This guide will help you learn about the medical exams, CPR training, fingerprinting and drug testing requirements for Illinois teachers and instructors.
Ready to begin? Read on!
Do teachers need to take medical tests prior to or after employment in Illinois?
- Tuberculin skin test (TST).
- Chest X-ray, if the employee tests positive for TB or if the physician decides it is needed
- Physical exam (e.g., weight, blood pressure, temperature, heartbeat, as well as checking your ears, nose, lungs, throat, and eyes.)
Which of my employees do these regulations apply to?
According to the Illinois School Code, medical examination requirements apply to the following employees:
- Any employee of a school district
- A student teacher
- An employee of a contractor that provides services to students or in schools
- Private tutors
What else should I know?
The Illinois School Code also says that:
- A new or existing employee may be subject to additional health examinations, including screening for tuberculosis.
- The school board may require an examination of any employee from time to time throughout the duration of their employment.
Are teachers required to be certified in CPR and AED?
In Illinois, CPR, AED and First Aid training are not currently mandatory for teachers and other school employees.
However, it’s highly encouraged that at least one person on staff knows CPR and how to operate an AED correctly (and not just reading the instructions on the unit).
According to the Illinois State Board of Education, It’s up to each school board whether they want to “appropriate portions of its institute or in-service days to conduct training programs for teachers and other school personnel who have expressed an interest in becoming qualified to administer emergency first aid or CPR.”
Coaches and school staff who teach or supervise extracurricular activities are especially encouraged to take CPR, AED and First Aid certification courses. This is because students who play sports and other physical activities are more likely to sustain physical injuries.
Why mandatory CPR, AED and First Aid courses is a good policy
Remember, when you’re employed as a teacher or staff member at an educational facility, the health and lives of students are in your hands during the time that they’re in your presence.
Having your teachers and other school employees complete CPR, AED and/or First Aid courses will create a safe and trustworthy school environment. This level of professionalism will give students, staff and parents a peace of mind.
What’s the difference between CPR, AED and First Aid classes?
CPR stands for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. CPR can help save a life during cardiac arrest, when the heart stops beating or it beats too ineffectively to circulate blood to the brain and other vital organs.
AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. Typically, it’s simply called a defibrillator. It is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It’s a sophisticated, easy-to-use, medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.
First Aid is the first and immediate medical assistance given to a person with either a minor or serious illness or injury. The concept of first aid is to provide care in order to preserve the patient’s life, to prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery until professional medical services arrive. As an educator or school staff member, you can take basic and advanced first aid courses to satisfy Illinois’s occupational requirements.
Does Illinois require teachers to participate in fingerprinting and background checks?
The Illinois State School Code requires State and FBI fingerprint-based background checks for all school employees, including student teachers, volunteers and contractors. The cost for the background is typically the job candidate’s responsibility.
Why fingerprinting teachers and other school staff is important
Besides being required by the Illinois School Code, fingerprinting and background checks will make sure your school is a safe environment for students and fellow staff.
Are teachers required to be drug tested in Illinois?
Illinois is one of those states that doesn’t have laws requiring drug testing by employers. Having said that, pre-employment and recurring random drug testing is permitted in Illinois. Employers can require applicants to undergo drug testing as part of the hiring process.
Likewise, you can implement recurring and random drug tests throughout your teacher’s employment with your school.
Why drug testing school employees is important
It is crucial to maintain a zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of drugs among school staff. One way to ensure that teachers and administrators maintain a drug-free lifestyle is through mandatory drug testing at work.
Smart, strong and sober – cultivate a culture of responsible leaders
This holds teachers accountable for their actions, making them less likely to use drugs if they know they could be caught and face consequences for their actions.
Children tend to follow the footsteps of their adult role models, often mimicking their behaviors and choices into adulthood. When teachers engage in drug abuse, not only do you stand to lose an employee but also negatively impact student behavior.
Students might falsely believe that drug use isn’t so bad if they suspect that their teacher engages in this type of behavior; as a result, students might be more willing to try drugs themselves.
Create a safe environment
Additionally, a teacher who is using drugs cannot be trusted with the ability or rationale to keep students safe. By implementing mandatory drug testing at work, you are helping to keep students safe and out of potentially dangerous situations.
Protect your school from legal action by disgruntled teachers
Implementing drug tests at your school will also give administrators legal and medical proof that backs up the termination of a school employee. This gives authorities the justification to take action against the teacher and reduces the chances that the teacher could argue against them in court.
Other reasons to include drug testing as part of your hiring policy
- Decreased teacher absenteeism
- Reduce risks of accidents
- Reduce turnover rates
- Decrease risks of theft by staff
- Gives administration the ability to identify and refer drug-dependent employees to rehabilitation programs
Your next steps
Now, let’s help your prospective teachers and school staff to schedule appointments for tests.
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