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FERPA violation?

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SchoolNurse91 has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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When I first started school nursing, we made a list of kids who had medical conditions and gave the list to the appropriate teacher.  About 2 years after I started, I was told it was a FERPA violation. I obviously stopped sending lists after that. Is this actually a violation? If so, how do you notify your teachers of medical conditions?  They have access to the medical alerts in e-school but most of my teachers do not check these. How do you notify your teachers? 

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mainecoonRN92 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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If the student with a medical condition is in the teacher's class, I don't see how that is a FERPA violation. They are a need-to-know staff member. As long as the paper lists are in a secure location within the teacher's classroom, lists are fine. 

With that being said, I only share the medical diagnoses with teachers that can actually impact the student's day i.e., asthma, allergies, autism, etc. If a parent reported a surgical hx of circumcision, I'm not going to share that information with the teacher. LOL 😂

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SchoolNurse91 has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

134 Posts; 2,295 Profile Views

1 minute ago, mainecoonRN92 said:

If the student with a medical condition is in the teacher's class, I don't see how that is a FERPA violation. They are a need-to-know staff member. As long as the paper lists are in a secure location within the teacher's classroom, lists are fine. 

With that being said, I only share the medical diagnoses with teachers that can actually impact the student's day i.e., asthma, allergies, autism, etc. If a parent reported a surgical hx of circumcision, I'm not going to share that information with the teacher. LOL 😂

That's what I thought! I ran into so many problems this year. "I didn't know little sally has asthma!" I've sent out soooo many e-mails  politely telling them to check the medical alerts. The principal told me, "Well, they're not checking them." 

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mainecoonRN92 has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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I give out a list on a quarterly basis with emails to supplement in between. 

I put it on the teachers. I request a read receipt on my emails and if they choose not to read it, I've done my due diligence. 

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SchoolNurse91 has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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On 2/24/2020 at 2:08 PM, mainecoonRN92 said:

I give out a list on a quarterly basis with emails to supplement in between. 

I put it on the teachers. I request a read receipt on my emails and if they choose not to read it, I've done my due diligence. 

I asked someone in the state dept if it was a FERPA violation and they said it was. I asked them how to go about notifying teachers. They told me to set up meetings with each teacher. Uhm, not even remotely possible. Plus, our district has such a high mobility rate. 

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1 hour ago, SchoolNurse91 said:

That's what I thought! I ran into so many problems this year. "I didn't know little sally has asthma!" I've sent out soooo many e-mails  politely telling them to check the medical alerts. The principal told me, "Well, they're not checking them." 

Maybe the principal needs to address this in next staff meeting.  Sometimes I need my principal to voice that certain things need to be done - Epipen training, Stop the bleed training etc etc.  

One thing you plan on for next school year if you have time....the week before school during all those PD days (we seem to have alot) is see if you can have some time to meet with each grade level team and review medical info with them.  One of our "stations" during PD is for each team sit and meet with our resource/SPED teachers - they go over all the kids that need resource time.  Last few years I have sat in on these meetings to squeeze my info in - it has really helped with getting the info out about those kids with medical needs and gives them time to ask any questions.  

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SchoolNurse91 has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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9 minutes ago, AdobeRN said:

Maybe the principal needs to address this in next staff meeting.  Sometimes I need my principal to voice that certain things need to be done - Epipen training, Stop the bleed training etc etc.  

One thing you plan on for next school year if you have time....the week before school during all those PD days (we seem to have alot) is see if you can have some time to meet with each grade level team and review medical info with them.  One of our "stations" during PD is for each team sit and meet with our resource/SPED teachers - they go over all the kids that need resource time.  Last few years I have sat in on these meetings to squeeze my info in - it has really helped with getting the info out about those kids with medical needs and gives them time to ask any questions.  

The principal has addressed the issue. Teachers still are not doing it. That doesn't address support staff that do not have access to e-school. I do not get Health History forms until the day school starts. So, I couldn't have meetings before school starts. Also, our mobility rate is insanely high. My son goes to school where I work. There are only 9 out of 27 kids in his class from August.  Kids are constantly transferring in and out. I personally have over 150 teachers. I don't think one on one meetings are feasible.  I thought about e-mailing lists to teachers. Just the name of the student. Maybe if they -know- they have a student with a health problem, they will look up their health alert? I sent home ECPs for the usual (seizure, asthma, food allergies etc ) I got less than 5% back. I gave the teachers a copy of this form... but it doesn't help when parents dont fill them out. 

Edited by SchoolNurse91

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At some point, teachers need to be accountable to do their job and check the health alerts! We are responsible for getting the info out but we are not responsible to spoon feed grown adults!!

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6 minutes ago, SchoolNurse91 said:

The principal has addressed the issue. Teachers still are not doing it. That doesn't address support staff that do not have access to e-school. I do not get Health History forms until the day school starts. So, I couldn't have meetings before school starts. Also, our mobility rate is insanely high. My son goes to school where I work. There are only 9 out of 27 kids in his class from August.  Kids are constantly transferring in and out. I personally have over 150 teachers. I don't think one on one meetings are feasible.  I thought about e-mailing lists to teachers. Just the name of the student. Maybe if they -know- they have a student with a health problem, they will look up their health alert? I sent home ECPs for the usual (seizure, asthma, food allergies etc ) I got less than 5% back. I gave the teachers a copy of this form... but it doesn't help when parents dont fill them out. 

Ok gotcha --- that is a difficult situation.  You have eschool correct?  We use Eschool also - I run reports of medical alerts and send a PDF of class list to the teachers, but if teachers are not taking the time to click on the little triangle they may not take the time to even read emails???  There is also a way to scan and attach the ECP's in eschool so the teachers can click on the info - might check with your tech department about that but again another thing teachers need to take the time to pull them up and look at them. 

 

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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1 hour ago, SchoolNurse91 said:

I asked someone in the state dept if it was a FERPA violation and they said it was. I asked them how to go about notifying teachers. They told me to set up meetings with each teacher. Uhm, not even remotely possible. Plus, our district has such a high mobility rate. 

What?

This falls under need to know. We routinely indicate in our EHR a selected number of conditions and do "see Nurse" for unusual things. 

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SchoolNurse91 has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

134 Posts; 2,295 Profile Views

10 minutes ago, ruby_jane said:

What?

This falls under need to know. We routinely indicate in our EHR a selected number of conditions and do "see Nurse" for unusual things. 

Teachers are allowed to know the information. I was told I couldn't make lists.

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SchoolNurse91 has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

134 Posts; 2,295 Profile Views

On 2/24/2020 at 4:00 PM, AdobeRN said:

OK gotcha --- that is a difficult situation.  You have eschool correct?  We use Eschool also - I run reports of medical alerts and send a PDF of class list to the teachers, but if teachers are not taking the time to click on the little triangle they may not take the time to even read emails???  There is also a way to scan and attach the ECP's in eschool so the teachers can click on the info - might check with your tech department about that but again another thing teachers need to take the time to pull them up and look at them. 

See, I was told that was a violation. 

I'll copy and paste the e-mail from the state. I asked the Director of School Health for guidance. I asked her if I could make paper lists or send a list via e-mail to each teacher. This was her response:

"I would say you need to meet with the staff that has the particular student with a medical condition and discuss with them how to manage the student as well as S/S.  I would  send out a general reminder to all Staff to review their student’s health information on the computer and stressing the importance of knowing their students.

Or you may need to go around to the staff individually or small groups and say these students have these medical needs and these are the signs and symptoms to watch for and the next step. "

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