Many schools have little experience caring for a student with diabetes and may not know what is involved in diabetes management. It will take some time for the school to get used to caring for your child, just as it took some time for you and your family.

Before sending your child back to school, notify the school, especially the principal, school nurse and teacher(s) that your child has diabetes. Work with your school to have a 504 Plan in place and ask your doctor for a Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) so your child's diabetes care needs at school are clear. Also, work with a diabetes educator to train and prepare them for what's involved in diabetes management to ensure a safe learning environment for your child.

It's All About Team Work

Since your child spends most of the day at school, your child's school nurse is a member of your child's diabetes care team. Work with the school nurse and principal to make sure a trained adult is available to care for your child when the school nurse is not available to help. If your school does not have a school nurse, call the school district to find out how to reach the appropriate person for coordinating your child's care.

Be Proactive and Resourceful

  • Share helpful information about diabetes with school personnel.
  • Link your school nurse to a diabetes educator who can help to train and educate teachers and other school personnel about diabetes.
  • Discuss the Diabetes Medical Management Plan provided by your child's health care provider and work together to develop a plan for school including:
    • Blood glucose checks
    • Insulin administration
    • Snacks and meals
    • Emergency situations or when glucagon is needed
  • Describe your child's usual symptoms of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
    Provide updated phone numbers for your home, work and cell. Develop a plan for when you should be called.
  • Talk about what to do in an emergency. Make sure a school nurse and other trained school staff members know when and how to administer glucagon.
  • Provide diabetes management materials and equipment that should be kept at school.
  • Share some of the American Diabetes Association's classroom lesson plans with teachers who want to help students understand more about diabetes. Download them at

When Something's Not Right

If you feel your relationship with your school needs some help, call 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) to be connected with a Safe at School Advocate. The American Diabetes Association can help you build positive relationships and protect your child's rights, which will result in a safe and nurturing learning environment for your child!

For more information about working with schools and to learn more about the American Diabetes Association's Safe at School efforts, visit

  • Last Reviewed: October 21, 2013
  • Last Edited: October 28, 2013

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast