Safe at School

Tips for Teachers

The information provided below is meant to help inform teachers about how to keep kids with diabetes safe at school.

Learn as much as you can about diabetes. Knowledge is power. Become aware of essential diabetes care tasks and be prepared to respond in the event of a diabetes emergency. Your willingness to learn will help to ensure a safe classroom environment and optimize your student's success and participation.

Every student with diabetes is different. Students may use different therapies to manage their diabetes. Some need help and some are independent. Learn about your student's diabetes and how you can best respond and support.

Provide a supportive learning environment. It is important to provide a classroom environment that enables the student to have unrestricted access to needed care. Depending upon the student's level of independence, he or she should be allowed to self-manage their diabetes and should have unrestricted access to the school nurse and other trained school personnel.

Collaborate with other school staff. Teachers and other school staff members with supervisory responsibility for the student should participate in team meetings and understand your role in implementing the student's diabetes care plan and written accommodations plan.

Understand federal and state legal protections for the student with diabetes. Become familiar with federal and state laws that protect students with diabetes and understand your role in the development and implementation of the student's written plans.

Provide modifications as set out in the student's written accommodation plan. Familiarize yourself with the modifications spelled out in the student's written plan(s).

Always be prepared. A "low kit" containing food and other supplies to treat hypoglycemia should always be available in the classroom and other areas of the school.

Don't draw unnecessary attention to the student's condition. Your student may need to eat a snack in the classroom to treat hypoglycemia or monitor his or her blood glucose level and give insulin. The student should be allowed to do this without the necessity of leaving the classroom or drawing attention to the student.

Provide information for substitute teachers. Information on the day-to-day needs of the student with diabetes and emergency information should be maintained in the substitute teacher's file.

Notify parent/guardian and other supervisory school staff in advance of changes in schedule. Talk to the parents ahead of time about any special considerations and concerns about parties and special events. Let parents, the school nurse and other school staff know about upcoming parties, field trips and special class events so that adjustments may be made to insulin dosages.

Treat the student with diabetes the same as other students. Students with diabetes should be treated fairly and have the same access to all school opportunities as their peers.

Communicate concerns to parent/guardian, school nurse, or school administrator. Provide timely and clear communication of any concerns and questions to the parent/guardian, school nurse or school administrator.