Survey of Ontario Schools

Posted on: Wed, 06/12/2002 - 5:09am
Caterina2's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2001 - 09:00

pI am conducting my own survey on how schools deal with Anaphylaxis in Ontario, mainly public versus catholic. I would really appreciate all Ontario members' comments on how your child's school is dealing with PA. My PA daughter is in grade 1 at a Catholic school in North York and I have spent the past 2 years enforcing the Anaphylaxis Protocol of the TCDSB on the school principal. Based on my own telephone survey of public and catholic schools in the area, it appears that the public schools are more aware and seem to follow their policy. I am seriously considering switching my daughter to a public school or maybe even a private school, but am worried that I will be battling once again with another school principal. Do I have her stay at the school and continue to be the Peanut Police until the principal and PTA finally get it or start all over again at another school and risk the same battles. Your comments would be appreciated./p

Posted on: Sat, 06/15/2002 - 7:07am
Sandie's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2000 - 09:00

You should call your school trustee and find out what the policy is in North York. In Mississauga, each school sets it's own policy. So our school only moves my dd 8, to a desk in the corner while kids can eat anything. However, kids aren't allowed to get up till they're done eating. In a nearby school (120 kids, k-5), peanuts and pb are banned. Another big school (k-8), any kids with peanuts or pb must leave the classroom at lunch if it's designated peanut-free due to allergies.
It's a big fight, unfortunately. Do you know of any other pa chldren in your school? Maybe you can band together.

Posted on: Sun, 06/16/2002 - 11:41pm
Sandie's picture
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Joined: 08/25/2000 - 09:00

You can get online to your board of Education's website and get the numbers of all the schools. Even the Catholic board can be searched that way. Call each one and make a note till you get an idea of how all those schools handle PA. I'm doing that for my area so that I can bring our school into the 21st century.

Posted on: Mon, 06/17/2002 - 12:26am
Caterina2's picture
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Joined: 02/14/2001 - 09:00

Thanks for the info Sandie. I have already done my little survey and based on my experience with my daughter's school, a written policy does not ensure that the school is fully allergy aware. Our principal says all the right things when confronted, but does not act accordingly when faced with certain situations. That's why I would like to hear about others experiences with their schools in Ontario. Aslo if anyone is interested, the Catholic board is in the process of updating its board policy on anaphylaxis in Toronto and has invited parents to attend this Wednesay for their comments. I have already attended other meetings on the policy and it appears that the Catholic board writes the policy but then does nothing to enforce it on school principals. Therefore principals have control on how they wish to proceed with the policy, so if you end up with a school principal like mine, it's a continuous battle.

Posted on: Mon, 06/17/2002 - 2:47am
Kathryn's picture
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Joined: 02/17/1999 - 09:00

It is possible to get all that you want in the school that you are in but you must be calmly patient and absolutely resolute as you present information from a variety of Canadian neutral sources. I started by writing a letter for my child's doctor to sign that stated that it is medically necessary for my child's classroom and all shared areas such as gyms, lunchrooms, computer labs, libraries etc to be allergen free always and also that it is necessary that my child carry epinephrine with him in a Medic Alert epi-pen waist carrier at all times. Without that medical documentation you cannot begin to take on the school board. Once you have provided that then the links from this page at the Calgary Allergy Network will be useful to you.
[url="http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/aasubject_index.html"]http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/aasubject_index.html[/url]
Particularly interesting are these:
[url="http://www.cdnsba.org/"]http://www.cdnsba.org/[/url] to their publications page then look at the handbook for schools in pdf format
[url="http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/Articles/Peanut_Allergy_medlegal.html"]http://www.calgaryallergy.ca/Articles/Peanut_Allergy_medlegal.html[/url] I have not ever needed to discuss duty of care but other parents have seen remarkable turnarounds once they discussed this issue with board staff at the superintendent level. If the school principal is not cooperative then you must deal with the supervisor superintendent who can ensure that behaviour changes and so on up the ladder of responsibility. Their behaviour is unreasonable in the face of what other school boards believe is reasonable. see [url="http://www.hwdsb.on.ca/minutes/policy/approved/Procedures_for_Life-Threatening_Allergies_and_Administration_of_Prescribed_Medication.pdf"]http://www.hwdsb.on.ca/minutes/policy/ a..._Medication.pdf[/url]
[url="http://www.aaaai.org/media/resources/position_statements/ps26.stm"]http://www.aaaai.org/media/resources/position_statements/ps26.stm[/url]
It is possible to change a school by moving slowly up the ladder even to the Ministry level until you find an intervenor who recognizes that the school is negligent in its duty to care for your child.
good luck
[This message has been edited by Kathryn (edited June 18, 2002).]

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