having its members participate or assist in hazing activities. Violation of this policy is a misdemeanor offense, punishable with fines between $5,000 and $10,000. If the hazing resulted in personal injury, property damage, or other loss, a fine of at least $5,000 and up to double the amount lost or expense incurred due to injury or loss is to be assessed.

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Response and Management Plans: Education Code 37.202 (2001) states that the Texas School Safety Center is to provide information on school safety, including research, training, and technical assistance related to successful school safety programs.  Education Code 37.205 requires the Center to conduct a safety training program, addressing the following issues:  (1) development of a positive school environment and proactive safety measures, (2) school safety courses for law enforcement officials, (3) discussion of school safety issues with parents and community members, (4) assistance in developing a Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan. 

Education Code 37.108 (2005) requires school districts to adopt and implement a Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan.  The plan must address mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery, as recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  It must include emergency response training for all school district personnel and mandatory drills to prepare students and all personnel for emergency response.  It also requires measures to ensure coordination between local emergency management agencies, law enforcement and fire departments in the event of an emergency.  In addition, districts must perform security audits of facilities every three years, with results reported to the district's board of trustees.

Code 37.109 (2009) requires each school district to establish a school safety and security committee. The committee shall participate on behalf of the district in developing and implementing emergency plans, provide the district with any campus, facility, or support services information required for the safety and security audit required by Code 37.108(b), and the audit report required in 37.108(c), and review the reports submitted to ensure accuracy.

Reporting Incidence of Violence: Education Code 37.020 (2003) requires each school district to report to the commissioner information, including name, race, sex, and date-of-birth, of all students placed in a disciplinary alternative program or who were expelled. This policy includes all violent offenses, and the information reported must also include whether the juvenile justice system was involved.

Education Code 37.015 (2003) requires the principal of a public school to notify any school district police department and the police department if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the possession of a weapon occurred in school, on school property, or at school-sponsored activity on or off school property.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Education Code 38.006 (1995) prohibits smoking or tobacco use or possession at a school-related activity on or off school property.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Health & Safety Code 385.002 (2001) requires the State Board of Health to establish voluntary guidelines for ventilation and indoor air pollution control systems in government buildings, which includes school districts according to Code 385.001 (2001).

TAC 61.1036 (2003) establishes recommendations for schools to consider in the construction of new facilities.  It recommends schools consider the use of designs, methods and materials that will reduce the potential for indoor air quality problems.  Rules further recommend that districts use the state's voluntary IAQ guidelines and the EPA's IAQ Tools for Schools program, and that they consult with a qualified IAQ specialist during the design process to ensure that the potential for indoor air quality problems after construction and occupancy of a facility is minimized.

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Occupational Code 1951.212 (2003) requires each school board to establish standards for an integrated pest management program for the use of the least toxic method of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical agents applied in a school building or on school grounds when students are not expected to be present.

22 TAC 595.11 (2005) prohibits pesticide applications within a school building if the application will expose students to unacceptable levels of pesticides. Exceptions are made for certain products on the “Green List” if students are not present in a classroom at the time of the treatment. Additional guidance is provided for application of other “Green List,” “Yellow List” and “Red List” in the school environment. Product categories are outlined in the statue. Pesticide applications may not be made to outdoor school grounds if the application will expose students to physical drift of pesticide spray particles or unacceptable levels of pesticides.

The statute requires each school district to develop a written pest management policy for all structural pest control activities conducted on school property based on the most current Texas Structural Pest Control Integrated Pest Management (IPM) document. The IPM policy must be adopted by the school board and be based on generally accepted tenets of integrated pest management listed in the statute, as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency. Each school district must designate an IPM Coordinator(s) that is assigned with implementing the school district's IPM policy. The district is responsible for the IPM Coordinator(s) compliance with Texas Structural Pest Control Board regulations and school district policy. The person(s) so designated must attend a Texas Structural Pest Control Board approved IPM Coordinator(s) training course within twelve (12) months of designation as IPM Coordinator. Responsibilities of the IPM coordinator are outlined in the statute. Each school district is also required to employ or contract with a certified applicator. Responsibilities of the applicator are outlined in the statute.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Education Code 37.207 states that the Texas School Safety Center must develop a model safety and security audit procedure for school districts (for use in accordance with the safety audit requirements of Education Code 37.108).  Education Code 37.2051 requires the Center to develop security criteria that school districts may consider in the design of instructional facilities.  Education Code 46.0081 requires school districts that construct new instructional facilities or conduct a major renovation of existing facilities to consider the security criteria developed by the Center.

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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Vision and Hearing: Health and Safety Code 36.001 requires the screening of individuals who attend public or private preschools or schools  to detect hearing and vision disorders as specified by the Board of Education. The Vision and Hearing Screening Requirements require vision screening for all 4 year olds, kindergarten entrants and all other first-time entrants. In addition, a vision screening is required for 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th graders.

Chronic Health Conditions: No state policy.

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

Other: Education Code 38.003 (1995) requires students enrolling in public schools to be tested at appropriate times for dyslexia and related disorders.

Education Code 38.019 (2007) establishes a pilot cardiovascular screening program, including an electrocardiogram and echocardiogram, for sixth grade students at participating campuses. The results must be provided to each students' parent or guardian and a summary of the results must be provided to the legislature.

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 10/1/2010

Staff Administration: The Guidelines for Administering Medications in Schools (no date available) requires students who have a chronic illness or disability to receive medication during the school day. Education Code 38.012 (1999) requires a school district or school to hold a public hearing before health care services are available in the schools. At the hearing, the board will disclose all information regarding proposed health care services.

Self-Administration of Asthma Medication: Education Code 38.015 (2007) entitles students with asthma  to possess and self-administer prescription medication while on school property or at school-related activities, provided that the medication was prescribed for the student, the student has demonstrated to their physician, other health care provider and the school nurse the skill necessary to self-administer, administration is given in compliance with the physician's instructions, a parent submits a written authorization for the student to self-administer, and a statement is provided from a physician or provider stating the student's diagnosis, the name, purpose, prescribed dosage and timeframe of the medication, and circumstances for self-administration.

Self-Administration of Anaphylaxis Medication: Education Code 38.015 (2007) entitles students with anaphylaxis to possess and self-administer prescription medication while on school property or at school-related activities, provided that the medication was prescribed for the student, the student has demonstrated to their physician, other health care provider and the school nurse the skill necessary to self-administer, administration is given in compliance with the physician's instructions, a parent submits a written authorization for the student to self-administer, and a statement is provided from a physician or provider stating the student's diagnosis, the name, purpose, prescribed dosage and timeframe of the medication, and circumstances for self-administration.

Psychotropic Medications: Education Code 38.016 (2003) states school district employees may not recommend that a student use a psychotropic drug. However, this statute does not prohibit school medical staff from recommending that a child be evaluated by an appropriate medical practitioner.

Storage and Record-keeping: No state policy.

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 10/3/2010

Requirement to Provide Services: Education Code 33.005 (2001) requires school counselors, working with the school and broader community, to plan, implement, and evaluate a developmental guidance program. This program is to include a responsive services component to intervene on behalf of any at-risk student and an individual planning system component to provide guidance for each student. A Model Comprehensive, Developmental Guidance and Counseling Program for Texas Public Schools: A Guide for Program Development Pre-K-12th Grade (2004) provides a model for schools to follow when developing their developmental guidance programs. Education Code 29.312 (1995) also requires appropriate psychological counseling services to be made available for those students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: Education Code 38.057 (2001) requires the school medical staff, along with the parental guardian, to jointly identify any health-related concerns of a student which may be interfering with their well-being or ability to succeed in school. Referrals for mental health services require notification of the parental guardian in writing, whose authorization is needed for potential treatment. Education Codes 26.009 (1997) and 29.0041 (2003) require parental consent before conducting a psychological examination, test, or treatment on a child. 

Substance Abuse: No state policy.

Suicide Prevention: Texas has no specific state policy addressing suicide prevention services; however, the responsive services requirement of Education Code 33.005 (2001) implies suicide prevention be addressed.

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: Education Code 29.085 (1995) allows a school district to provide an integrated education and support services program for students who are pregnant or who are parents. Education Code 38.055 (2001) forbids the provision of reproductive services, counseling, or referrals to be provided through a school-based health center using grant funds. Further, Education Code 28.004 (2003) prohibits a district from distributing condoms in connection with human sexuality instruction.

Immunity of Liability: Education Code 22.0511 (2003) grants immunity of personal liability to all professional school employees for any act incident to or within the scope of their duties that involves the exercise of judgment or discretion. Only the use of excessive force or negligence resulting in bodily harm voids their immunity of liability.

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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."

Exemptions: TAC 97.62 (2004) allows for medical exemption from immunization requirements if the child or student presents a statement signed by the child's licensed physician stating that, in the physician's opinion, the vaccine required is medically contraindicated or poses a significant risk to the health and well-being of the child or any member of the child's household.  Unless it is written in the statement that a lifelong condition exists, the exemption is valid for only one year from the date signed by the physician.  TAC 97.62 (2004) allows for exemption for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.  A parent or guardian must present a signed affidavit stating that they decline immunization for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief.  The affidavit is valid for a two-year period.  A child who has not received required immunizations for reasons of conscience, including religious beliefs, may be excluded from school in times of emergency or epidemic declared by the commissioner of public health.

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

No state policy.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

No state policy.

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

No state policy.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 10/3/2010

Health & Safety Code 168.003 (2005) requires that an IHP be developed for each student with diabetes who will seek care while at school or while participating in a school activity. The IHP must incorporate components of said student's diabetes treatment and management plan.

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 7/10/2013

State-level: Education Code 33.084 (1995) establishes the interscholastic league advisory council composed of various state education officials and legislators who is instructed to study student eligibility to participate according to University Interscholastic League policy, the geographic distribution of UIL programs, and gender equity.

Local-level: Education Code 28.004 (2013) requires each school district to establish a local school health advisory council. A majority of the members must be persons who are parents of students enrolled in the district and who are not employed by the district. The local school health advisory council’s duties include recommending the number of hours of instruction to be provided in health education, curriculum appropriate for specific grade levels designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, appropriate grade levels and methods of instruction for human sexuality instruction, and strategies for integrating the curriculum components in a coordinated school health program. It also includes joint use agreements or strategies for collaboration between the school district and community organizations or agencies. The council must establish a subcommittee to consider issues relating to student physical activity and fitness and make policy recommendations to increase phyiscal activity and improve fitness among students.

In addition, Education Code 38.058 (2001) allows a school district to establish a local health education and health care advisory council to make recommendations on establishing school-based health centers.

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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: 10/3/2010

Student Health-Related Records: Education Code 38.009 (1995) gives administrators, nurses, or teachers access to a student's medical record maintained by the school district. Any who view these records must maintain confidentiality. More generally, Education Code 28.058 (1995) requires that all information received by the commissioner concerning an individual student must be kept confidential.

Student Health-Related Services: No state policy.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 2/18/2006

No state policy.

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