Taking Medications to School

Medication Guidelines

All medications to be given at school must be accompanied by a “Parent/Physician Request for Administration of Medication” form. A separate form must be completed for each medication. A new form is required at the beginning of each school year and any time medication dosages are changed. Please contact your school nurse to obtain medication forms.

What medications can be given at school?

  • Only those medications which cannot be given outside of school hours will be given at school.
  • Home remedies, plants, herbs, vitamins, supplements, and other non-FDA approved treatments may not be administered in the school setting.
  • The school will not administer expired medication or medication at a dosage that exceeds the recommended maximum dosage in the Physicians Desk Reference.
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) medications: Can be given at school (when accompanied by the medication request form) for up to 10 consecutive school days without a doctor’s permission. After the 10 days, doctor’s permission must be obtained to continue to take the non-prescription medication at school.
    • School personnel must administer OTC medications according to the age/weight instructions on the package/bottle.

How should medications be transported to and from school?

  • All controlled medications (e.g., Ritalin, Codeine, Tylenol 3) must be transported to and from the school by the parent or guardian. These medications will be counted upon arrival at the clinic. Documentation of the counts will be made with the parent and RISD staff.
  • For student safety, parents/guardians should transport all medication (controlled and non- controlled) to and from school. Do NOT send medications in student lunches.
  • Any unused medication that is not picked up from the clinic within 2 weeks after the last prescribed dose will be destroyed.
  • The school can accept no more than a 30-day supply of medication at a time.

Acceptable containers and labeling for medication

  • All medication brought to school, including over-the-counter medication, is required to be in the original, properly labeled container. Medications brought in a baggie or tissue, or out of their original container, will not be administered at school. If there is a change in the medication dosage a new pharmacy label must be obtained for the medication bottle.

Where are the medications kept while at school?

  • All medications are to be kept in a locked cabinet in the school clinic.* The school nurse, health aide, and RISD personnel designated by the principal and trained to dispense medications will distribute all medications. The district will take reasonable measures to store medication at ambient room temperatures unless refrigeration is required. Parents must take home medications during school breaks to avoid exposing medications to extreme heat or cold. *Emergency anaphylactic medications are stored in a secure, but unlocked location per legislative requirements.

A student may self-carry and self-administer an inhaler or Epi-Pen only after a Parent/Physician Request for Self-Administration form has been completed by the parent and the physician.

Severe Allergies and Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a sudden, life threatening, severe allergic reaction. The most dangerous symptoms include breathing difficulties, a drop in blood pressure or shock. Common examples of potentially life-threatening allergies are those to foods or stinging insects. Other allergic reactions may also occur to medications, latex, or exercise.

While Richardson ISD cannot guarantee an allergy -free environment at school, the district is committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety of every child who has allergies.

Richardson ISD has developed guidelines to manage students with these life-threatening allergies so that they may safely participate in the educational process. Students who are at risk for developing anaphylaxis are able to self-carry and self-administer their anaphylaxis medications (epinephrine auto-injectors) while at school or a school event, if they have met the legal requirements below:

  • The medication and the self-administration must be authorized by a physician or licensed health care provider.
  • The student must demonstrate to the physician, or other health care provider and to the school nurse, the skill level necessary to self-administer the medication.

Each student with a severe allergy/ anaphylaxis that has brought medication to school will receive an Emergency Action Plan that will be given to your child’s teacher and accompany the child on field trips.

Parents/guardians should contact the school nurse before enrollment or at the start of the new school year to obtain all the proper paperwork needed to help ensure the safety of students with a severe allergy. Parents of children with known anaphylaxis are expected to provide an individual supply of emergency medication to the campus nurse.


Students with asthma should submit an annual Asthma Action Plan signed by the physician and parent. Those who require medication at school (either inhaler or nebulizer) must submit the appropriate medication forms to the school nurse.

The 77th Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 1688, which amends the Education Code to entitle a student with asthma to possess and self-administer prescription asthma medication while on school property or at a school-related event or activity. The bill specified the conditions under which a student is entitled to possess and self-administer asthma medication.

Medications/Self Carry
If a physician feels it is medically necessary for a student with asthma to carry and self-administer prescription asthma medication, the student must have an asthma action plan signed by the physician and parent on file. This form can be obtained from the school nurse. This form must be completed each school year by the student’s prescribing physician and must be signed by both the prescribing physician and the parent/guardian.

The school nurse will assess the student’s ability to recognize symptoms and correctly use the medications.

**Unless an additional supply of medication is provided for storage in the school nurse’s office, parents and students must recognize that it is the student’s responsibility to carry the medication at all times.  The school does not keep an emergency supply of asthma medication in stock.

Diabetes Care at School

It is important that parents of students with diabetes communicate fully with the school nurse about the student’s needs. If possible, plan to speak and meet with the nurse prior to the school year beginning or before the first day of attendance for students who start later in the year.

A student’s parent/guardian is required to provide all necessary medication orders/ supplies/food for the student with diabetes.

Role of the Unlicensed Diabetes Care Assistant (UDCA)
House Bill No. 984 (Care of the Student with Diabetes) enacted in 2005, specifies that each school train one (1) unlicensed diabetes care assistant (UDCA), if a full-time nurse is assigned to the school. To protect the safety and health of students, Richardson ISD has chosen to have a minimum of three (3) UDCAs trained at each campus, in addition to the nurse. Training of the UDCAs is provided under the supervision of a health care professional with expertise in the care of persons with diabetes. The UDCAs will provide diabetes management and care services, if the nurse is unavailable. Such services include, but are not limited to, the administration of insulin, or in an emergency, the administration of glucagon.


Richardson ISD is prepared to provide care for students with seizures. Parent/Guardians are expected to notify the school nurse if their child has a history of seizures. The school nurse will request additional information that may include documentation from the student’s physician.

A student’s parent/guardian is required to provide all necessary medication and physician orders for the student with seizures.