school wants to group PA kids together

Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 2:37pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

My first grader started a new class last week. The school has decided when she goes to gym,art,music, and technology she must leave her class and go with the class that has other peanut allergic students. The school is trying to keep them safe but my daughter is not happy being singled out and put in the other class. any suggestions?

Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 9:08pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

sunshine,
Just a question here. Why isn't your daughter in the other class, assuming she, too, has a peanut allergy? Did you not want her with the other PA students? Or is this just the way it worked out?
Of course, I'm not in your shoes, but from what you posted, it seems that the school is just making a concerted effort to keep your child safe. This sounds like a very positive thing, even though your daughter does not like it.
You have every right to refuse, but I think the school is trying to cover itself by suggesting this to protect your daughter.
In our school, the principal and school nurse have placed all the peanut-allergic students (4 so far) in my child's 27-student class. Two seem to be mild, one moderate, and Ryan is classified as severe, although I really think those "classifications" are rather bogus. Allergic is allergic. I do wonder, however, how the students will be placed next year for first grade.

Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 10:11pm
river's picture
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

Have you had a discussion with them about what exactly is the logic behind doing this?
It doesn't make any sense to me, how your daughter could be safer in that gym class than in her own.
Ask them to explain their thinking because I don't think that they are thought this one through.

Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 10:53pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

river,
I know in our circumstance, for gym class in first-grade, all the equipment used by Ryan's class will be wiped down with an appropriate cleanser before use. Ditto with music if hand-held instruments are used.
Little particulars like these will help provide a safer environment for the PA kids in special area classes. I think this might be the rationale behind the school's motivation to do this.

Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 11:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

ryan's mom, so the school would only have to take these special precautions for PA children once in say a day rather than twice if they group all of the PA students together?
sunshine, is your daughter in the same grade as the other children that she would be joining grouped together?
Is this the first time the school has suggested this to you? Do you know why they suggested it now, in April month after how many months of school?
Does your daughter have a "peanut free" classroom? Is the classroom that she would be joining (or the particular class from the classroom) "peanut free"? If you're in America, does your daughter have a 504 Plan?
Here's my thinking on it and I may need corrected by people answering my questions I've just posted.
I'm assuming that your child has been in this school and in her particular class since school started this year. So, why is the request being made now? It doesn't make sense to me, as a parent and person, to have this presented to me (you) now in April month. Why is it being presented now?
ryan's mom, I can very well understand the grouping of all PA children in one grade together in one class at the beginning of the school year. I can understand where this may make things more work-able for the school and probably the children themselves (and the school community).
I'm just not understanding why this is being done now in April month. I know that if this was presented to me now, re Jesse, I wouldn't be pleased.
Has something happened in the school with one of the other PA children so the school feels the need to feel more secure and have all of the PA children together?
No, I'm not clear about this one at all. If it was at the beginning of the school year, I *may* say okay, I understand, but not this far into the school year.
I'm with river on this one.
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Sun, 04/06/2003 - 11:37pm
California Mom's picture
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Joined: 07/14/2000 - 09:00

I, too, would like to get more clarification about this, Sunshine. One thing I am wondering is if your dd is in a "year round" school, and has just started a new grade, now? (Actually - I have no idea when "year round" schools start their new grades; maybe it is in the fall like most schools.) I do not like the idea of your dd being pulled out of her class; and it is clear from your post that she does not like it either. I think the school ought to be keeping her safe without removing her from her class.
One argument against grouping all pa kids together is that if the kids somehow did eat something that accidentally contained pn; the teacher would have quite a few very sick kids on her hands. Still, I'm not advocating against it. That is just one argument I have seen against it.
My dd was in a Sunday school class last year, with two other pa kids. It was a great feeling for me - as a parent - to know that there were policies in place to benefit other kids besides just my dd; for a change.
Anyhow, all that does not change the fact that your dd is being singled out and she does not like it. I think every effort should be taken to help her feel comfortable at school and not be singled out unnecessarily for her allergy.
Take care, and good luck with this! - Miriam

Posted on: Mon, 04/07/2003 - 12:06am
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

In our case, we have 1400+ students in our K-3 elementary school. There are many other kids with various medical situations that have to be dealt with.
Personally, I feel it's easier to group the kids together. I think it's a benefit for the kids psychologically, knowing other kids have the same allergy. It's easier for the staff to deal with peanut allergy issues if they're grouped together too.
Cindy, do I think it's better if they do this once a day, rather than twice? Yes I do. When I think of internal coverage, substitute teachers, etc., that may not know the routine, there are more kids to speak out (if grouped together) and ask, "Was this procedure done?" "Has this ball been washed?" Etc.
Some kids are quiet, but Ryan would speak up and ask if told to do so. I really believe there is power in numbers.
However, I speak from our own experience, which has been very positive. With the exception of PA and gifted support, there is heterogenous grouping of children in Ryan's class. In fact, when you think about, gifted kids are sprinkled throughout a few classrooms. If the other PA kids are not in the Enrichment program but are grouped together merely because of PA, they will actually get Enrichment classroom support because of Ryan or any other PA student in Gifted Support, when the Enrichment teacher does full-classroom instruction. This is really a feather in their cap because of specialized and higher-level thinking activities.
I, too, would like to know what's so special about April--traditional school year? year round?
[This message has been edited by ryan's mom (edited April 07, 2003).]

Posted on: Mon, 04/07/2003 - 8:12am
CVB in CA's picture
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Joined: 10/15/1999 - 09:00

You have around 350 children per grade?

Posted on: Mon, 04/07/2003 - 10:44pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Actually more than that. I'm not counting three other elementary schools that have K-2. All third graders are funneled into our largest elementary school where my son goes. My daughter's class in the Intermediate school has about 22 or 23 fifth grade classes with an average of 25 students per class. Hers has 27. However, our current sixth and seventh grade population is huge.
So it's very safe to say there are at least 20 classes of about 25 students in each grade level. And it grows every year with new classes having to be added in August with explosive growth. (Sigh!)
[This message has been edited by ryan's mom (edited April 08, 2003).]

Posted on: Tue, 04/08/2003 - 2:13am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

sunshine,
You might consider contacting the Office of Civil Rights by email, describe the situation thoroughly, and ask them if this is disability discrimination. This link should take you to their site, and then you'd need to go to your regional office: [url="http://www.ed.gov/ocr"]http://www.ed.gov/ocr[/url]
I don't mean to imply that you would/should seek or threaten legal action. I believe, however, it is helpful to understand if the school has the right to do this. For me, if I knew the school had the right to segregate in this manner I might approach them differently than if they clearly did not have this right and did it despite my objection.
I hope you update us and let us know your developments. Good luck to you and your daughter.
Gail

Posted on: Tue, 04/08/2003 - 3:49am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

ryan's mom, I wasn't disagreeing with you about the children being grouped together, although I wasn't agreeing either (I haven't actually thought that one out and it does make for a good question [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] ), but I was simply asking for clarification of what you had originally posted, meaning that if all of the kids were grouped together than washing down or whatever would only have to be done once rather than twice or more a day. I didn't mean to make it sound as though I was disagreeing or anything contrary, just really asking for clarification on what you meant. And again, I'm not clear if I would want all PA students grouped together or not, so can't even disagree or agree with you on that one.
Wow, your school is one heckuva size! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/eek.gif[/img]
The school where my children are there are 300 students maximum for JK through to and including Grade 8. I cannot even begin to imagine a school that size. Seriously! I'm trying to think of what the number would have been for my high school and I don't even think it was that high for high school.
Wowser.
Good question raised though. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
I did see that sunshine posted in her original post (upon re-reading it just now) that her daughter started the new class last week. I guess, for me, I need to know why?
Best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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