SDE: Learning and Diabetes: Section 3: Suggested Roles and Responsibilities of School Personnel

Section 3: Suggested Roles
and Responsibilities
of School Personnel

The following suggested roles and responsibilities were adopted from Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed from the National Diabetes Education Program. School districts may find them helpful in understanding the roles and responsibilities of the various school personnel who may be involved in creating a safe learning environment for students with diabetes. As noted in the introduction, the school health team, which includes the school personnel mentioned in the following pages, plays an important role in helping students manage their diabetes.

Back to top

Actions for the School District Administrator (Superintendent, Director, 504 Coordinator, or other administrative personnel)

  • Provide leadership in developing district policy related to all aspects of diabetes management at school, including staff training, medication administration policy, and blood glucose monitoring
  • Support implementation of district policy regarding diabetes management, and ensure ongoing quality improvement
  • Understand and implement the federal and state laws that apply to diabetes where applicable
  • Allocate sufficient resources to helping students manage diabetes
  • Monitor schools attended by students with diabetes for compliance with district policy
  • Respect the studentís confidentiality and right to privacy
  • Learn about diabetes and if necessary, attend diabetes management trainings

Back to top

Actions for the Principal, School Administrator, and/or Designee

  • Participate in developing and implementing school policy on diabetes management
  • Allocate sufficient resources to helping students manage diabetes
  • Develop and implement a system to inform school health services of the pending enrollment of a student with diabetes
  • Promote a supportive learning environment for students with diabetes
  • Meet annually with the school health team, including the student, family, school nurse, teachers and others, to discuss accommodations needed
  • Identify all staff members who have responsibility for the student with diabetes
  • Arrange for diabetes management training for the school nurse and other staff with responsibility for students with diabetes
  • Alert all school-staff members who teach or supervise a student with diabetes about accommodations and emergency procedures.
  • Alert all substitute personnel and others (e.g. the bus driver) so that they are familiar with emergency procedures for the student
  • Implement school policy on availability of health services
  • Work with the school health team to implement the studentís written plans
  • Respect the studentís confidentiality and right to privacy
  • Help to develop and implement on-campus and off-campus emergency protocols
  • Include diabetes awareness as part of health or cultural education
  • Support and facilitate ongoing communication between parent/guardians of students with diabetes and school staff
  • Learn about diabetes and if necessary, attend diabetes management trainings
  • Be able to recognize and respond to signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia
  • Understand federal and state laws where applicable

Back to top

Actions for the School Nurse

  • Obtain and review the studentís current diabetes medical plan from the studentís physician and pertinent information from the student and family
  • Facilitate the initial school health team meeting
  • Conduct a nursing assessment of the student and develop a nursing care plan that incorporates the studentís diabetes care regimen as prescribed by the studentís diabetes medical management plan or healthcare providerís orders
  • Conduct ongoing, periodic assessments of the students with diabetes and update the nursing care plans
  • Coordinate development of the studentís Individualized Health Care Plan (IHCP) and Emergency Care Plan (ECP) and provide copies to staff members who have responsibility for the student throughout the school day (e.g. teachers, counselor, physical education (PE) instructor, and lunchroom staff)
  • Obtain materials and medical supplies necessary for diabetes care tasks from the parents/guardians and arrange a system for notifying the student or parents/guardian when supplies need to be replenished
  • Plan and implement diabetes management training for appropriate staff (including glucagon administration for identified staff)
  • Participate in diabetes management training
  • Review information about diabetes in this guide
  • Perform routine and emergency diabetes care tasks, including blood glucose monitoring, urine ketone testing, insulin administration, and glucagon administration
  • Practice universal precautions and infection control procedures during all student encounters
  • Maintain accurate documentation of contacts with students and family members
  • Collaborate with other co-workers, e.g. food service and school bus transportation services, as necessary to provide appropriate health care services
  • With parental permission, act as liaison between the school and the studentís health care provider regarding the studentís self-management at school.
  • Communicate to parents/guardians any concerns about the studentís diabetes management or health, such as acute hypoglycemia episodes, hyperglycemia, general attitude, and emotional issues.
  • Promote and encourage independence and self-care consistent with the studentís ability, skill, maturity, and developmental level
  • Respect the studentís confidentiality and right to privacy
  • Act as an advocate for students to help them meet their diabetes health care needs
  • Provide education and act as a resource on managing diabetes
  • Assist the classroom teacher with developing a plan for substitute teachers
  • Assist the PE instructor with managing the studentís exercise program at school
  • Be knowledgeable about federal, state, and local laws and regulations that pertain to managing diabetes at school
  • Assist student with blood glucose monitoring prior to dismissal

Back to top

Actions for the Teacher

  • Participate in school health care team meetings
  • Work with school health team to implement written care plans
  • Recognize that a change in the studentís behavior could be a symptom of blood glucose changes
  • Be prepared to recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia
  • Provide a supportive environment for the student to manage diabetes effectively and safely at school, which includes eating snacks for routine diabetes management and to treat low blood glucose levels, having bathroom privileges and access to drinking water, monitoring blood glucose, and administering insulin and other medications (according to the studentís DMMP, IHCP or ECP)
  • Provide classroom accommodations for the student with diabetes
  • Provide instruction to the student if it is missed because of absence for diabetes-related care
  • Provide information on accommodations and policies, location of supplies, the studentís emergency care plan and other aspects of diabetes management to substitute teachers
  • Notify the parents/guardians in advance of changes in school schedule, such as class parties, field trips, and other special events
  • Communicate with the school nurse, and parents regarding any concerns about the student
  • Learn about diabetes and if necessary, attend diabetes management trainings
  • Treat the student with diabetes the same as other students, except to meet medical needs
  • Respect the studentís confidentiality and right to privacy

Back to top

Actions for the Coach and Physical Education (PE) Instructor

  • Encourage exercise and participation in physical activities and sports for students with diabetes, as well as for other students
  • Treat the student with diabetes the same as other students, except to meet medical needs
  • Encourage the student to have personal supplies readily accessible
  • Allow the student to check blood glucose levels
  • Learn about diabetes and if necessary, attend diabetes management trainings
  • Understand and be aware that hypoglycemia can occur during and after physical activity
  • Recognize that a change in the studentís behavior could be a symptom of blood glucose changes
  • Be prepared to recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia
  • Provide the student with immediate access to a fast-acting form of glucose to treat hypoglycemia if necessary
  • Consider taping a fast-acting form or glucose (3 or 4 glucose tablets or hard candies) to a clipboard or include it in the First Aid pack (according to the studentís DMMP, IHCP or ECP)
  • Provide input to the studentís school health team as needed
  • Communicate with the school nurse regarding any observations or concerns about the student
  • Provide information to substitute PE instructors
  • Respect the studentís confidentiality and right to privacy

Back to top

Actions for the Food Service Manager/Staff, or Lunchroom Monitor

  • Obtain a copy of the studentís written individualized meal plan
  • Obtain a copy of the studentís Emergency Care Plan and keep it in a known, yet secure, place in the lunchroom
  • Provide a lunch menu and lunch schedule in advance to parents. If available, also include the nutrition content of menu selections including grams of carbohydrate and fat
  • Understand and be aware that hypoglycemia can occur before lunch
  • Encourage student to eat appropriate foods based on the studentís individualized meal plan
  • Be prepared to recognize and respond to the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia according to the studentís emergency care plan
  • Learn about diabetes
  • Recognize that a change in the studentís behavior could be a symptom of blood glucose changes
  • Learn about the various kinds of diabetes meal and snack plans, and which type of meal plan the student follows
  • Recognize that eating meals and snacks on time is a critical component of diabetes management, and that failure to eat lunch on time could result in low blood glucose, especially if a student has missed a morning snack or has had a physically strenuous or otherwise active morning at school
  • Know where supplies to treat hypoglycemia are kept (according to the studentís DMMP, IHCP or ECP)
  • Treat the student with diabetes the same as other students, except to meet medical needs
  • Provide input to the studentís school health team when requested
  • Communicate with the school nurse regarding any concerns about the student
  • Respect the studentís confidentiality and right to privacy

Back to top

Actions for the Guidance Counselor or School Psychologist

  • Work with school staff to promote a supportive learning environment
  • Ensure that the student with diabetes is treated the same as students without diabetes, except to respond to medical needs
  • Be aware of and be prepared to respond to the emotional needs of the student
  • Recognize that students with chronic illnesses such as diabetes may rebel by discontinuing all or part of their medical regimen
  • Be aware that some students may not wish to share information about their diabetes with other students or school staff, particularly if it makes them feel different from others
  • Promote and encourage independence and self-care that are consistent with the studentís abilities, skill, maturity, and development
  • Learn about diabetes and if necessary, attend diabetes management trainings
  • Provide input to the studentís school health team as appropriate
  • Communicate with the school nurse regarding any concerns about the student
  • Respect the studentís confidentiality and right to privacy

Back to top

Actions for Parents or Guardians

Inform the school principal that your child has diabetes

  • Provide accurate and emergency contact information and ensure it is always up to date
  • Provide the DMMP, signed by the physician, to the school nurse
  • Attend and participate in initial and annual meetings of the school health team
  • Provide specific information about your childís diabetes
  • Permit sharing of medical information necessary for the studentís safety between the school and the studentís personal health care providers
  • Inform the school staff of any changes in the studentís health status
  • Provide all supplies, equipment, and snacks necessary for implementing your childís diabetes management
  • Provide and maintain all supplies, equipment, and snacks necessary to accommodate the studentís long-term needs in case of an emergency
  • Inform appropriate school staff when the student plans to participate in school-sponsored activities that take place before or after school so that health care coverage can be coordinated to ensure the health and safety of the student with diabetes
  • Understand federal, state, and local laws that address the schoolís responsibilities to students with diabetes

Back to top

Actions for the Student with Diabetes

  • Participate in the school meeting regarding your diabetes management
  • Always wear a medical alert ID and carry a fast-acting source of glucose
  • Tell teachers and other school staff members if you feel symptoms of low or high blood glucose, especially if you need help
  • Work with school staff members if you need help checking your blood glucose, getting insulin, or eating the right amount of food at the right time during the school day
  • Take charge of your diabetes care at school if your written plans include:
    • checking and writing down blood glucose levels
    • figuring out the right insulin dose
    • giving yourself insulin
    • properly disposing of needles, lancets, and other supplies after use
    • eating meals and snacks as planned
    • treating low blood sugar
    • carrying diabetes equipment and supplies with you at all times
 




Content Last Modified on 7/22/2014 1:26:22 PM