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Each school district, charter school, and nonpublic school in Illinois is statutorily required under new legislation, which went into effect on August 19, 2016, to adopt an “asthma episode emergency response protocol” before January 1, 2017. The legislation directed that the Illinois State Board of Education (“ISBE”) develop a model protocol. That model protocol is available on ISBE’s website. The protocol adopted by each school district, charter school, and nonpublic school must include all of the components in ISBE’s model protocol. The law specifies that the protocol is “a procedure to provide assistance to a student experiencing symptoms of wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, or breathing difficulty.” 105 ILCS 5/22-30.

In addition, school districts, charter schools, and nonpublic schools must request an asthma action plan (“AAP”) from the parents/guardians of a student with asthma. If provided by the parents/guardians, the AAP must be kept on file in the office of the school nurse or, in the absence of a school nurse, the school administrator. Copies of the AAP may be distributed to appropriate school staff that interact with the pupil on a regular basis and, if applicable, may be attached to the students Section 504 plan or IEP. ISBE has a sample AAP available on its website.

Public Act 99-0843 also requires that every two years, school personnel who work with students shall complete an in-person or online training program on the management of asthma, the prevention of asthma symptoms, and emergency response in the school setting. ISBE will post training resources in the near future.

For questions about asthma episode emergency response protocol, asthma action plans, and the administration of mediation generally, contact Michelle Todd, Stephanie Jones, or Jennifer Mueller.