So Upset, Tried to Register for Kindergatern Today

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 5:03am
antree's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2006 - 09:00

I don't know if I am making more out of it, but I am so upset, all I am do is crying.
Besides the fact that my baby will be starting school, the school I went to register him at said he can't go there because of some **** that doesn't make sense. This school is in my township and 5 mins away from my house, the school they say he has to go to is maybe a 45 min walk with a little one, which is how I will be getting him to school everyday. Snow or Rain, cold or Hot they want us to walk 45 mins instead of 5 mins. There are 2 schools in our district, but something about having to set limits and we are on the wrong side now so we have go to the farther away school and our township says it doesn't need buses.
Now my DD did go to this school 3 yrs ago and they tried telling me then she couldn't go because of this rule of limits, but they took her because I refused to send her to the father away one.
The differnce this time, when I went with my son, I brought up his PA and I got defensive when the school office couldn't answer any of my questions.
The nurse was out and the sub-Nurse didn't know anything, which really ticked me off.
It seemd no one knew what to do about the PA.
They say to me "we only serve PB and Jelly for lunch" and I said " Yea, that's Peanuts" so she said why how bad is his allergy. Which I didn't like and went off again, "I say he can die from this, and no one here seem to know what to do or is willing to change anything" then they say well we have a child that has a wheat allergy, and "I respond my child can die"
I didn't like being compared to another allergy. I know all about the wheat allergy, my Aunt and Mom has it and I am sorry you can not compare the two.
They go to get the principle because I want to know how will my son's PA be handle.
Do you know what the principle came out and said? I am sorry but you are registering at the wrong school, there is nothing I can do.
Well I tell him my DD went to the school and he said "not while I was here," Yea he was, so he said "the limits were just put in place" I said no they were here when my DD registered. And I know a few other kids that went to that school on my street. But he wasn't budging. So I said to him why did you come out to talk to me? Because I knew they went to get him about the PA but he never brought it up. So he said "Oh that's right the PA" I wanted to SCREAM!
Anyway he says we will transfere him to the right school since we just finished registering him, I was like NO, I will tell you what school to transfere him to once I calm down and decide what to do.
My head is spinning, I am so upset, I called a few schools and no one seems to care about my sons PA, All I hear is well we do serve it for lunch.

How do you register in school when there is no plan for PA I don't know what to do.
I also don't want him sitting by himself at lunch.

I did find a private school that is peanut free. But it will cost a bundle.

I am so stressed, on top of this we want to move but don't know if it will be in time for the new school year, we don't know where we will move.
My husband said I was throwing to much at the school at once and I had an attitude.

So I flipped I'll just add this to my never ending list of things that I will do myself, so now I am looking for the right safe school for my son.
Or a job that will pay for the private school.
Sorry but Dh is no help and I feel like I am on my own.
Sorry for the long vent.

Maria

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 5:19am
PA-Mom's picture
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Joined: 09/18/2006 - 09:00

In my opinion, if you are planning a move, I would put my energy into finding the right school. I would put a list together of general questions, like 1. Does your cafeteria serve PB? What is the procedure (peanut free table, or some schools actually have kids with pb sit at a separate table). 2.What is your snack procedures, birtdhay, etc. 3.Do you have children already with 504s for Food Allergies, 4. Is the medical kit kept in the nurses office, classroom, etc. Assess how "food allergy savvy" they are. Keep your notes on each school you call so you can review.
When I approached my child's school for registration and told the assistant principal that my child had multiple severe food allergies, her reply was "okay, just note it in the file and assume it will be handled." Would any of us do that - so crazy it is almost laughable. I called other schools and one school said right away "your child needs a 504", so there are good schools, there is hope. If it were me, I would call the school they are referring your child to and see how helpful they are. I know it is further, but maybe in the long run it will save you hassle and headaches in dealing with the school that is hesitant and uneducated about keeping your child safe. Wish you the best.

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 6:17am
Carefulmom's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2002 - 09:00

Add to the list of questions "Who at the school is trained on the epi". At dd`s elementary school, every single staff member and teacher were trained, even the custodian. Also, what about food in the classroom. A food free room eliminates a lot of problems.

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 7:24am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Are you without vehicular transportation entirely? If so, you might qualify for some sort of hardship exception. BUT. You can count on them to be difficult about this since the PA is going to be something extra that they must take on if they grant you a hardship allowance to the closer school.
Still. First things first. CALL or E-mail (DO NOT return in person) and find out PRECISELY where that boundary is. And then, run down your list of questions regarding peanut/food allergen management and PA management.
Finally, educate yourself about a 504 plan and begin taking those steps immediately. Get a good letter from your physician, etc. And make your requests in writing so that there isn't any 'but I never said' later on.
{{hugs}} Sorry you had such a bad PA day. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 7:58am
Mrsdocrse's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2007 - 09:00

Hi
I am so sorry to hear that you had such a horible experience. I need to count my blessings that I live a city that has "school choice" we have several elementary schools and we can choose which one one our child will attend. There are so many kids with food allergies here that we have a Peanut free school. I willsay that it took a long time to get it through but it has happened here. people are very aware.
I would find out exactly where the boundry is set.. and why on earth you would be sent to a school so far away. but in any case your child has a right to a safe free education and they have to work with you one this one it is the LAW! I would suggest trying to keep your emotion in tact when speaking to people at school about it. I found out from expereice that comming in an demanding or over whelming them with what they HAVE to do for your child on builds big resistance. Have your facts straight and present the law and tell them that you are willing to work together to make sure that your child is safe. I am afraid you have a battle ahead. where do you live?
Therese
[This message has been edited by Mrsdocrse (edited April 18, 2007).]

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 8:20am
antree's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2006 - 09:00

I live in South Jersey, I called the school that I was told we had to go to and talking to them on the phone, they sounded just like the school I went to today.
I have to decide if we are going to move and if so in what township it is going to be in.
Then I am calling the school in my township now and the school that I might end up with and try to get as much info and possible before the summer sets in. Then I'll have a few months to prepare the school we will attend.
I thought founding out about my sons PA/TNA was scary but sending him to school is terrifying.
I know I have to keep my emotions intact but when it comes to talking about my kids I get so emotional espically when I think someone is acting against them.
Thanks for all the suggestions I am writing everything down.

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 9:50am
Peanut Militia's picture
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Joined: 03/06/2007 - 09:00

Do a search in the education thread for 504 and IEHP informatio. It will help you know what to ask and what to ask for.
Stay strong and welcome!

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2007 - 8:19pm
Christabelle's picture
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Joined: 10/03/2004 - 09:00

If it were me, I would sacrifice elsewhere and if all possible go with the peanut free private school.
However, if this is entirely out of the question, instead, I would get a 504 started, immediately. Any issues and I would go to the OCR without hesitation. They are starting out with a roadblock for you, so you might have to make serious believers out of them from the get-go.

Posted on: Thu, 04/19/2007 - 12:24am
patsmommy's picture
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Joined: 10/31/2001 - 09:00

antree what part of Jersey are you in?
I am in Old Bridge. I know around here that the schools are so overcrowded that they redistricted the schools limits. Its crazy. My kids go to a private school though. Its "peanut free" and next year they will be transferring to another private school for reason other then PA that is also "peanut free"
I pulled my son out of his public school before he went ot 1st grade because the school was clueless with PA since then though they have a new nurse and a new principal so it might be better but I doubt it. My GF works in the lunch rooma nd they didnt even tell her who the allergy kids were or that one of her kids had bad asthma. she said I did the right thing by taking them out.
Having said that, maybe you should look into the other school thats further away. I heard that the 3 other schools across town from my area are very allergy aware. I think if I lived in another part oif town and went to one of those schools my kids might still be in public school. Its worth a call to that school to see what its policy is. Just because the school thats 5 mins away is clueless doesnt mean that the other school in your town is too.

Posted on: Thu, 04/19/2007 - 12:56am
TwokidsNJ's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

Hi! You are in LUCK!!! NJ just passed a law, as of March 2007, that requires schools to have a food allergy polciy for anaphylaxis and risk reduction in schools. They CANNOT disciriminate against you.
Here's what I would do:
-Write a letter to the Superintendent describing your experience with school registration
- Inform the Superintendent of the new law - cite the law by number and quote from it (see my next post)
- Explain your hardship, that you must walk your child to school (no 2nd car or whatever) and the other one would be an UNSAFE walk (if they are not bussing, they have to let you go to the neighborhood school!)
- Say that you want to work with them now on an Individual Health Care Plan (required for each kid with life threatening food allergies as per NJ law - quote THE LAW in your letter), so the IHCP is in place by September. You also want to explain your 504 rights here (this will be a slower process as 504 is not required by the law, but IHCP is -- this is a NEW THING so he will not be informed).
- Remind them that they cannot discriminate against your son for a food allergy, that is against federal and state laws
- End the letter with a call to action: "Please respond to this letter with in 7 days as I must make plans for my child's safe school attendance in September and I would like to meet with the appropriate parties to begin working on his IHCP as soon as possible as it is critical that appropriate plans are in place before the first day of school".
Write the letter now. This will work. I started in September after realizing my school (also in NJ) -- although informally doing most of the right things -- did not have any of their policies formalized. Once they understood the new law, they started JUMPING to be compliant.
Now that the NJ law is passed, they are hoping the Dept of Education will provide guidance to schools like MA and CT did with their 84 pg documents -- search google on MA or CT "Managing Life Threatening Food Allergies in School" -- very helpful information. These contain MANY of the things you want to consider for the IHCP.
If you'd like to provide your email, I can send you some links to the law and updates from the NJ advocacy organization, FAAC-NJ.
[This message has been edited by TwokidsNJ (edited April 19, 2007).]
[This message has been edited by TwokidsNJ (edited April 19, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 04/19/2007 - 12:59am
TwokidsNJ's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2005 - 09:00

Here is the links to the law, and the two email lists you should get on (email: [email]faacnj@yahoo.com[/email] and [email]PalKidz@aol.com[/email] for the two lists -- they will keep you informed on legal advocacy and support groups in NJ).
From: [email]PalKidz@aol.com[/email]
Sent: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 8:48 PM
Subject: FAASG: Please continue to contact your school superintendents
P.L. 2007, c.57 concerning food allergy management in New Jersey
schools is now available at the NJ Legislature's website:
[url="http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/PL07/57_.PDF"]http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/PL07/57_.PDF[/url]
[url="http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/PL07/57_.HTM"]http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/PL07/57_.HTM[/url]
Please continue to contact your school district officials to ask what
their plans are for implementing this law. It is expected that your
inquiries will generate calls from district officials to the
Department of Education requesting guidance. Please continue to keep
us informed of your progress and to let us know what sort of
responses, questions, etc. you receive.
Thank you.
FAAC-NJ Steering Committee
[email]faacnj@yahoo.com[/email]

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