Actions for the School Principal
Involve your staff in the school asthma management program. A school
asthma management program is a cooperative effort that involves
the student, parents, teachers, school staff, and physicians. Many
members of the school staff can play a role in maintaining your
school’s asthma management program, although the principal or
the school nurse may be most instrumental in getting a program
started. Take the steps listed below to help set up an asthma
management program at your school.
Develop a clear policy on taking
medication during school hours. Work with parents, teachers, the
school nurse (if available), and others to provide the most
supportive policy that your school system allows so that the
student can get the medication he or she needs. Be knowledgeable
about Michigan's law that allows students to carry their
quick-relief inhalers with them at school, for use in preventing
or treating asthma symptoms, if permission is given
by the doctor and parent.
from Managing Asthma: A Guide for Schools. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health, U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, and the Fund for the
Improvement and Reform of Schools and Teaching, Office of
Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of
Education. September 1991. NIH Publication No. 91-2650
- Designate one person on the school
staff to be responsible for maintaining every student’s
Asthma Action Plan. If there is not a nurse at your
school, assign this task to an appropriate staff member who has
received additional asthma training. View helpful
information about delegating school health services to
- Provide in-service opportunities for staff to learn about asthma and allergies.
Assistance is available from the school nurse, a local
hospital, or asthma coalition. Additional resources are
available from: the American Lung
Association, Asthma and
Allergy Foundation of America,
National Jewish Center for
Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, and the
Allergy and Asthma Network
- Asthma may be considered a disability for a student, depending on severity, under Section
504 of the Rehabilitation Act or IDEA. Many students with
asthma, especially those with severe asthma, may need a 504
Plan/IEP to ensure that they receive the services they need to
learn in the school environment. Use 504 Plans or IEPs, as
appropriate, particularly for health services and physical
activity modifications. To find out more about the reasonable
here for info on Section 504 and Title II of ADA, or
here for info on IDEA.
- Establish a resource library for
all school personnel and students to obtain additional
information about asthma, including: pamphlets, brochures, and
other publications. This library of information will provide
staff and school personnel an opportunity to obtain additional
information about asthma.
- Schedule any extensive building repairs or cleaning during long vacations or summer months in
order to avoid exposing students to fumes, dust, and other
- Support and encourage
communication with parents to improve school health services.
- Reinforce twenty-four hour
tobacco-free policies within all school buildings and at all
school events held on school grounds.
- Require staff to wear non-latex gloves when preparing foods or treating students medically.
- Make sure that the ingredients in
all foods served by the cafeteria are posted/published and/or
have a complete ingredient list available for interested