Seizure Smart Schools

The research is clear: Students learn better when they feel safe and supported. One way we work to make sure students with epilepsy are safe and supported in their classrooms is through our flagship Seizure Smart Schools, a program that brings together students, teachers, school nurses, staff, and families to foster understanding of epilepsy in schools and teach seizure first aid.

Statistically, we know that about one in every 26 people will develop epilepsy, and that pediatric-onset epilepsy accounts for nearly half of all diagnoses. With the average classroom size at approximately the same number, we can be sure this is an issue that is relevant to every school — from daycares to post-secondary, and everything in between. It’s important for educators and administrators to recognize the signs and symptoms of seizures, and to know how to respond if a child in their care has a seizure.

A classroom of young students, along with two teachers, poses with a banner reading "We are a Seizure Smart School."
Two young students with pink and purple backpacks walk down a hallway, holding hands, their backs to the camera.

In addition to seizures, students with epilepsy often report being bullied or feeling ostracized from peers who don’t understand their condition. As part of the Seizure Smart Schools program, the Epilepsy Foundation offers age-appropriate training for classmates of students with epilepsy. By using facts and information to combat the myths and misconceptions, the Seizure Smart Schools program fights the epilepsy stigma and fosters understanding and acceptance of differences.

With your help, we can foster safe and supportive school environments for students living with epilepsy. Find out more about Seizure Smart School certification requirements below:

A group of students wearing backpacks sits on a flight of steps, smiling for the camera.

Seizure Smart School Requirements

Get certified “Seizure Smart” by:
  • SCHOOL NURSE: The school's nurse is trained in Seizure Recognition & Response (online or in-person).
  • SCHOOL PERSONNEL: Two-thirds of the school's personnel (teachers and staff) is trained in Seizure Recognition & Response.
  • STUDENTS: An entire student grade level (or equivalent) receives age-appropriate education about epilepsy, seizures, and embracing our differences of all kinds.

Is My School Seizure Smart?

Use the map to find out if your school has received a Seizure Smart certification.

If your school isn’t on our certified list, don’t worry! Seizure Smart certification is an easy and educational way to support your students, and is provided by EFMN at no cost to the school. If you are a school educator or administrator, get the process started by filling out a training request form below:

Seizure Smart Districts

School districts are also eligible to take part in the Seizure Smart Schools program.

School districts can work with us to create individualized plans that best serve their schools and students. This usually involves a combination of training nurses, teachers, students, and administrators in that district. Certified school districts receive special recognition from the Epilepsy Foundation, and help students with epilepsy and their parents make educated choices.

Once a district becomes certified as Seizure Smart, they continue working with us to ensure their seizure action plan stays relevant and supports their students. Individual schools in a Seizure Smart District can also pursue a Seizure Smart School certification independent of the district. For more information on Seizure Smart Districts, please reach out to info@efmn.org or give us a call at 651.287.2310.

Three women stand and hold a colorful banner that says "We are a Seizure Smart School."
A woman stands at a projector and talks to students in a classroom.

Seizure Smart Re-Certification

To make sure current teachers and students have been trained, Seizure Smart School certifications lapse after two years. Keeping your certification up-to-date is easy! To re-certify:

  • One-third of staff will receive Seizure Recognition & Response Training
  • A class (or equivalent) is trained in seizure education
  • School nurse receives Seizure Recognition & Response Training

If you fail to re-certify within four years, your school will need to go through the full certification process again. Contact us to find out if your school’s certification is current, or to schedule a re-certification training today.

Thriving with Epilepsy

Meet Jacob Milz

Jacob Milz experienced his first seizure at just 17 months old. Now seven, he has already grown into a powerful advocate for the epilepsy community. As an active member of the Shining Star program, Jacob has turned his elementary school into a Seizure Smart School, and with his service dog Bailey at his side he never hesitates to educate anyone and everyone about his seizures.

Jacob's Story
A small boy sits with his mom in a park, smiling at the camera to reveal a missing front tooth

Looking for more education resources?

We've got you covered! Visit our educator-specific page for additional Seizure Smart resources and materials like classroom kits, seizure action plan templates, and more!

Resources For Educators