Seizure Smart Schools

The Seizure Smart Schools legislation passed during a special session in 2021 and was signed into law by Governor Walz on June 30, 2021.

Minnesota is one of 18 states that have passed similar legislation as of September 2022. We are grateful that legislators recognized the importance of seizure and epilepsy education; the passage of this bill will truly help all students, parents, and teachers across the state thrive.

Seizure Smart School legislation 3 main parts

Each school must have
  • a Seizure Action Plan in place for each student with epilepsy/seizures.
  • training for school nurses (or a designated individual in the absence of a school nurse).
  • training for all school staff.

This webpage will outline requirements for schools, best practices for implementation, and links to resources. For more information, please see Managing Seizures in Schools, from the Minnesota Department of Health.

Let’s go through the three main requirements of the Seizure Smart School legislation.

Seizure Action Plan

The law requires that a Seizure Action Plan is in place for all students who have a diagnosed seizure disorder, and has a prescribed anti-seizure medication – daily or rescue. A best practice is that any student with seizures have a seizure action plan, regardless of if they have been prescribed anti-seizure medication.

A seizure rescue medication, also known as an emergency medication, is a medication administered during a seizure to stop or reduce seizure activity.

What is a seizure action plan?

According to statute, a seizure action plan is a “written individualized health plan designed to acknowledge and prepare for the health care needs of a student with a seizure disorder diagnosed by the student’s treating licensed health care provider.” 

The statute specifically notes that the seizure action plan requires the name and contact information of the school nurse or “designated individual.” The designated individual is the term used in the statute to describe the individual who is on duty during regular school day hours who can administer or assist in administering a seizure rescue medication. More information about the requirements of the school nurse or designated individual are outlined below.

The statute does not require any other piece of information to be included in the seizure action plan. Schools and families should work together to make the action plan work best for them.

The EFMN student seizure action plan includes the following categories. School personnel and parents/guardians should work together to customize each seizure action plan depending on individual students’ needs.

Key Information to include in a seizure action plan:

  • Seizure Types
  • What the seizures look like
  • First Aid (general and student-specific)
  • Comprehensive Medication List 
  • Post-Seizure Care
  • Seizure Triggers
  • Health Care Contacts
  • Any other relevant health information

Best Practices when developing a Seizure Action Plan:

  • Work collaboratively with your child’s school nurse when developing a seizure action plan.
  • Be sure to include all medications, not just those taken for seizures.
  • Confirm a communication plan between the school and parent/guardian on when a seizure occurs and when/if an emergency or rescue medication is given. 
  • Be specific on what seizure triggers your child may have.
  • Note when emergency services should be called as agreed upon between the school and parent/guardian.
Training for school nurses or a designated individual

The nurse or designated individual must be trained in “recognition of signs and symptoms of seizures, and appropriate steps to respond to seizures.” EFMN offers seizure first aid trainings or epilepsy.com offers a 60-min on demand training.

Trained in the administration of anti seizure medications. There are various anti seizure rescue medications, and there is currently not one training that shows how to use all of them. Best practice is to determine the seizure rescue medications prescribed to the student by their physician, that will be noted in their seizure action plan, and/or the student’s individualized health plan  (IHP). The nurse or designated individual should then watch the training of the relevant medication.

Below are the links to the most common rescue medication trainings:

    1. Rectal Rescue Medications
    2. Nasal- Valtoco
    3. Nasal- midazolam (Nayzilam)
    4. Liquid Buccal/ Oral Administration
Training for all school staff

School districts must provide all school personnel working with students self-study materials on seizure disorder signs, symptoms, medications, and appropriate responses. 

Find downloadable resources below.