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Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 11:47am
kelly01's picture
Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

Hi AnnaMarie:
I don't know what to tell you to do, but I know what I would do. If I really felt in my gut that my son would be better off in the teachers group than with someone else, I would press the issue with her.
I would probably approach her w/something like "sorry to keep making such an issue w/this, but as this is my sons 1st field trip w/o me, I am feeling worried. I understand that I cannot go on every field trip, but I would really feel so much better if he could be in your group. You seem to have such a good handle on this issue that I would be so reassured to know he was with you, as opposed to someone I don't know." if she continued to waffle I would say something like "what do I need to do to get something in place for further field trips? I don't want to bug you everytime you go somewhere, I realize you have 20 (or whatever) kids to organize so I don't want to add to the burden. Would it help to set up some type of plan for future field trips?"
My gut reaction is that she will realize it will take a lot more work to continue on w/you, and instead she will agree to putting your son in her group.
Sorry to hear you are going through this. My sons school has never denied my request to attend anything...I can't believe a school would do this.

Posted on: Fri, 10/22/2004 - 5:01pm
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

What is the "Standard of Care" [b]in school[/b] related to the needs of your child?
(Are they adequate?)

Posted on: Sun, 10/24/2004 - 3:21am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

I don't know where to start in answering everybody's posts.
Cindy asked if he had gone on any trips without me - I had thought I had gone on every trip, but actually in jk (same teacher) he had gone on a walking trip to the grocery store that I didn't go on. However, he was assigned to his best friend's mom - I have total faith in her regarding my son's allergy. He had also gone on walking trips last year to a school where they were practicing a performance - he was with his teacher and I was comfortable.
But, I think this is the first bus trip I won't be going on, and since it is in a place I consider *higher risk* for my son, I am a bit nervous. I would be anyway, but now I'm getting worse.
I have absolutely no written plan specific for my son. I have not felt the need to have one. As I posted previously, when I went in expecting to have to fight for the right to have the epi-pen in my son's class they said he should carry it himself. Kind of insisted on that. All staff (teachers, and lunch room) have first aid training and are aware of what students have allergies and epi's. I have spoken to his lunch room supervisor (though he only stays a few times a month) and I'm fine with him being in her care, too.
I know how lucky I am about all this. Truly I do. I've read so much on these boards of people fighting for just a fraction of what was handed to me on a silver platter.
And in two years - trips have never been a problem.
I probably could fight for the right to go as a *parent designate*. However, the principal at this school - well, I don't think very highly of her. And, we have had words in the past. [b]If[/b] I got her co-operation, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be before this trip. I feel working directly with the teacher is my best bet.
Also, if I fight for the right to go as a *parent designate*, what happens if on another trip I feel the risk is low, and I can't go (for whatever reason)? Then my son will miss future trips. I don't want to open that can of worms if I don't have to.
smack, we've also had some bees around here. And they are stupid and angry. There may be less of them - but at this time of year they tend to be more aggressive.
allergymom, this particular trip includes four classes. So there are four teachers and a total of eight parents. I think the reason is limited seating on the bus. But, also, in the past parents complained about having to pay to go on trips, and this is the first trip volunteers don't have to pay. (Two years ago, with this same teacher, the class went to an apple orchard. I was one of the volunteers, and due to my son's allergy the teacher said I didn't have to pay. I didn't even request it - she just told me to only pay for him, but other parents did have to pay.)
You're right Cindy, I don't want to ruffle feathers. At least, not unless I know I have to. I really like and respect this teacher. If she's right - if the people at the conservation area are aware and prepared regarding allergies, then that means she took the time to find out. If she took the time to find out - why should I now ruffle her feathers? kwim?
chicago, tomorrow I am calling the board to try to get the direct phone number for the place the class is going. I've checked and it's not in the phone book. I don't think it's on their web-site either. If they make me feel *warm & fuzzy* I'll let him go.
As for why the other mom is going although she obviously hadn't asked - I've been thinking about that. First of all, I know the daughter (third year in my son's class) and I'm sure she immediately told the teacher her mom wanted to go. BUT, I doubt the teacher would chose volunteers based on what the children say. This mom almost always does volunteer, and the teacher likes her going because her daughter is very difficult at times. Last year there was a trip that the mom couldn't go on and the teacher wasn't going to allow the child to go. I was an in-class volunteer and knew all the kids. Since the girl reacts well with me (I can usually joke her out of her bad moods) the teacher said OK - she could go in my group, but only after asking me if I was willing to take her in my group. So, looking at that, this is a child who's mom needs to go. It's not a life-or-death allergy - but it is a very serious safety issue.
[i]The good news in this is that my son - who is a major handful - is not considered to hard to handle. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] Gotta look for that silver lining.[/i]
kelly, if I don't like the answers I get from the conservation area, I will be doing what you suggested. I will refuse to hand in the form and pay the money until I know my son will be safe. I will talk to the teacher. And, I guess I will have to make arrangements in advance for future field trips.
MommaBear - I have always been happy with the "Standard of Care" [b]in school[/b] related to the needs of [b]my[/b] child. I do feel they are adequate for him. I do feel comfortable with them. But, since this is out-of-school and probably further from emergency medical care - I want to make sure they are adequate and not just assume. I don't want my child left in the care of a parent who doesn't know anything about allergies, doesn't know how to use an epi-pen, and may not speak enough english to understand if my son tells him/her what is going on.

Posted on: Sun, 10/24/2004 - 3:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Anna Marie, I completely understand you not wanting to ruffle feathers. I really hate it when I've had to and other times, quite frankly, I've buried my head in the sand and prayed rather than ruffle any feathers.
As far as the parent designated supervisor, it doesn't have to be you, i.e., with regard to trips that you consider of lower risk or you're simply not able to go for some reason.
The parent designated supervisor, if you discuss it with the teacher (and/or principal) *can* be the teacher if you feel comfortable with the teacher.
It can also be, as you mentioned, your son's best friend's Mom.
I absolutely loved it when I could deal directly with the teacher rather than having to deal with the principal re Jesse's PA, except in the cases I've run across through the years where the principal was an idiot or the teacher was an idiot, or when things were really bad (like last year) both the principal and teacher were idiots.
For JK and SK, I was told that I could not take my daughter on field trips with Jess. I didn't know at that time that I could have pushed the school. But his teacher was just SO great that I trusted my wee guy off with her on long excursions. The only one I did attend was when I finally had made a friend who could babysit my daughter and it was to the zoo which I considered "high risk".
Since it sounds as though your son's school is dealing with other allergies (whose isn't nowadays?), even now, it would be unusual for you to present them with a written school plan in Canada. It's just not something I've met a principal yet (and remember I've met quite a few [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] ) that they have seen.
But, when they have seen one (except the a**hole last year), they've thought, wow, everything is spelled out really clearly. Not saying that they thought wow and then things went easily. But just that wow, this is spelled out really clearly, now how do we, as school administration, and with regard to other classmates (the request for a "peanut free" classroom) deal with this?
I'll re-raise my son's written school plan, which another member wrote up for me, and I think probably the only clause that would pertain to your son *might* be the field trip and parent designated supervisor clause.
In grades, for example, where Jess was going skating and there is no sense me attending, I have asked another parent if it would be okay if he was in their group, and if I don't know anyone, I've asked the teacher.
As I posted somewhere in this thread, if it's ANY consolation at all, when DH and Jesse went last month to the Etobicoke Field Studies Center, DH ended up in a conversation with one of the leaders of the group and she/he told him that no worry, all of them carried Epi-pens (mostly for insect stings) and were trained in the useage. Remember, you welcomed me back to civilization then! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
I hope it works out. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 10/24/2004 - 5:23am
kelly01's picture
Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

Hi AnnaMarie:
I wanted to add that my son has gone on field trips w/o me, and often times he has been in a group w/another parent. He is in 2nd grade now, but he started going on field trips w/o me in kindergarten.
I will say that he is very diligent, and the teachers are good about making sure the supervisor of his group are aware of his Epi-Pen, etc.
I just wanted to add that info. My above post was based on you feeling strongly about him being in the teachers group. But if (after you call the place) you feel comfortable with the situation (aside from the usual anxiety that comes w/letting go), that it has worked out okay for my son to go w/o me.
Hope all works out well,

Posted on: Sun, 10/24/2004 - 6:42am
MommaBear's picture
Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by AnnaMarie:
MommaBear - I have always been happy with the "Standard of Care" [b]in school[/b] related to the needs of [b]my[/b] child. I do feel they are adequate for him. I do feel comfortable with them. [b]But, since this is out-of-school and probably further from emergency medical care[/b] - I want to make sure they are adequate and not just assume. I don't want my child left in the care of a parent who doesn't know anything about allergies, doesn't know how to use an epi-pen, and may not speak enough english to understand if my son tells him/her what is going on.
The way *I* see it.................
Possibly, [i]The Standard of Care[/i] doesn't (or shouldn't) change, only the interventions necessary to maintain it. I could be wrong.

Posted on: Sun, 10/24/2004 - 10:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Anna Marie, I continue to think about this and since it was your first special request of the school. What I'm about to say has nothing to do with field trips but other special requests or requirements that PA parents make of the schools their children attend.
I have read on this board a enough 504 Plans that include the clause that there is to be no eating on the playground if it is not a "peanut free" school because of the residue factor. I have seen people post to me (when I posted last year that I was shocked my children ate their snacks at recess on the playground - which they're doing again this year and it's still something I don't understand because our school has a HUGE wasp problem) that there used to be eating on the playground but once they got there and got their PA child into the school (and obviously met with the principal and requested it) that no eating was done on the playground because of the child's PA.
So, this is your first special request of the school and to me, it's a pretty light one in comparision to what PA parents request/require.
Jesse's first school in Belleville there was no eating on the playground. Why? Because there was a child with an insect sting allergy.
So, in fact, if you look at the TDSB policy re anaphylaxis, you *could* have requested that there be no eating on your son's playground because of is insect sting allergy and it would not have been unreasonable (IMHO).
The day I went in to sit in and watch my son's class last month I was SHOCKED to see the windows open without screens. Why? Because I thought, what if there is a child with an insect sting allergy in the class (there isn't) or even the school (there is)?
And sunflowers growing right outside the window in what the school considers it wild flower section.
So, there are a LOT of things that come to my mind that you could have asked for for your son regarding his allergy and haven't (not saying that you should have, saying that you could have, big difference) and you haven't. You have asked for one simple thing.
I have appreciated what I consider Deb O's way of evaluating school trips and what risk assessment she assigns them for her children (both with a FA).
I know that you're okay about your son going with him being in the teacher's group. Nothing wrong with that. My son has done that a lot (JK and SK).
But here's the thing - if it's a nice day going to the conservation area, windows on the bus may be half down. Because of even a slight risk on the bus, you have the right to request that you attend the field trip with your son.
Last year, it was policy that each parent had to drive themselves or car pool it with other parents. The teacher was trying to find dough head here a ride. Then, ding, I went, wait a minute, one of the reasons I'm going on the trip is because of the possibility of a reaction on the bus (especially if it's a longer ride, although contact is contact for PA). And I was very reluctantly let travel on the bus with the school.
What I'm trying to say Anna Marie, is that I do think that your request is a very simple one and there should be no big deal about it, not when if you look at it, there are quite a few things you *could* (again, not saying should) ask the school to do.
When is the trip?
Me, I'm off to the school, something about the dog ate the homework or some such and can I stay and have my son do his work during recess or can he hand it in a day late or can I just disappear off the face of the earth?
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 10/25/2004 - 1:09am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

As soon as I got back from taking ds to school, I got on the phone.
I spoke to a young man at the conservation area - who btw carries his own epi-pen due to an insect allergy. So do two of his co-workers.
He confirmed that they are board employees - and have first-aid training. They have a large number of schools at the area daily, and he said, there are always a few carrying epi-pens.
During the hike, students will ALWAYS be with either their teacher or someone from the park - NEVER with just a parent. They [i]encourage[/i] teachers to keep students with epi-pens (or other meds) in the teachers group, because they know who has what.
He asked what school my son goes to, and then said "so he's a little guy - grade 1 or 2" and he will mark to have whoever works that group check about what students have epi-pens. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
So, basically, I'm feeling OK about this trip. The teacher did give me correct information - he will be with a board employee who has some knowledge about allergies and epi's.
Cindy, I agree there are many things I *could* have asked for. But, all the things that were important to me, were taken care of before my son started at the school.
Due to a few pa children in the school they have a peanut ban (not important in my son's case) and they decided to prepare for other allergy concerns. I wanted the epi-pen in his class - they wanted him to carry it. I agreed that was better, and bought him an epi-belt. I went to the office to discuss garbage in the school yard, but walked through the yard first - there was no garbage in the school yard. There were no garbage cans by the door either - I went in to find out where they place the garbage cans - I was told, not near the doors because they don't want kids walking through a swarm - especially if we ever get a child with an insect allergy. I introduced her to my son. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] They also prepared for latex allergy [i]before[/i] getting a student with that allergy. Gloves and bandaids provided by the school are not latex - and latex balloons are not allowed in the school. (I'm not sure if there are any other things to do with the latex allergy.)
So, in reality, somebody else fought all the big fights for me. I will now think about whether or not I feel the need to make arrangements for future trips. I might, or I might not. It won't be a quick decision - I want to make sure it's what I feel is necessary before I go to fight for it. (Does that make sense?)
His trip is Friday - so you can all expect me to be a bit of a basket case then, OK. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
[b]Thank you all so much![/b]

Posted on: Mon, 10/25/2004 - 1:20am
crazydaisy's picture
Joined: 11/14/2003 - 09:00

It won't be a quick decision - I want to make sure it's what I feel is necessary before I go to fight for it. (Does that make sense?)
Yes it does!
Thank you for sharing
I will be thinking of your son on Fri
The Daisy Thanks You

Posted on: Tue, 10/26/2004 - 2:29pm
Cookie's picture
Joined: 09/25/2001 - 09:00

Your state Department of Education most likely has a stated policy for administration of medication on field trips. You can probably find this right on line. It might state that either the nurse or parent must attend. The school probably can't spare the nurse, so that would mean you - whether teacher likes it or not.


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