- Report Published -
|Needs of Medically Fragile Students|
|Department of Education; Department of Health|
|SJR 306 (Regular Session, 1993)|
|During its 1993 legislative session, the Virginia General Assembly adopted a joint resolution (SJR 306) requesting that the Department of Education in conjunction with the Department of Health study the needs of medically fragile children in Virginia. The request was initiated in response to several concerns brought to the attention of members of the General Assembly.|
First, several children, considered to be medically fragile, had been placed in a nursing home outside of their parents' city or county of residence. The nursing home staff attempted to enroll several of these children in the school division of the county where the nursing home was located. These children were denied admission because their legal residency remained in the city/county of their parents' residence. Consequently, the school division where the nursing home was located was under no legal obligation to provide educational services to these children.
Second, anecdotal evidence and limited research indicated an increased enrollment of children with chronic illnesses and ongoing medical needs in the public schools of the Commonwealth. The types of services, the service providers, the training of the service providers and the policies related to service providers and the policies related to the provision of medical or health services varied greatly from school division to school division throughout the Commonwealth. Concerns were raised regarding the adequacy of the services, the appropriateness of teachers, paraprofessionals, school nurses and administrators conducting some of the medical or health procedures, and the lack of training for those persons conducting these procedures.
SJR 306 specifically set out nine objectives for the study, requesting the Departments of Education and Health to:
(I) identify and determine the number of medically fragile children in Virginia,
(II) determine which of them are citizens of the Commonwealth and their place of residence
(III) determine the nature and severity of their disabilities and treatment needs,
(IV) determine the number of medically fragile students being served in the public schools and the nature and severity of their disabilities,
(V) identify the types of health maintenance and treatment procedures and the types of staff persons necessary to conduct these procedures,
(VI) determine the responsibility of public schools to provide such health maintenance and the types of staff persons necessary to conduct these procedures,
(VII) determine the impact on and liability of those responsible for providing such services to students,
(VIII) determine the level of guidance given by the local school boards to staff regarding the provision of health services to students, and
(IX) the level of interagency collaboration to determine the need for policy and regulatory changes to improve the delivery of educational, social, health, and medical services to such children.