Districts have updates to make on annual notices
May 1, 2023
The law firm Lozano Smith is informing school districts and county offices of education about updates to their annual parental notices for the upcoming 2023-24 school year. The following is a summary of changes for updating Annual Notices, including four mandatory changes and other optional/advisable changes.
Mandatory Annual Notice changes
Firearm Safety and Safe Storage of Firearms Information (Assembly Bill 452 and Senate Bill 906): Beginning with the 2023-24 school year, Local Educational Agencies are required to include information in their Annual Notices related to the safe storage of firearms and California’s child access prevention laws, which establish liability for parents and guardians who should have known that their child could gain access to a firearm at home. The information included in the Annual Notice must be informed by model content developed by the California Department of Education, which will be updated annually. The CDE has until July 1, 2023, to develop model content. As of this writing, the model content has not been released.
Anti-Seizure Medication (Assembly Bill 1810): As of January 1, 2023, parents may authorize school districts to have trained volunteers administer anti-seizure medication to their children. This new parental right should be included with the Annual Notice’s student health and medication administration information.
Excused Absences for Political or Civic Events (Senate Bill 955): Middle and high school students may attend political or civic events for one day per year as an excused absence. Schools may authorize more time off for these purposes. Annual Notice excused absence provisions must be updated to include this new type of excused absence.
Educational Rights of High Mobility High School Students (Senate Bill 532): SB 532 took effect on January 1, 2023, as a measure to improve educational outcomes for “high mobility” high school students who transfer between schools after their second year of high school. “High mobility” includes students in foster care, students experiencing homelessness, recent immigrants, migrant students, former juvenile court school students and students from a military family. SB 532 seeks to provide efficient transfer procedures for these students. A description of these rights must be included in the Annual Notice.
Optional Annual Notice changes
The following legal updates may, but are not required to, be included in the Annual Notices:
Pupil Health: Type 1 Diabetes Information: Parent Notification (Senate Bill 97): SB 97 requires the CDE to develop informational materials regarding type 1 diabetes and make this information available on the CDE’s website. Effective January 1, 2023, SB 97 also requires school districts, county offices of education and charter schools to either include the materials as part of the Annual Notice or make these materials available to parents and guardians when students first enroll in elementary school.
Student Food Allergies/California Food Allergy Resource Webpage (Assembly Bill 2640): AB 2640 added Education Code section 49414.2, which requires the CDE to develop a California Food Allergy Resource internet webpage. To date, the new webpage is not available. This new law encourages Local Educational Agencies to consult the webpage and make it available annually to pupils, parents and guardians. Once the CDE’s webpage is available, a link to the webpage may be included in the Annual Notice.
Statewide Immunization Database/Immunization Information Sharing is Now Mandatory (Assembly Bill 1797): AB 1797 amended Health and Safety Code section 120440 to require schools, health care providers, childcare facilities, childcare families and county human services agencies to disclose, upon request, specified immunization information to local health departments and the State Department of Public Health, as well as to each other. Before AB 1797, this immunization information sharing was optional. AB 1797 also added a student’s race and ethnicity to the list of information that must now be shared.
School districts must obtain written parental consent before sharing student immunization information with the California Immunization Registry (CAIR), or with one of the other agencies listed above.
Some districts may already have consent procedures in place for this immunization information. Either way, school districts may also consider including an Annual Notice provision that addresses parental rights related to immunization information sharing.
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