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Laws and Regulations Pertaining to School Health

Program Authority

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has both statutory and regulatory responsibilities for the administration of the statewide school health program. The Health Department prescribes the technical content of the School Health Program. The Division of School Health in the Bureau of Community Health Systems monitors and evaluates school districts' compliance with State laws, regulations, and policies; provides consultation and technical assistance to districts to support and improve health programs and services; develops policy, procedures, guidelines and adopts records and report forms to support and facilitate the efficient operation, administration and evaluation of the school health program; and fosters state and local cooperation and coordination of programs and services.

The Division of School Health maintains collaborative efforts with other departments, organizations and local programs to improve health services in schools, minimize duplication of services and facilitate access to primary and preventive care. The Division also fosters the development of coordinated school health programs that strengthen the educational process by maintaining and improving the health status of children and by promoting healthy educational practices and environments. 

School Health

State Law

Pennsylvania Public School Code (in its entirety)

State Regulation

Pennsylvania Department of Health, PA Code, 28 Health, Chapter 23 School Health, Sections 23.1 - 23.87 School Health Services

Nurse Practice

Pennsylvania Department of State, Board of Nursing

The Board issues licenses and certifications to qualified applicants, approves nursing education programs, establishes standards of practice, and disciplines licensees and unlicensed persons for violations of the Acts and the regulations.

Nurse Practice Regulations: PA Code, Title 49 Professional and Vocational Standards, Chapter 21, State Board of Nursing

A. Registered Nurses
B. Practical Nurses
C. Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners
D. Interpretations
E. Child Abuse Reporting Requirements

According to 49 PA Code, Section 21.11(d), the Board of Nursing "recognizes standards of practice and professional codes of behavior, as developed by appropriate nursing associations, as the criteria for assuring safe and effective practice. These standards can be found in publications from the American Nurses Association and National Association of School Nurses (NASN).

ANA and NASN Scope and Standards of Practice for School Nurses (2011)


State Law

Pennsylvania Public School Code (in its entirety)

State Regulation

Pennsylvania Department of Education, PA Code, 22 Education

Basic Education Circular (BEC)

BECs provide the Department of Education's guidance on the implementation of law, regulation and policy. This includes Purdon's Statutes, Federal Codes, PA Codes, US Codes.