Parties at School

Posted on: Mon, 09/30/2002 - 11:06pm
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

As I have stated in other posts, we are already embroiled in a 504 with our son's school. Actually, a date is scheduled to meet about "planning" a 504 meeting. LOL. An excuse for stalling on behalf of the school?
I am wondering, how are you handling the upcomming party season at school? Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines, etc? Are you just pulling them out for the day? Until the school rectifies this with a 504 (which at this pace may be never), I am thinking about requesting advance notice of all parties and birthdays and pulling him out for the day. Of course, we would substitute a trip to Toy's R Us, Pizza out, or a trip fishing instead. Any suggestions? PS, I think there are going to be caramel apples with peanuts at the halloween party. AUGH! I could actually cry for him right now. He is only 7.
MommaBear

Posted on: Mon, 09/30/2002 - 11:40pm
Linda-Jo's picture
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Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

Hi Mommabear,
I, too, have a 7 year old daughter with PA/TNA in second grade. The way I've been handling parties the past few years is I've volunteered to become room mother. Most parents don't want the responsibility of organizing everything, they just want to bring something in. That way I can control the food at the parties. I go over a plan with the teacher and then we call on all who want to help and tell them specifically what to bring. This way, you don't have multiple food items that are the same being brought in.
For food, we usually do a fruit salad, maybe some jello, like red and green for Christmas, popcorn, chips, juice, someone brings in the paper products. I tell everyone that I would like to do the cupcakes or any baked goods so we know that they are safe. If someone really wants to bring in something baked, I tell them to make sure there are no pnut/nuts used and I tell my dd to only eat my baked goods! The teachers usually like this when the food is controlled so the kids aren't bouncing off the walls from all the sugar that can be brought in. I also volunteer to be present at the parties to help out.
I hope this helps and you can relax a little and have your child enjoy the extra cirricular activities that go on at school!

Posted on: Tue, 10/01/2002 - 12:06am
katiee's picture
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Joined: 05/09/2001 - 09:00

This year at my kids school we received a pleasant surprize. In the past, there seemed to be food everywhere...food for parties, food (junk) for birthday's, etc. Every month it was something else!
This year, hust as Wade (PA) started JK, the school had a change in policy! "No more food outside of lunch and snacks". This means no more cup cake day, no more food related fundraising activities, not Birthday cakes. We (parents) had expressed our views about everything revolving around food at school, this at a time when we are continually being told in the media that more and more children are obese, go figure. I can think back to when I was in elementary school (Catholic), a LONG time ago, when it was your birthday you were acknowledged by the teacher and sometimes received a religious card with a picture of your saint on it...Geesh...a far cry from what had become the norm these days. The parents are encouraged to bring in a "non food" treat such as a special pencil or eraser or even stickers to mark their child's birthday if they so desire.
Now, there are many things I am not so happy with at school re: PA but this is a giant step in the right direction.
BTW, we're in Canada, so we do not have the benefit of having a 504, sometimes I wish we did.
Take care,
Katiee

Posted on: Tue, 10/01/2002 - 12:20am
becca's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Well, I am with Kaitee all the way on this one personally! However, this is our first year in preschool and every single week there is a food conversation. Now it is a candy corn count. How about counting cranberries?? Baked apples? Sounds safe, right?? They need to put ice cream on top! Chocolate segemnt???? I need to come up with safe chocolates! I would be okay if the focus of the food activities were more oriented toward health and balanced nutrition, but this sugar thing is excessive in my opinion. I already gave a box of Scooby Snacks and safe cupcakes in the freezer. I today, had to bring safe hoodsie cups(ice cream) and popsicles. They are only there 2 days a week for 2.75 hours.
Do not get me wrong. I am thankful that I am consulted and can bring in stuff ahead of time and they have an assortment to best match a situation. However, the more food focused everything is, the more food is around and the more chance there is for mistakes as well.
Sorry to rant on your thread, but this is getting on my nerves, LOL!! In your situation, I would insist on knowing ahead what was going on, and depending on your child, either be there, as was suggested, or do a special thing together, as you have considered. I think it depends on the accommodations you will get, how well your child accepts not eating all the treats that are unsafe, and how sensetive he is in the event of contaminated foods. My daughter is easy to control around food, but all this candy is another story. Best of luck with the whole thing. I hope you get your 504 set up and back on track at school! becca

Posted on: Tue, 10/01/2002 - 1:56am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

My daughter is 7. I would have very strong objections to peanut products at the party which for me would not be resolved by keeping my child out that day. I think if you are not there, there is no way to know about hand washing and peanut residue on objects in the classroom. I would get a letter from a doctor if I were you, saying no peanut products in the classroom EVER due to contamination. They are being very lax about the 504. I have not had any problem in elementary school, but I had a huge problem with the preschool being lax. A letter from our allergist made all the difference in the world. He made sure to put in there "PEANUT ALLERGY CAN BE FATAL". It was very blunt. Then even if they are totally lacking in compassion as they seem to be, at least they can think "We better not have peanut products or if something happens to the child, we could get sued". You could print out the story about the reaction from the deck of cards which was on this website last week. I can`t remember if it was on the Main Board, or the Board about Reactions. Maybe someone can find it and bump it up.

Posted on: Tue, 10/01/2002 - 3:18am
Askosrose's picture
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Joined: 04/08/2002 - 09:00

I'm feeling pretty good about these things this year. First of all, my 7 yr old son's teacher told me that she's also nut allergic, so she's very good about what she allows in her classroom. Also, the school just sent home their monthly newsletter about keeping the school peanut and nut safe. They sent home a fact sheet about how dangerous even the smell can be to a child, stating that there may even be a fatality.
They also sent home alternate lunch ideas for parents, and reminded them to read the ingredients EACH time they buy a product they plan on sending to school.
My son is also really good about not eating food he's unsure of. I always send a huge bag of Chips Ahoy to parties, so at the very least, he knows he can eat those without worrying.
Karen

Posted on: Tue, 10/01/2002 - 3:19am
jh5000's picture
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Joined: 03/02/2000 - 09:00

katiee -
When I was in first grade, there was a specially decorated, cushioned birthday chair for the birthday boy or girl to sit in and THEN they got the added honor of going through ...... yes, The "Spanking Machine"! (Yikes, am I showing my age here or what?). Whosever birthday it was would lay across the special chair and all the kids would line up and have their turn at giving the lucky boy or girl a "congratulatory" swat. No cupcakes, no candy....just some good ol' 1960's school-sponsored student humiliation! (Okaaaaaaay...now I see why they switched to treats...) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Jackie

Posted on: Tue, 10/01/2002 - 9:46am
Linda-Jo's picture
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Joined: 07/30/1999 - 09:00

Becca,
I hear you about counting things. When my daughter was in kindergarten, they had an estimating jar. The teacher would always check with me about what kind of 'treat' to put in their for the kids to estimate. Finally, I came up with non-food items to put in there. Buttons, stickers, pennies, small erasers, small pebbles, were just some of the examples. Hope this helps!

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