NOTE: While Colorado school districts are not required by law to adopt a policy on this subject, this policy reflects legal requirements school districts must follow. This sample policy contains the policy content/language that CASB believes best meets the intent of the law. However, the district should consult with its own legal counsel to determine appropriate policy language that meets local circumstances and needs.
School personnel shall not administer prescription or nonprescription medications to students unless appropriate administration cannot reasonably be accomplished outside of school hours.
Medication may be administered to students by school personnel whom a registered nurse has trained and delegated the task of administering such medication. For purposes of this policy, the term "medication" includes both prescription medication and nonprescription medication, but does not include medical marijuana.
NOTE: The following paragraph contains language stating that the Board has adopted a policy regarding the administration of medical marijuana to qualified students. State law requires school districts to allow "primary caregivers" to administer medical marijuana to qualified students on school property, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event. C.R.S. 22-1-119.3(3)(d)(I). State law permits boards to adopt a policy regarding "who may act as a primary caregiver" and establishing "reasonable parameters" upon the administration and use of medical marijuana. C.R.S. 22-1-119.3(3)(d)(III). State law also permits schools to adopt policies authorizing designated school personnel to administer medical marijuana to qualified students. C.R.S. 22-1-119.3(3)(d.5)(IV). Federal law regards any form of marijuana as a controlled substance. Given that federal law regards marijuana as illegal, CASB highly recommends that the Board adopt a policy establishing parameters upon caregiver administration of medical marijuana to qualified students and prohibiting staff administration of medical marijuana, unless the staff member is the student's parent/guardian. That way, the Board's policies will be consistent and clear regarding when and how the administration of medical marijuana to qualified students is permitted.
The administration of medical marijuana shall be in accordance with the Board's policy on administration of medical marijuana to qualified students.
The term "nonprescription medication" includes but is not limited to over-the-counter medications, homeopathic and herbal medications, vitamins and nutritional supplements.
Medication may be administered to students only when the following requirements are met:
1. Medication shall be in the original properly labeled container. If it is a prescription medication, the student's name, name of the medication, dosage, how often it is to be administered, and name of the prescribing health care practitioner shall be printed on the container.
2. The school shall have received written permission from the student's parent/guardian to administer the medication to the student and either:
a. written permission to administer the medication from the student's health care practitioner with prescriptive authority under Colorado law; or
b. a standing medical order, if the medication is an over-the-counter medication such as Advil or Tylenol.
3. The parent/guardian shall be responsible for providing all medication to be administered to the student, unless it is an over-the-counter medication such as Advil or Tylenol.
NOTE: State law permits local boards of education to adopt a policy authorizing a student to possess and self-administer any medication prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner on school grounds, upon a school bus, or at any school-sponsored event. C.R.S. 22-1-119.3; 1 CCR 301-68, Rule 6.00. However, such policy must prohibit students from possessing or self-administering medical marijuana on school grounds or at any school-sponsored event. C.R.S. 22-1-119.3(3)(c). A board that chooses to adopt such a policy is then exempt from the requirements of the Colorado Schoolchildren's Asthma, Food Allergy, and Anaphylaxis Health Management Act (the "Act"). C.R.S. 22-1-119.3(5).
This sample policy does not permit students to self-carry any prescription medication and instead reflects the Act's requirements for self-administration of medication for asthma, allergy or anaphylaxis only. Districts should consult with their own legal counsel if they wish to permit students to self-carry and self-administer any prescription medication.
Self-administration of medication for asthma, allergies or anaphylaxis
A student with asthma, a food allergy, other severe allergies, or a related, life-threatening condition may possess and self-administer medication to treat the student's asthma, food or other allergy, anaphylaxis or related, life-threatening condition. Self-administration of such medication may occur during school hours, at school-sponsored activities, or while in transit to and from school or a school-sponsored activity. Student possession and self-administration of such medication shall be in accordance with the regulation accompanying this policy.
Authorization for a student to possess and self-administer medication to treat the student's asthma, food or other allergy, anaphylaxis or other related, life-threatening condition may be limited or revoked by the school principal after consultation with the school nurse and the student's parent/guardian if the student demonstrates an inability to responsibly possess and self-administer such medication.
[Optional language if Board elects to stock epinephrine and allow district staff to administer epinephrine to students in emergency situations:
Use of stock epinephrine auto-injectors in emergency situations
The district shall have a stock supply of epinephrine auto-injectors for use in emergency anaphylaxis events that occur on school grounds. Any administration of a stock epinephrine auto-injector to a student by a district employee shall be in accordance with applicable state law, including applicable State Board of Education rules.
The district's stock supply of epinephrine auto-injectors is not intended to replace student-specific orders or medication provided by the student's parent/guardian to treat the student's asthma, food or other allergy, anaphylaxis or related, life-threatening condition.]
Student possession, use, distribution, sale or being under the influence of medication inconsistent with this policy shall be considered a violation of Board policy concerning drug and alcohol involvement by students and may subject the student to disciplinary consequences, including suspension and/or expulsion, in accordance with applicable Board policy.
LEGAL REFS.: C.R.S. 12-38-132 (delegation of nursing tasks)
C.R.S. 12-38-132.3 (school nurses - over-the-counter medication)
C.R.S. 22-1-119 (no liability for adverse drug reactions/side effects)
C.R.S. 22-1-119.3 (3)(c), (d) (no student possession or self-administration of medical marijuana, but school districts must permit the student's primary caregiver to administer medical marijuana to the student on school grounds, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event)
C.R.S. 22-1-119.5 (Colorado Schoolchildren's Asthma, Food Allergy, and Anaphylaxis Health Management Act)
C.R.S. 22-2-135 (Colorado School Children's Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act)
C.R.S. 24-10-101 et seq. (Colorado Governmental Immunity Act)
1 CCR 301-68 (State Board of Education rules regarding student possession and administration of asthma, allergy and anaphylaxis management medications or other prescription medications)
6 CCR 1010-6, Rule 6.13 (requirements for health services in schools)
CROSS REFS.: JICH, Drug and Alcohol Involvement by Students
JKD/JKE, Suspension/Expulsion of Students (and Other Disciplinary Interventions)
JLCDA*, Students with Food Allergies
JLCDB*, Administration of Medical Marijuana to Qualified Students
JLCE, First Aid and Emergency Medical Care
NOTE: The Colorado Department of Education (CDE), in collaboration with various school districts and other organizations, has created numerous guidelines regarding medication administration in the school setting. These guidelines are available on CDE's website.
[Revised September 2018]
COLORADO SAMPLE POLICY 1995©