Letter to parents from school--links?

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 12:47am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

Per my post below about snacks in the classroom everyday (and this is because lunch is after 1:00), a letter is being sent out to parents in DS' classroom and switch classroom.

I have pulled together what I can from the letters I've been able to find--previous posts letters that I had saved in Word docs on my computer and letters that I found by searching "letter to parents." HOWEVER, since the search function here is chronological by oldest and only pulls in a certain number of posts, I did not get anything more recent than 2002. I did look through the Schools forum for the last year and found very little, if anything.

I thought I'd post what I have here and ask for suggestions--and also ask for any links to letters that you know of.

Before responding to this letter, please read my thread about snacks in the classroom to see where I'm coming from on this--what my situation is and what I have to work with.

This letter assumes a morning snack time and birthday celebrations in the classroom, although the principal noted my idea of having celebrations in the cafeteria. And if I can, I will try to change both. Honestly, at this point in my frantic life, it's the daily snacks in the classroom I am concerned about. I am not worried about cupcakes in the classroom; they are not going to harm DS physically as long as they don't contain blatant nuts. It's the daily risks of coming in direct contact with peanut butter from snacks that is striking fear at this very moment. As I have not had to deal with not having a peanut free classroom, I'm focusing my energy on DS' physical safety. I'll get to emotional health once I can determine that he can get through the day without a reaction--or not.

Quote:My letter so far:
Dear Parents,

One of the students in your child

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 1:08am
saknjmom's picture
Joined: 04/02/2003 - 09:00

Maybe a short paragraph about reading labels and a clarification of whether may contains, made in a facility...should be avoided as well.

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 1:23am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

I like you letter a lot. I did not draft our school's letter, and when I first read it I was a little disappointed because it seemed to allow for too much latitude for exceptions. The letter included these statements:
[i]If this is an issue for you and your child, let us know and together we will find a solution. [/i]
[i]We are asking that you be more aware of the foods you send in to school and realize this may be an inconvenience for some families. The X staff is available to support you in your efforts to help us with this issue. [/i]
It is signed by 3 staff: the principal, the school nurse, and the school counselor.
But as it turned out, there were two children in the class who had not informed the school that they had issues related to food. It meant a lot to them that the letter encouraged them to come forward. One of them obtained an accommodation plan. I think it was very wise of the school (this was in the dark ages, 1999) to acknowledge that there were legitmate issues that would need to be worked out.
ETA: The letter above was from kindergarten. Our Middle School also sent one that's here: [url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001942.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/001942.html[/url]
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited August 23, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 1:30am
SpudBerry's picture
Joined: 07/23/2002 - 09:00

Hi - I'm on my way to a meeting at the school myself, so I can't take much time - but thought I'd copy in the letter that is going out to my children's class mates tonight.
August 20, 2007
Dear Fellow Parents,
If you are receiving this letter

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 1:33am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

[b]the peanut people[/b]
I like that!! I am envisioning a host of giant Mr. Peanuts processing nuts.

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 2:03am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

From your draft letter in opening post:
[b]Because a reaction can be fatal within minutes, we are asking for your help in reducing the [i]chance[/i] of an allergic reaction. [/b] (Italics mine for emphasis.)
Just MPHO, but I might consider a stronger word here instead of "chance" -- possibly "risk".

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 2:06am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

Another thought from my tired brain:
(Your letter again)
[b]Furthermore, we would ask that any

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 2:09am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

Oooh--thanks. I'll include. I'll post my final letter, too.

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 2:15am
ajas_folks's picture
Joined: 04/28/2000 - 09:00

I am still trying to locate my copy of the letter that went out from our son's teacher to all parents last year.
In her letter closure, she included something to the effect of "We ask that you give this the same attention and consideration that you would hope for, would this be YOUR child instead." But the wording was better than that & I cannot recall it verbatim. Darn it all. It was a closure that I had originally been made aware of in a school letter to family members in another state -- in fact, it actually opened one SIL's eyes a bit to our situation. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] (Good grief, run-on-sentence Queen.)
[This message has been edited by ajas_folks (edited August 23, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 3:14am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I like Gail's suggestions A LOT.
I would also say that "peanut-free" sounds a lot more intimidating than what you really mean (I think)-- I am assuming that you are really hoping that foods will not present a serious contact/aerosol hazard, right? (Or were you hoping that your DS could eat them? Maybe I'm wrong.)
In either case, I only use "peanut-free" if that is truly what I mean....
otherwise, I would use different phraseology there. Less intimidating. (And probably less push-back-- better 'tone' to start with.)
Treats need to be free of nut butters, nuts, or nut oils.
(For example)
This makes it clear that you aren't hoping for other parents to do what [i]we[/i] do each day w/r to label reading and concern w/r to cross-contamination.
(This has always been the biggest issue, in our experience... people seem to assume we are asking them to do a lot more than we really are.)
Did I mention how much I like Gail's approach here? VERY suitable to the culture of your new environs, I think.
(Not saying that you need to walk on eggshells, by any means, but coming from where you do, and living where you now do....there [i]may[/i] be some sensitivity regarding cultural differences, or at least the perception {totally incorrect, BTW!} of what all people from a certain 'whole other country' are like. Ugh. Now who's the run-on queen?)
Anyway-- you aren't alone. My DH hasn't lived in CA in over 20 yrs, but he still has to be careful here in the PNW. Ironically, he and I can use the [i]same[/i] language, and he's 'that CA jerk,' and they [i]listen[/i] to me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] (It's a regional thing that people from NY, CA.... and TX seem to face.)
Anyway, I'm rambling now. Didn't really have much to offer. Maybe I should just shut up instead. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Except to add that I like EB's suggestions too. Maybe she can give additional insight into the phenomena I was talking about, since she's lived in a variety of places. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] (How's that for a euphemism, EB?)
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited August 23, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 08/23/2007 - 3:23am
McCobbre's picture
Joined: 04/16/2005 - 09:00

Thanks Gail for including the link. You know, I went into my Peanut Allergy folder in my computer, and I have a bunch of general stuff, but I have a set of subfolders for each grade, and I found that letter and one from qdebbie1 in there that I had pasted into a Word doc a couple of years ago! So I actually used yours and found it very helpful. I was thinking your situation is similar to mine.
And everyone should know--I copied and pasted parts of others' letters shamelessly. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
CM--it is a good reminder, and I will take that to heart. I'm such a proud little Texan and I it's helpful to remember the automatic defenses that can come up. The phrase is "It's a whole [i]nother[/i] country." (because down there, that's an actual word!) But you're good. Very good.


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