First *special request* at School

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 4:50am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Possibly I should post this in OT - but it is allergy related and school related.

My son is in grade one and about to go on the first field trip of the year. He wears an epi-pen due to allergy to insect bites/stings and the trip is to a conservation area.

This week has been emotionally draining in our family, and I didn't even notice the paper about the trip until this afternoon, although it came home yesterday (or maybe the day before????). Anyway, I went to speak to his teacher, and she already has the two volunteer parents for the trip. Only two per class allowed.

I am planning to attach a letter to the form, explaining that I want my son assigned in the teacher's group. I need to know that the adult near him is aware of his allergy and epi, and knows when and how to use it.

The school seems to be very allergy aware, and I don't really expect any problem. It's not like I'm asking for the moon or anything. (Am I?) Anyway, I don't actually expect a problem - but you know - expect the worst and you're never disappointed. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img]

Anyway, not really asking for any help here - just wish me luck. Or, wish him luck. Or, well, wish somebody luck.

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 4:53am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

It's a totally reasonable request, and I'm sure it will be granted.
Good luck to both of you, and I hope he enjoys the trip!
Amy

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 4:56am
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

I agree, no reason why they should deny it. Even though they have two volunteers already I'm sure you could pay for yourself and meet them there.
Hope it works out and next week is a better week for you and your family.

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 5:00am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Actually, I can't meet them there. I don't drive.
I can't quite decide whether I'm nervous about this trip because it's the first time I'm NOT going on a field trip - or if it's because it's a conservation area, and therefore a bit riskier for my son. Honestly, it's cold here. The only bugs out and about are really stupid ones. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Well, time to get headed over to pick him up.

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 6:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Anna Marie, I don't think it was that big of a deal (IMHO only) for you to request that your son be placed in the teacher's group, especially if they're going to a conservation area.
And it's not sounding like you would want to do this but you can - you can say that you have to go, not as a volunteer taking a group (because yes, they have enough volunteers) but because your son has an allergy and you are his parent designated supervisor.
Here's why I'm suggesting that - that you try to go. Often times, the teacher's group consists of children that need the teacher's full-time attention (I'm trying to think how to word this, sorry) and she could have her hands full when she needs to be dealing with your son. On the other hand, didn't I almost contradict myself when I said that often times, the teacher's group consists of children that need the teacher's full-time attention? But usually not because of allergies.
Has your son ever gone without you (you do mention this is the first field trip you're not going on) to any "high risk" field trips, like apple orchards, pumpkin patches, etc.?
Honestly, I would say, okay, I understand that you have your volunteers for the class needs, but I'm not volunteering per se, I'm volunteering because my son needs someone to keep an eye on him.
You could also speak with his teacher and see if she feels okay about him being in her group and why and she might even say, well, Mrs. So and So, why don't you come just to be on the safe side? I don't know.
And as far as not seeing the paperwork - man, don't worry about that. My kids' knapsacks are so full of paperwork each night that I can't figure out which end is up. One brought home their pizza day envelope, the other still hasn't. One got their school pictures to-day, the other one didn't. And the forms, and the special forms, and the notices, I've about gone insane.
We also had a difficult week family week, leave it to the evening for the most part, two nights, and things really got waylaid here this week as well.
Also, although I understand the different zippered components of the knapsack, I'm finding stuff everywhere! I like it if the paperwork is in the same place as the lunch bag because at least I have to pull the lunch bag out sometime.
My guy went to the Etobicoke Field Studies Center which I believe is like a conservation area and I did post here (and you did comment on it), that all of the people (instructors/teachers) there were carrying Epi-pens and trained on their useage.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 7:21am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Anyone have a lassoo I can borrow? Apparently I am asking for the moon. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]
I really didn't think this would be a big deal. The school has a peanut ban. A latex ban. Kids carry their epi-pens *on their person*. All I want is to know that my son is with an adult that knows about his allergy, and that he has an epi-pen and they know how to use it.
Here's what has happened.
The letter did come home last night (talked to another parent about it). This morning my son did not go to school. After lunch I spoke to the teacher who said she already had her two volunteers - the first two who asked. OK - that's fine and that's fair.
After school, another mom (one that the teacher told me is going on the trip) asked me if I was going on the trip. I said no - only two can go and the first two to offer were accepted. She said "I haven't even filled in the form yet". [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img]
Her daughter comes out of school and says "the teacher said you are coming on the trip with us". She was as confused as me.
OK. So then, I ask the teacher about my son being in her group. She says they will mostly all be together in one group, but for a period of time will split into two groups. One group will be with her and the other with a teacher from the conservation area. She said they are *very aware* about *these things* and employees of the board. So, she won't guarantee that my son will be with her.
Cindy, your post actually has me feeling a bit better. I'm going to call the place they are going - maybe they truly are *very aware about these things*. But if not - I think I'll just keep him home.
I just don't get it. I don't even feel angry. There's no room for anger. I'm confused. I'm frustrated. Why would she lie to me about the first two parents who offered?

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 8:12am
smack's picture
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Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

AM,
We had very stupid bees buzzing around us while we were waiting for the kids to be dismissed on Thursday.
It is getting a little warmer in London so perhaps that is why.
We went on a field trip Monday and no bees were up that morning(a little nippy).
You should always be able to attend a field trip if your child has a life threatening allergy. No if ands buts about it.
Insist on being able to go.
I have always been allowed to attend and we have way more parent volunteers allowed than just two, holy cow I never even have to pay.
Tell them you'll pay the stupid $4-8.00 trip.
As if you can't sit in a seat that holds two little Grade 1 kids if you had to.
And what's with the other parent volunteers, I would forfeit my seat just for you if I didn't have a child with a life threatening allergy.

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 8:30am
ALLERGYMOM's picture
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Joined: 10/09/2003 - 09:00

AM big hugs to you. I dont understand why they only allow 2 parents to go [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/confused.gif[/img] I have never heard of this at my childrens school. I am wishing you LOTS OF LUCK [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
We go on our first field trip ever next week. I am going with ds. I paid for myself and may even drive my own car.
Anyways Good luck and big hugs to you
------------------
[b]****ENRICHED****[/b]
Have A great day

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 10:05am
crazydaisy's picture
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Joined: 11/14/2003 - 09:00

{{{hugs}}}

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 10:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Anna Marie, I agree with smack. You should be allowed to go on the trip, regardless of the number of volunteers because your son has a life threatening allergy. You're not volunteering per se, you're there to keep an eye on your son so that you can react quickly should anything happen to him.
I think the same thing happened when Jesse and his Father went to the conservation area. They weren't really in groups. But Ron still had some children in a group along with Jess.
See, the thing I do when I fill out the permission form is that I write on it automatically that I will be in attendance or Ron will be because of Jesse's PA. I was even able to do this last year when his written school plan was thrown out the window (with the clause about the parent designated supervisor).
I've just recently posted (perhaps in the field trip thread I started) about how it actually bothers me (although I've never spoken up about it) that although I'm volunteering so that my son is "safe", I'm always given a group of children.
To me, you're acting in the capacity of an aide to a child with a life threatening allergy that may need attention while another volunteer or the teacher is trying to keep other children in line or from running wildly through the woods or whatever (there was the place outside of Belleville we went to and we were watching kids didn't fall into water from a boardwalk we were on).
It really sounds as though you don't want to ruffle feathers and I completely understand that, but I would insist that I was going because of my son's allergy.
I would perhaps even consider a really modified written school plan compared to what PA children have. Honestly. Even if it's only a clause about you attending field trips as your son's parent designated supervisor.
I wouldn't keep your guy home - it's setting precedent for the rest of the year and I don't think it's fair. However, I would also understand completely if you choose to do that.
Big hugs. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 11:17am
Chicago's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/21/2001 - 09:00

Anna Marie,
I liked Cindy's suggestion of calling the place and helping that set your comfort level. Maybe too, you could send them a letter or email (with a copy to the school) explaining your child's condition, school, date, time of this visit, his possible reaction signs and that the Epi is carried -whatever you think it vital). That way the nature center staff is aware (ask for it to be passed on or for the name/ phone number of the groups assigned tour guide) and if the nature center is not comfortable - then the teacher/school will need to regroup and have you attend or reorganize the program so your child can stay with the teacher.
I did this at the end of last school year when dd went on her first "no parents" field trip - an overnight. Since it was an overnight they obviously ate at the facility, but I talked to and emailed their nutritionist and followed up with the facility and the teacher/school with e mails that I had talked to Ms. X and explained the allergies and the following accomidations were being made and if they were not made(such as removing the pb from the breakfast buffet line) to talk to Ms. X. Sorry - I know this example is more involved then what you are dealing with - but maybe working with the facility would help you be sure that everyone is aware and comfortable.
Hope you can work it out.
The field trip volunteer situation seems odd - but maybe that other mom made some off hand comment to the teacher about wanting to help on trips and the teacher "assigned" her to this one as a misunderstanding? I find it sort of funny that some places have parents competing to go on trips. As a room parent finding the chaperones is one of my jobs and I sure there are parents wincing and not picking up when they see my name on the Caller ID around trip time!

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