Des Moines (area) school board policy

Posted on: Thu, 02/22/2007 - 10:41pm
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

From today's Des Moines Register~


[b]Waukee sets peanut policy[/b]

The Waukee school board plans to enact guidelines for peanut products. An increasing number of children suffer life-threatening allergies to peanuts. The new policy includes:
- A mandatory network of teachers, classroom associates, parents and school administrators discussing each child's health needs and symptoms. The discussion should include a concise list of foods to avoid and an explanation of the reaction's severity.
- A ban on homemade treats or food items.
- A rule preventing students younger than sixth grade from preparing food. The rule does not include certain lessons for special education students.
- A ban on candy or food items in school crafts.
- A ban on such items as peanut butter jars, "even if the jars have been thoroughly washed."
- A ban on pets and animals without prior written approval.
- A ban on food items with peanut products for students in kindergarten through seventh grade. Students in eighth through 12th grades are "highly discouraged" from bringing such items to lunch.
- A mandatory review of emergency procedures before field trips.
- Required notification of bus drivers carrying students with such allergies.


[b]Waukee schools ban foods amid nut allergies[/b]
Encounter could turn deadly for district's 56 known cases


February 22, 2007

Even a hint of peanut - in a sandwich, on a countertop, in a whiff of breath - could spell serious and possibly fatal trouble for Waukee-area students with a rare allergy.

Airways can constrict. Blood pressure may drop. The nose might run, the eyes might itch and the stomach might cramp. Skin often breaks out in hives.

The symptoms associated with anaphylaxis - a multi-system, allergic reaction to peanuts and other items - remain as rare as they are frightening. Yet the number of students who react violently to such products has grown steadily with the Waukee school district's population, administrators said. The district, as a result, is clamping down on common food items in hopes of avoiding a potentially lethal allergic encounter.

"This is a life-safety issue for our children" requiring fast and decisive action, said Superintendent David Wilkerson. The state Department of Education, he said, has not reacted quickly enough to what he called "a growing concern."

The Waukee school board last week passed the first of two readings to enact formal, district-wide guidelines protecting students. The policy - parts of which were already in place in several schools - applies a clear set of rules for teachers, parents, administrators and the 56 students known to suffer life-threatening allergies.

"It's always a concern," said Ingrid Williams, a health associate at Brookview Elementary School, where 10 children are affected.

Williams, whose first-grade daughter suffers peanut allergies, said her family avoids most restaurants and carefully reads all food labels. Snacks and desserts are a rarity. "There's just a lot of places you go where you have to be very aware and cautious," she said.

District health officials said the bulk of severe allergy cases are appearing in elementary-age children. School policies at that level require allergic students to sit at "hot lunch" tables, with school-made foods containing no peanut products. Students who bring lunches from home must wash their hands before going to recess.

The district's plight reflects a broader national concern. Peanut-related allergies affect about 2 percent of the U.S. population, and are likely to persist throughout life, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, a national advocacy group. Trace amounts of peanut frequently exist in baked goods, Asian foods, muesli and other cereals, ice cream, soups, natural flavoring, egg rolls, sauces and energy bars, according to the Washington-based group.

Life-threatening allergies to nonpeanut products include negative reactions to milk, eggs, nuts and wheat. A minority of Waukee-area students are also allergic to strawberries, raspberries and citrus juices, though their reactions are less threatening, said Jo Hromatka, a nurse at Waukee Middle School.

The new guidelines at the Feb. 13 school board meeting coasted through a first reading, 6-0. Some board members hoped the procedures struck a balance between protecting children and sparing them the embarrassment of having an unusual condition.

"How do we handle this type of group?" asked school board member Peggy Pierce. "You don't want to single out the poor child who has an allergy, by any means."

Reporter Grant Schulte can be reached at (515) 699-7020 or [email][/email]

Posted on: Thu, 02/22/2007 - 11:04pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
From today's Des Moines Register~
[b]Waukee sets peanut policy[/b]
[i]"- A mandatory network of teachers, classroom associates, parents and school administrators discussing each child's health needs and symptoms. The discussion should include a concise list of foods to avoid and an explanation of the reaction's severity."[/i]
what? no mention of the child's physician or the school RN?
As if. I mean, great.
But hey, the rules for who is present (or allowed to be) at my child's IEP meetings won't change simply if my school adopts[i]policy[/i].
I'll take a look later, but off the top of my head, I don't see any mention of how the school district intends to address [i]policy violations[/i]. Enforcement. Would this mean waiting for school board meetings?? (oh, save me.)
edit to add quote.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited February 23, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 02/22/2007 - 11:09pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

so. are "procedural safeguards" for 504's more to interpretation.....[i]could one say "policy"[/i] than an IEP? You'd see my head spin if some "policy" based [b]team[/b] (sans my child's physician's input or the school RN, attempted to dictate certain safety margins related to my child's health care needs.)

Posted on: Thu, 02/22/2007 - 11:16pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

two words:
[i]Enforcement Policy[/i].
Where is it?

Posted on: Thu, 02/22/2007 - 11:33pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

I was looking up "enforcement policy" and found this:
(Couldn't help but make some ideological comparisons)
Anywhoo, I couldn't help but note the [b]bold [/b]topic headings under this:
in particular, noting the [i]progressive discipline[/i], as well as this quote:
[i]"As a part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval of the City's industrial pretreatment program, the City has developed an Enforcement Response Procedures Plan to fairly and equitably identify, address, and correct violations."[/i]
didn't mind this heading either (one raised eyebrow):
[b]"Legal Authorities"[/b]
anyways, as I read each heading, I heard this over and over:
General Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form. Just wondering who's back is itching, judging from the backscratching. I do not guarantee the accuracy, currentness, applicability (I mean, really, can schools really think in terms of "enforcement policy" with all that itching going on??), or content. Individual Mileage and reach may vary.

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