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District of Columbia

Overall, meets 23 of 23 core policy standards and eight of 13 extra credit indicators. Below are the standards that District of Columbia meets.

District of Columbia
 

The 2019 State Honor Roll of Asthma and Allergy Policies for Schools ranks the states with the best public policies for people with asthma, food allergies, anaphylaxis and related allergic diseases in U.S. elementary, middle and high schools.
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Medication and Treatment Policies:

Meets 12 of 12 core policy standards in this category:

1. State requires physician’s written instructions to be on file to dispense prescription medication to students. checkmark
2. State policy ensures students’ right to self-carry and self-administer prescribed asthma medication. checkmark
3. State policy ensures students’ right to self-carry and self-administer prescribed anaphylaxis medication. checkmark
4. State policies or procedures shield school personnel from liability for unintended injuries. checkmark
5. State requires local school districts to create asthma and anaphylaxis medication policy and provides resources, guidelines and parameters. checkmark
6. State policy mandates schools to identify and maintain records for students with chronic conditions including asthma and anaphylaxis. checkmark
7. State requires a procedure updating health records periodically. checkmark
8. State requires that schools maintain asthma/allergy incident reports for reactions, attacks and medications administered. checkmark
9. State requires a student health history form that includes asthma/allergy information to be maintained for each student. checkmark
10. State requires schools to have emergency protocols for asthma. checkmark
11. State requires schools to have emergency protocols for anaphylaxis. checkmark
12. Nurse-to-student ratio is 1:750 or better. checkmark

Meets four of six extra credit indicators in this category:

A. State requires anaphylaxis medicine – epinephrine – stocking and authority to administer in schools. checkmark
B. State allows and/or requires asthma quick-relief medicine – albuterol – stocking and authority to administer in schools. x
C. State has or is preparing an explicit asthma program with policies, procedures and resources for schools to manage students with asthma. checkmark
D. State has or is preparing an explicit anaphylaxis program with policies, procedures and resources for schools to manage students with allergies. checkmark
E. State has adopted policy that each school will have one full-time nurse. checkmark
F. State has adopted policy that school districts provide case management for students with chronic health conditions such as asthma. x

Awareness Policies:

Meets both core policy standards in this category:

13. State recognizes problem of asthma in schools and has begun to address it. checkmark
14. State recognizes problem of allergy in schools and has begun to address it. checkmark

Meets both extra credit indicators in this category:

G. State sponsors or provides funding for staff training in asthma awareness covering school asthma program/policy and procedures. checkmark
H. State sponsors or provides funding for staff training in food allergies. checkmark

School Environment Policies:

Meets nine of nine core policy standards in this category:

15. State has mandated that all schools must have indoor air quality (IAQ) management policies. checkmark
16. State has adopted a policy requiring that districts and schools conduct periodic inspections of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system & other items important in asthma/allergy management. checkmark
17. State has IAQ policies that include specific components important in asthma/allergy management (HVAC, HEPA, carpeting, pesticide use). checkmark
18. State recommends/requires that districts or schools use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques OR ban use of pesticides inside school. checkmark
19. State requires schools to notify parents of upcoming pesticide applications. checkmark
20. State limits school bus idling time and establishes proximity restrictions. checkmark
21. All smoking is prohibited in school buildings and on school grounds. checkmark
22. All smoking is prohibited on school buses and at school-related functions. checkmark
23. Tobacco-use prevention is required in health education curriculum. checkmark

Meets two of five extra credit indicators in this category:

I. State makes funding or resources available for technical IAQ assistance to schools. checkmark
J. State recommends standards and programs to promote environmentally preferable materials for school construction, maintenance and cleaning. checkmark
K. State requires school facility design standards that include low emission construction materials, pollutant source controls, durable and easy to clean surfaces and floors, moisture/mold controls. x
L. State has implemented or actively promotes diesel school bus engine retrofitting program. x
M. State requires districts or schools to provide tobacco-use-cessation services to students. x

Policy Gaps:

None

Noteworthy:

The District of Columbia has been selected for the State Honor Roll since 2012 and has joined Connecticut this year in meeting all 23 core policy standards. 

Comprehensive Health Policies: The District of Columbia enacted a law establishing a Healthy Schools Fund that includes directives to prohibit vehicles from idling near schools, implements the EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools programs, and requires a plan to operate school health centers by 2015. 

Medication Policy:  DC requires training for all school personnel on administering medication during an asthma or anaphylaxis emergency.

Tobacco Use and Prevention:  Health education for DC students must include tobacco among its content areas. 

Epinephrine in Schools: DC enacted a law in 2016  (DC Law 21-77, Access to Emergency Epinephrine in Schools Amendment Act of 2015) that requires schools to stock and administer epinephrine for emergency purposes, requires schools to adopt and implement training policies and procedures for the administration of an epinephrine auto-injector by school employees, and shields persons administering epinephrine from liability.  In 2017, DC passed a law clarifying that school personnel could administer, and should be trained with regard to, both undesignated and designated epinephrine injectors (2017 District of Columbia Laws Act 22-3).

Sources:

State Honor Roll report 2019
View this year’s full report Download PDF