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Among the 200-plus laws that kicked in when the calendar turned to 2019 are a handful that address schools and their staffs, covering topics that range from asthma medication to dual-credit coursework.

Here's more, courtesy of N-G education reporter Lyndsay Jones.

Clean those choppers

Once only required for students entering kindergarten, second and sixth grades, dental exams are now mandatory for those starting ninth grade, too.

HB 04908, an amendment to Illinois School Code, applies to all students, whether they're entering "public, private or parochial" schools.

The wheels on the bus go ...

... wherever they need to take passengers under the age of 18. SB 0248 amends the Illinois Vehicle Code, allowing yellow school buses with stop arms and flashing lights to transport minors to any activity.

The previous wording restricted such bus travel to being "in connection with a licensed youth camp or licensed child care facility."

Hot off the presses

Recommended reading: a new brochure from the Department of Public Health on "the effects of concussion in children" and "how to look for concussion warning signs in children."

HB 04226 requires the free brochure be available for schools to hand out to children and parents or guardians "of a child who may have sustained a concussion, regardless of whether or not the concussion occurred while the child was participating in an interscholastic athletic activity."

Call it an early start

Under SB 03536, all publicly funded early-childhood programs that receive specific grants from the state are now required to collect and review their students' chronic-absence data.

The goal? Determining what "support" and "resources" are needed to "positively engage chronically absent students and their families" before they formally start school.

Facts on the flu

Coming soon to an informational packet near you: the lowdown on influenza and getting kids their flu shot.

An amendment to the School Code, SB 02654, mandates that districts include information on the flu and its corresponding vaccine whenever families receive any information on "immunizations, infectious diseases, medications or other school health issues" from their district.

Always be prepared

The adjusted School Code also now allows nurses or specially trained personnel in any school to provide asthma medication that's "undesignated" — or not in a specific student's name — to students who have a prescription for such medication on file.

Under SB 03015, personnel will also be permitted to administer the medicine to any one they believe "in good faith is having respiratory distress."

Such medicine would be available through the school having its own prescription of asthma medication on-hand, prescribed in the school's name.


Lyndsay Jones is a reporter covering education at The News-Gazette. Her email is ljones@news-gazette, and you can follow her on Twitter (@__lyndsayjones).

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