Guidance for Schools

Key points

  • Students with epilepsy need support during the school day.
  • Some states require seizure first aid training.
  • Free, online trainings are available for school staff.
Kindergarten class smiling

Why it matters

For most of the year, children and teens spend much of their day at school. Students with epilepsy may need support to manage their health during the school day.

For many students, their epilepsy is controlled with medicine. They can do what other kids can do and perform well in school.

Extra support for students with epilepsy

For some students, school can be more challenging. They may need more support. Some students may experience side effects from epilepsy medicine can cause fatigue and memory problems. They may experience mental health problems such as anxiety. They might hide the fact that they have epilepsy to avoid being shamed and bullied by other students.

Students with epilepsy are safer at school when teachers, nurses, bus drivers, and other staff learn about epilepsy. Staff may be able to link families to needed community resources.

Training requirements for states‎

Some states have legislation requiring a specific number of school staff to be trained in seizure first aid.

You can check your state's requirements through the Epilepsy Foundation.

Guidance for school nurses

Make a seizure action plan

School nurses should make sure all students with seizures have an action plan. It should include:

  • Seizure triggers, if known.
  • What to expect during a seizure.
  • Seizure first aid steps.
  • Instructions for rescue medicines.
  • Contact information for parents and health care providers.
A young girl visits the school nurse.
School nurses can help students with epilepsy manage their condition during the school day.

Action plan templates are available from the Epilepsy Foundation and the Seizure Action Plan Coalition.

Help with transitions

The transition from pediatric to adult health care is challenging. School nurses can provide guidance to families to make it easier.

CDC supported the National Association of School Nurses to create helpful resources:

Help other students understand epilepsy

School nurses and teachers can find resources on CDC's Body and Mind (BAM) website to help educate students. Topics include:

  • How to talk to students about epilepsy.
  • What a seizure looks like.
  • How to provide seizure first aid. has additional information on supporting students with special health needs and preventing bullying at school.

Training for school nurses

CDC supports free, online, on-demand epilepsy training programs for school nurses through our partners.

Seizure training for school nurses

This series of programs teaches school nurses how to care for students with seizures. The Epilepsy Foundation offers continuing education credits.

Training on sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP)

The National Association of School Nurses has developed training on stigma and SUDEP that includes continuing education credits.

This training covers:

  • Impact of stigma on students with epilepsy.
  • How to reduce stigma.
  • Understanding SUDEP.
  • How to support families.

Training for teachers and other staff

CDC supports free, online, on-demand training programs for school staff through the Epilepsy Foundation.

Teachers, bus drivers, and other staff can learn how to support students with seizures.

Seizure Training for School Personnel includes:

  • Recognizing seizures.
  • Providing seizure first aid.
  • Understanding how epilepsy may affect a student.