Great school meeting

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 4:14am
seanmn's picture
Joined: 10/01/2003 - 09:00

My PA DS will be in 2nd grade this year. He and I went in to school yesterday to meet with his teacher and principal to go over the 504 and talk about the year.

It was just amazing to me how willing they both were to help keep Ryan safe. I explained everything to her, gave her the epi video to watch and a practice epi pen.
She went on to ask about doing food projects in class. She does not like to do them, but they do a few. The first one is within a few days of school starting. Everyone is supposed to bring in a fruit and then they will graph them. I said I would only let them bring fruit you can peel. She had a few more questions and the principal said "You know, you don't have to do it at all." Or he suggested that he get money from the school and for her to buy the fruit herself and then the kids could pick what they wanted to from a bowl, she agreed to do this. We talked about her getting oranges, bananas, kiwi, grapefruit, watermelon and another type of melon. Yea!!

She asked about a few more things like around the holidays having to do with food and the principal said not to do it at all. Awsome!!!

He also asked her if she would be willing to have her class this year be a test class having to do with the wellness policy, yea!! Not sure what it involves, but it has to be good.

She is a very nice lady who is a clean freak and health freak, so said the principal. She does not give out treats for good papers or whatever in her room.

So here are the good things that have taken place for this year:

1. A no peanut/nut sign on her door
2. A peanut free table-the teachers also eat with their class.
3. No peanutbutter on field trips
4. Parents will get a safe snack list, it also includes an example of a few lables and how to read them and what to look for.
5. Clorox wipes will be used to wipe books and computers.
6. The kids will wash their hands before school, after lunch and after recess.
7. The teacher will e-mail me if any food is to be used in the classroom for any projects and I will approve accordingly.
8. He will have a Pal in school, so that if something were to happen to him that he could not talk, his Pal would notify the teacher.
9. All the 2nd grade teachers will be trained by the nurse on how to administer his epi and the signs and symptoms of a reaction.
10. The nurse is going to come to Ryan's classroom and help him explain to the class about his allergy and how to keep him safe.
11. One of Ryan's family members will be going on all field trips. They take two.
12. He will be one of the last kids picked up to go to school and one of the first one's let off.
13. We are still discussing birthday's, but there will be no bakery items.

That is all I can think of for now. It will be nice this year now too because he will have some of the same kids he has had in the past, so they will already know about his allergy.

I am just so grateful to them. Sorry this was so long.

Good luck to the rest of you with your schools.


Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 4:47am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

What a relief! And how wonderful to know that your child's allergy needs might actually be HELPING your school w/r to their wellness policy. BIG Kudos to your principal and teacher for reframing this issue!

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 6:45am
seanmn's picture
Joined: 10/01/2003 - 09:00

Thanks! How long have there been wellness policies? I really didn't know of one until this year.

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 7:27am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

This is wonderful. I am truly happy for you and your kiddo!

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 8:23am
onedayatatime's picture
Joined: 09/11/2007 - 09:00

Success!! Good for you [img][/img]

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 1:38pm
lilpig99's picture
Joined: 12/22/2005 - 09:00

Here's to a great start on the year! So happy for you!!
[This message has been edited by lilpig99 (edited August 23, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 9:44pm
seanmn's picture
Joined: 10/01/2003 - 09:00

Thank you, but I kind of feel guilty with my joy when there are so many people who are not getting anywhere with their schools.
I wonder if the principals really take time to figure out what other schools do so they can take the proper precautions?
I really wonder if schools are different depending what part of the US you are from. I am from the Midwest, and I truely believe people around this area are very caring about others. Don't throw rocks now, that is just my opinion.
More good news. My 5 year old ds just had his peanut food challenge yesterday at the allergist and passed with flying colors. He does not have any allergies of any kind. YEA!!!!!

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 10:13pm
Going Nuts's picture
Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

Jan, that is such great news.
My only caution is that you will have to keep on top of the "safe snacks" list, to be aware of any changes that might take place.
Enjoy a successful school year!

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 10:21pm
seanmn's picture
Joined: 10/01/2003 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Going Nuts:
[b]Jan, that is such great news.
My only caution is that you will have to keep on top of the "safe snacks" list, to be aware of any changes that might take place.
Enjoy a successful school year!
Right. I already crossed out a few things and added some for this year from last years list. I told his teacher that I will be letting her know throughout the year if anything changes on that list.

Posted on: Fri, 08/24/2007 - 3:57am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by seanmn:
[b]Thank you, but I kind of feel guilty with my joy when there are so many people who are not getting anywhere with their schools.
I wonder if the principals really take time to figure out what other schools do so they can take the proper precautions?
I really wonder if schools are different depending what part of the US you are from. I am from the Midwest, and I truely believe people around this area are very caring about others. Don't throw rocks now, that is just my opinion.
Please don't feel guilty ever about sharing a triumph as to dealing with PA -- whether in the school setting or getting great PA test results!!
Good school relationships as to PA-handling need to be posted and shared here just as much as do the problems -- there is always something we can learn from these experiences. It offers a glimmer of hope to some of us who feel up-against-a-wall with schools or teachers.
Any additional info or details you might provide about how the initial meeting went, the tone, who spoke first, what was requested of whom, and so on can benefit us all. Certain approaches work better for some than others. And, yes, as many of us have found, the basic personality of the principal involved as well as that of us (parents) can be a big factor. (Please excuse horrid grammar, no sleep.)
Now, would you please clone that principal?? [img][/img]
Thanks for sharing!
Mother to 2:
DD age 5, NKA, treated as though PA/TNA
DS age 8, PA, possible TNA, Latex, legumes?
(PA diagnosed & ana reaction 1999)
Member here since 2000

Posted on: Sat, 08/25/2007 - 4:13am
seanmn's picture
Joined: 10/01/2003 - 09:00

Yes, I would love to clone him along with the nurses!!
Just to warn you, this will be LONG!
Well, now let me see if I can remember how the first meeting went. It was, I believe, August of the year before Ryan was to start K. I notified the principal as soon as I could about Ryan's allergy. We then talked on the phone to set up a meeting. Now, I do daycare, so I requested
to meet after 4:00 after school would be out and my kids would be gone. At first he did not take it very well and got upset that I wanted him there after school hours. I think he was just having a bad day because he then appologized up and down for his behavior, never had a problem with him since. He has been the principal there for 9 years now and is in charge of approving the 504's for the district. So, I already had an advantage going into this.
I did my homework here at this site and typed up a 504. I basically followed a similar format. I brought it to the meeting and he said I did an excellent job, so we added a few things, but basically kept it how I had written it.
The meeting was with Ryan's teacher, the principal and the nurse. I did not like Ryan's teacher right off the bat. She did not seem very concerned and did not have many questions. This was the first peanut allergic child to be at this school for this principal, so we were all basically helping each other out to find out what the best thing for Ryan would be. Here is what we discussed:
1. Making a safe snack list
2. Training all K teachers, the bus driver and subs
3. Peanut free table when Ryan would get to first grade, already being put in the 504
4. No peanut/nut sign on door
5. Birthday treats from snack list
6. Family member going along on field trips
7. Students would wash their hands when they got to school
8. Ryan's teacher bought all the snacks for the class throughout the whole school year based on the safe snack list with money provided by the school. I thought this was fantastic. Usually once a month I would send Ryan in with a couple bags or boxes of treats too, he liked this.
His teacher wanted to make a cake with every birthday student from a cake mix and frosting I would choose. But, it was only a half day class so there was just no time. Good idea though, she thought of this one herself.
The nurse was very helpful and willing to do whatever was necessary for Ryan. He wore an epe-belt and had another in the office along with Benedryl.
Then a month before school started we had another meeting to go over the 504 and any other questions we had for each other. Ryan at this time also met his teacher and looked at his classroom.
Move ahead to about a month into school. I always asked Ryan what they did in school, what he had for snack, etc. Well, he said he had to go in a room by himself with a different teacher. I asked him if he was being tested for something. He said no that his teacher said he could not be in the room with the other students. I asked him what they were doing. He said they were using little colored candy (M&M's) for a chart. I asked him what he was doing in the other room. He said he was doing a chart with colored blocks. My blood was really boiling now. I asked if the kids ate any of the candy, he did not know. I asked if the kids washed their hands when they were done, he did not know.
I then called the principal and told him what had happened and that this could not happen again. I asked for another meeting with a higher up. So, a few days later there was a meeting with Ryan's teacher, principal, nurse and the principal's superior. The principal addressed the problem right away with the teacher. He asked why she used the candy. She said it was "tradition" to use M&M's. I had given them examples of what Ryan could not eat and one of the things I said was M&M's. I said I did not care if it was tradition, traditions could be broken. I told her she could have asked me if they could use something else, like Skittles. I told them my child will never be separated again from the class or I would get a lawyer involved.
I also gave them articles of children who passed away because of peanuts. It was 5 pages long. Also, some articles from Dr's about pa and explaining the symptoms and what happens to a person's body when they eat something they are allergic too.
I forgot to mention in the initial meeting the principal himself is allergic to bees, I think, and has had an anaphalactic reaction himself, so he explained it to everyone exactly what had happend to him.
Anyway, I also said, like I mentioned in another thread, that I told his teacher to put herself in my place(she had a daughter in the same grade as Ryan). I said what if it were your daughter, how would you want her teacher conduct her classroom. I think for the first time she realized that this was a serious matter. When the meeting was over I walked out with the principal and his superior. She told me she was sorry that this happened and nothing like this would happen again, she would make sure of it.
So, in the end his teacher e-mailed me all the time if they were to use any type of food item in class. She would also send me empty food wrappers and containers with a note on them to approve them with my signature. I think I scared the H*** out of her!
The principal also e-mailed me with an appology that this event took place and would moniter her class closer.
That is all I can think of right now. Let me know if you want any specific details on anything.


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