Does Anyone Have a Relatively Easy Time of It With Their PA Child\'s School?

Posted on: Mon, 09/09/2002 - 2:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

pI know that a lot of us post about the difficulties that we have dealing with the schools, especially at the beginning of the school year. I know that I'm definitely one of them and have posted again this year about my trials and tribulations./p
pBut I also suspect that a great number of people actually have what they consider would be a relatively easy time of it as far as getting their PA child into school, into class, and having the staff understand and co-operate. /p
pI'd like to hear the stories and I'd also like to hear WHY you think you have an easy time of it (it's okay if you have an easy time [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] )./p
pI guess I wanted to balance the board with some positive stuff about schools as well./p
pMany thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]/p
p------------------/p

Posted on: Mon, 09/09/2002 - 12:10pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Cindy,
You know I am very pleased with the way things are going with DS's school.
Why do I think it's going so well... two major things.
1.) We started a year in advance.
2.) The people who work at DS's school are very special people. They have earned their wings and crowns as far as I'm concerned. They are understanding, compassionate, caring folks. Really.
Sounds simple, I guess. Maybe that's the key - just good-hearted people.
THANK YOU, NMES! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 09/09/2002 - 2:09pm
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Joined: 05/24/2001 - 09:00

I feel we had a easy time with this too. It helps that the principal genuinely cares for the children in her care. I think it also helped that the school went from having no one with a serious allergy to having three at the same time in the same grade. Now they have one fourth grader, FIVE first graders (including ds) and one kinder. They have been really accommodating and concerned. I agree with Lam, these people have earned their wings and halos. Thanks for the "upper", Cindy! Kristi

Posted on: Mon, 09/09/2002 - 10:59pm
smack's picture
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Joined: 11/14/2001 - 09:00

Cindy,
I'm let off easy here with our Public School.
Before I was considering private but I know the different ethnic groups are not well represented and it is in their public school which is great.
My guys were in J.K. last year and their teacher knew about allergies and had used a epipen on a kid before. They have the same teacher this year so I get off easy for another year. The school is peanut/nut-free and this year kids are bringing in their own snacks(instead of parents making or buying one for everyone)which I like better.
I feel so bad for you parents out there who have problems with the schools or staff regarding allergies. I know I am less stressed than a lot of you here because of that.

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 4:31am
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Joined: 07/15/1999 - 09:00

I'm in 7th heaven this year, because we coughed up and switched to private school. It's given my nerves a break from 2 years of public school worries and headaches. Every parent who enrolls their child understands up front that peanuts are banned from the school, so there are no whiners or pb sneakers. It's great to feel like your in a caring community!

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 7:33am
Going Nuts's picture
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Joined: 10/04/2001 - 09:00

We have a pretty easy time of it here. I think it is due to:
1) Having started so far in advance, and being definitive about what we wanted from the get go;
2) Having an older child already in the school, so I knew the faculty and how to approach them;
3) Our district superintendant is a wonderful person, and the tone that is set from the top tends to trickle down;
4) Our school district has some REALLY difficult parents, and maybe they were afraid I would turn out to be one of them [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img] ;
5) Kevin's own personality. He really doesn't let stuff like this get to him. He's a really confident kid, and nobody ever teases him. Not like his mom, to be sure!
Thought provoking thread as usual Cindy!
Amy

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 9:25am
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Joined: 08/25/2002 - 09:00

Our public school administration and staff have readily agreed to all of our requests regarding PA prevention. We have a peanut-free and tree nut-free classroom, a peanut-free area in the cafeteria, the cafeteria only serves PBJ about once a month (because the county gets it free from some government surplus program or something like that)and NEVER serves any other peanuts, nuts or peanut butter items. I will attend both class parties and both field trips. Items contributing to our success:
1. An older child with severe PA (smell sensitive) and asthma already attended the school so there was already a general awareness of PA. I think his parents definitely paved the way for us! THANK YOU to all of you PA pioneers out there!
2. We "did our homework" and prepared an outline (heavy on the narrative so teacher and others can refer back to it during the year - we have no 504)and educated the staff who were not very aware of PA and backed up our statements with articles from FAAN, Amer. Academy of Pediatrics, newspaper articles, etc. We also made it clear that we had thoroughly discussed concerns about the school environment with our allergist and were basing our requests on his specific advice.
3. Through our words and actions, we make it clear to them that we will always do every thing we can to help them in carrying out these procedures. For example, as soon as we discussed Peanut-free classroom, we showed them the prepared signs they could use, gave them a draft of the letter to go home to parents and told them we would send in safe snack box.
4. We also just got really lucky! Our school has a wonderful full-time RN. Some other schools in our county only have a "clinic attendant" who does not have the same level of medical training or experience. Also, my son's teacher developed diabetes when she was pregnant a few years ago and had to give herself 3 shots a day - so she confidently says that she is not at all intimidated by needles or the Epi-Pen!
5. I have become very involved in the PTA which keeps me at school often and "in the know" as to what is going on there and also allows me to interact with the principal, staff and other parents in many conversations that have nothing to do with peanuts. I feel like this keeps me from being known only as "that peanut lady!"
6. We sent a page and a half thank you note to the principal, saying how great everyone has been and recognizing each staff member's contributions (this also served the purpose of documenting what everyone has agreed to do - although I recognize not as formally as a 504 Plan).
Finally, let me say again THANK YOU to all of you who have gone before us and increased awareness of PA both in your schools and communities. It really is helping those of us coming along behind you!
We are also working to do our part for those coming behind us. I had a discussion with my younger, non-PA son's new preschool director on the first day of the school year and gave her copies of some newspaper and magazine articles about PA and its potential severity. Sure enough, I walked out of her office and overheard a parent telling my son's teacher that her child is allergic to peanuts and peaches. I was really glad that I had just had that discussion with the director!

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 12:07pm
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Joined: 06/24/2002 - 09:00

Can any of you in the U.S. who have good experiences at your schools specify where you are located? River, what kind of private school is it? We are having a big battle at our private school trying to get a peanut-free classroom (kindergartners eat lunch in their rooms). The principal is very concerned about dealing with parent resistance and with "where will we draw the line?" on accomodating everybody's special needs, etc. For example, what about the kids who are vegetarian or lactose-intolerant who rely on peanut butter? Oy! My older non-PA daughter attends there and my 4-year-old PA son is supposed to start next year. I don't know what we'll do if they can't bring themselves to ask parents to not bring PB for lunches.
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Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 10:20pm
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Yonit,
We're in the northern panhandle of WV - squished between OH and PA.
My suggestion to you re: your son starting school... find out now what you will actually need to ask of the school. If your son isn't contact sensitive, then your requests won't need to involve all the things necessary to deal with that. Are you following me?
I thought for sure my son wouldn't be able to step foot into the school building. But he has, and he's been fine.
We found out ahead of time whether or not he was airborne sensitive - he's not, so he can eat in the cafeteria with everyone else. He is contact sensitive, though, so they have to be very careful about that.
I really think it's important to find out exactly what your child needs, and start there. JM2cents. Good luck.

Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 11:07pm
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Anonymous (not verified)

As I continue to post about things going on at the school, but not with the school administration to-day per se, it was just SO good to read this thread. I kinda knew it was what a LOT of us needed, especially, surprisingly to some maybe, those of us who do have a difficult time of it with the school.
So far I've seen a few factors that seem to play into whether or not you have an easier time:-
* Having an older child in the school yourself and knowing the school personnel
* Having an older PA child or a lot of PA children in the school
* Working with the school well in advance of your child starting school (for the first time and probably every year thereafter)
* Knowing what your needs are for your child and getting them
There are probably a few more things, but those really struck me as some of the keys.
I really like reading the good stuff. Helps me when I'm having a bummer day like I'm about to again to-day. (:
Many thanks and best wishes! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
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Posted on: Tue, 09/10/2002 - 11:57pm
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Joined: 06/24/2002 - 09:00

LAM - I appreciate your advice. Unfortunately, my son is contact-sensitive, so a room full of kindergartners eating PB at the same tables they will be playing and working on will not be safe for him. I'm just plugging away at the process, and will keep you posted. Any response suggestions on the "what about the vegetarians, lactose-intolerant, etc., etc.?"
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