Your Responsibilities Under the Law for Student Care
Although the terms “medical services” and “school health services” may sound similar, they have very different meanings in the law. Medical services are defined as services that must be performed by a physician. ESPs should NEVER be called on to perform these tasks.
IDEA, the federal law that guarantees a free, appropriate education for all students, regardless of the nature or severity of their disability, requires a written Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each eligible student with a disability. This ensures that the special needs of each student with a disability will be addressed in a way that will permit the child to benefit from her or his educational opportunity.
The law permits, but does not require, ESP staff to be members of the team that prepares the written IEP. IDEA requires this document to identify, among other items: the specific education and related services to be provided to the child; the extent to which the child will be able to participate in regular education programs; and the projected dates of initiation of services and the anticipated duration of the services.
The important point is that the school district is legally responsible for providing any school health services identified in the child’s written IEP.
- To ensure the safety of children under your care, you should be trained and supervised by a licensed health care professional.
- You should be trained in techniques for “universal precautions” that you can use with all students to ensure their safety as well as your own.
- Indiana law does NOT require any school employee to administer medication or perform health care procedures they are not qualified to do, or not legally allowed to perform. Contact your UniServ Director immediately if you are put in the position to do so!