NORWICH FREE ACADEMY
Educating Students with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection
Norwich Free Academy recognizes that children afflicted with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection have a right to receive a suitable education. Norwich Free Academy also recognizes that it has a responsibility to ensure that it provides a safe environment for all of its students and employees.
As a general rule, a child with AIDS/HIV infection shall be allowed to attend school in a regular or alternate classroom setting with the approval of the NFA school physician (medical advisor), Superintendent/Head of School and the child's physician, and shall be considered eligible to all rights, privileges, and services provided by law and the existing policy of The Norwich Free Academy.
The school will respect the right to privacy of the individual; therefore, knowledge that a child has AIDS/HIV infection will be confined to those persons with a direct need to know. Those persons will be provided with appropriate information concerning such precautions as may be necessary and should be aware of confidentiality requirements.
Norwich Free Academy recognizes that information whether a student (1) has been the subject of an HIV related test or (2) has HIV infection, HIV related illness or AIDS is confidential information subject to disclosure only in limited circumstances as provided for in state statute. If a school administrator, school teacher, school nurse or other school personnel receive such information concerning a student, he or she shall not disclose that information to any other school personnel or other person except in accordance with a signed written authorization for disclosure of confidential HIV related information, set forth in Appendix A, unless otherwise required by law.
School personnel who receive confidential HIV related information shall adhere to the following procedures:
1. The person receiving such information shall convey such information to the school medical advisor on a confidential basis and shall not otherwise disclose the information.
2. Upon receipt of such a report, the school medical advisor shall investigate the report and the underlying facts, and shall determine which, if any, school personnel have a need to know any such confidential HIV related information to protect the safety and health or the student subject of the report as well as other students and school personnel.
3. The school medical advisor shall meet with the student, parent, guardian or other person authorized to consent to health care for the individual, and shall review his/her determination of which school personnel have a need to know such confidential HIV related information. The school medical advisor shall provide the student, parent, guardian and other such person with a copy of this procedure and shall request written authorization to disclose such confidential HIV related information to such school personnel as he/she determines have a need to know, such authorization to be in the form as attached as Appendix A. Such confidential HIV related information shall not be disclosed to any other person, except as provided in section 5, below. The school medical advisor will also provide the student, parent, guardian or other such person with a copy of Section IV of the federal law entitled "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" which deals with notification of parents rights. (See Appendix B)
4. Day Care enrollment of children and their participation in the program should be in response to their needs and the program's ability to meet them. The potential health risk to children with HIV infection should be a consideration. All parents shall be given information that includes the facility's policy on accepting children with HIV infection and specific information on HIV infection. All parents should be asked during the intake interview if there are any special care needs providers should be aware of to ensure the best care of the child. If the parents disclose their child's positive HIV status and give written consent to contact their physician, the physician may also provide intake information.
The nurse consultant will act as care coordinator to ensure that services are available for children who are HIV infected.
5. Where written authorization of disclosure of HIV status is not provided, in appropriate cases where the health and safety of the student and/or others would otherwise be threatened, the school medical advisor may seek a court order authorizing disclosure. In such cases, such confidential HIV related information may be disclosed as set forth in and subject to any limitations of such court order.
6. In a medical emergency, if a parent or guardian is not available, a school nurse or other professional who knows the HIV diagnosis may disclose this information directly to emergency service personnel or to a physician in order to ensure appropriate medical treatment.
7. Confidential School Health File
All HIV related information is confidential and may not be released without specific consent. Any such information concerning a child and HIV will be maintained in a special confidential health file. Only those persons given authorization via the Authorization Form for Release of HIV Related Information will have access to this confidential health file. This access shall be monitored to minimize the risk of the record being released to unauthorized personnel. Specific consent is required for transfer to another school district of HIV related information. School nursing plans for a
student with HIV infection may only be shared with those staff members who have been granted authorization to receive confidential HIV information.
Children known to have HIV infection have a right to receive an appropriate education. The Academy has a responsibility to protect the health of all students and staff.
Accordingly, the Board of Trustees and administration will ensure that:
1. As a general rule, a child with HIV infection will be allowed, with the approval of the child's physician, to attend school in a regular classroom setting and will be considered eligible for all rights, privileges, and services provided by law and existing policy of The Norwich Free Academy.
2. The school nurse will function as (a) the liaison with the child's physician, (b) the child's health care advocate in the school (i.e. assist in problem resolution, answer questions and coordinate school and community resources as needed).
REMOVAL FROM SCHOOL
A child with HIV infection may need to be removed from the classroom for his/her own protection when other communicable diseases (e.g. measles or chicken pox) are occurring in the school population. This decision will be made by the child's physician and parent/guardian, in consultation with the school nurse and/or the school medical advisor.
Under certain circumstances a child with HIV infection might pose a risk of transmission to others. If any such circumstances exist, the school medical advisor, in consultation with the school nurse and the child's physician, must determine whether a risk of transmission exists. If it is determined that a risk exists, the student shall be removed from the classroom. Final determination is to be made by the school medical advisor.
Where a student or student's parents object to the decision of the school regarding removal, an appeal may be made to the Board of Trustees. The Board will provide a hearing, review pertinent facts concerning the removal, and render a decision.
A child with HIV infection may be temporarily removed from the classroom for the reasons stated above until an appropriate school program adjustment can be made, an appropriate alternative education program can be established, or the medical advisor determines that the risk has abated and the child can return to the classroom.
Removal from the classroom will not be construed as the only response to reduce the risk of transmission. School personnel should be flexible in developing alternatives and should attempt to use the least restrictive means to accommodate the child's needs, while protecting students and personnel who may come in contact with the child.
In any case of temporary removal of the student from the school setting, state regulations and school policy regarding homebound instruction will apply.
Routine and standard procedures as outlined in OSHA's Guide to the Prevention of Blood/Borne Pathogens shall be followed in all cases of possible exposure and clean-up of any bodily fluids.
Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes
10-19(b) Instruction on acquired immune deficiency syndrome Policy adopted: December 10, 1991
Policy Revised: December 14, 1994
April 21, 2009
NORWICH FREE ACADEMY
AUTHORIZATION FORM FOR RELEASE OF HIV RELATED INFORMATION
I hereby authorize The Norwich Free Academy, acting through the Superintendent/Head of School and the School Medical Advisor, to release confidential HIV related information, as defined in P. A. 89-246, concerning for the purpose of protecting the student's health and safety, as well as that of other students and staff, to the following personnel:
......1. School Nurse
......2. School Superintendent/Head of School
......3. Student's Teacher(s)
.....4. Director of Day Care
.....5. Direct care giver (Day Care) List:
This authorization shall be valid for
........A. The student's stay at The Norwich Free Academy or NFA Day Care
........B. The current school year
I provide this authorization based on my responsibility to consent for the health care of and I understand that such information shall be held confidential by the persons authorized here to receive such information, except as otherwise provided by law.
PARENTAL RIGHTS PER "INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT"
CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION
The parent has the right to:
1. inspect and review all education records which are collected, maintained or used by the Academy with respect to: (a) the identification, evaluation and educational placement of the child, and (b) the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child. The Academy may presume that the parent has authority to inspect and review records relating to his or her child unless the Academy has been advised that the parent does not have such authority in accordance with applicable state law. The Academy shall comply with a request to inspect and review such records within ten school days of such request. If the request is made in order to prepare for a meeting regarding an individualized education program or any due process proceeding, the request to inspect and review shall be granted within three school days of the request. Any written request to inspect and review and copy all education records upon which a due process hearing may be based shall be honored by the Academy within three days after the Academy has received such request. The Academy must, notwithstanding the timelines noted above, comply with a parent request without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP or hearing;
2. a response from the Academy to reasonable requests for explanation and interpretations of the records;
3. one free copy of the education records. The Academy shall comply with such request within five school days of such request. The Academy may charge for additional copies provided that the fee does not effectively prevent the parents from exercising their right to inspect and review the education records. The Academy may not charge a fee to search for or retrieve information;
4. have a representative inspect and review the records;
5. review the record maintained by the Academy of parties (other than the parents and authorized employees of the Academy) having access to education records. The record shall include the name of the party, the date access was given, and the purpose of which the party was authorized to use records;
6. inspect and review or be informed of the specific information that relates to their child when any education record includes information on more than one child. Such access is limited to only the information relating to their child;
7. receive, upon request, a list of the types and locations of education records collected, maintained or used by the Academy;
8. request that the Academy amend information in the education records that the parent believes to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the privacy or other rights of the child. The Academy shall decide whether to amend the information in accordance with the request within a reasonable period of time of receipt of the request. If the Academy decides to refuse to amend the information, the parent shall be informed of the refusal and advised of the right to request a hearing to challenge the information in the education records.
The hearing shall be held within a reasonable period of time after the Academy has received the request. The parent shall be given notice of the date, place and time reasonably in advance of the hearing. The hearing may be conducted by any party, including an official of the Academy, who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing. The parent shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted by individuals of the parent's choice at their own expense. The decision of the Academy shall be based solely upon the evidence presented at the hearing and shall include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision.
If, as a result of the hearing, the Academy agrees with the parent, it shall amend the information accordingly and so inform the parent in writing. If, as a result of the hearing, the Academy decides not to amend the records, it shall inform the parent of the right to place in the records of the child a statement commenting on the information or setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decision of the Academy. Any explanation placed in the records must be maintained by the Academy as part of the records as long as the records or contested portion is maintained by the Academy; and if the records or the contested portion is disclosed by the Academy to any party, the explanation must also be disclosed to the party.