ADVANCE PREPARATION

Posted on: Mon, 04/26/1999 - 10:11am
dhumphries's picture
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Joined: 02/02/1999 - 09:00

Although it is still another 2-1/2 yrs before my son enters the public school system, I am already extremely nervous about the situation after reading all the posts here. Does anyone have any ideas on advance preparation for pnt allergic children entering school? For instance, how far in advance should I start talking with the principal and/or superintendent?

Posted on: Mon, 04/26/1999 - 12:33pm
Lidia's picture
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Joined: 04/25/1999 - 09:00

My son is starting K in Fall of 2000. I spoke with the supt office about a month ago. I started with the district nutrition planner , regarding food served in the cafeteria and snack bar. She wasn't much help so after two weeks I went over her head. My goal is to get out all peanut products sold in the school before heenters K. They already agreed to remove the raisin and peanuts combination. I will work on the PB cookies and crackers next school mid year. These things take time to change. I was "laughed" at by the assis supt . After he agreed to remove the pnt, I told him my son wouldn't be entering until 2000! He knows I mean business!! He also agreed to send me the ingredients to all hot lunch foods they serve. He gave me a nice tidbit of info. in our district the lunch program is bid on by different vendors twice a year, so I will need to look into the ingredients at that time again.

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/1999 - 4:41am
EILEEN's picture
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Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

I can't get the school to talk to me and my son is (supposed to be) starting in Sept 99.

Posted on: Tue, 04/27/1999 - 1:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Start planning now. Be as educated about the issues your child will face and think about what your approach is going to be. When I went to register my daughter for Kindergarten (months before it started) I made a point of talking with the school nurse, who immediately went to work planning. During the teachers in-service week, we were able to bring in our hospital's EMS director who gave a very informative talk on just what anaphylaxis is, and its repercussions (alot of people have never heard of it!). He talked about what to do in the event she had a reaction. The meeting was mandatory (per the principal) Both my daughter and I attended the meeting. The teachers, aids, and other personel were encouraged to ask the EMT questions as well as myself as her parent, and they asked her a few questions as well. Since she was the only child in the room, it also afforded them an opportunity to match her face with a name...months later they still knew who she was, even without daily interaction with her.
As far as your child eating in the cafeteria, I say that's a gamble. You never know when the menu is going to change or there will be a substitution. I feel better sending my child's lunch to school with her every day, that way I know she has a safe lunch. Yes, sometimes she gets bored with it, but we try to keep her menu varied.
I know snacks at school are a hot topic, and I really wish, too that they weren't even offered, but the reality is that they are. The solution for me was to send a baggie of safe snacks for her. When the baggie ran out, the teacher sent it home to be refilled. The same was true for parties at school.
One last thing...make sure your Epi-pens are close at hand around the school. Make sure there is one in each area your child will be (i.e. - cafeteria, office, classroom, etc.) so that no one has to search for one if/when it is needed.
Good Luck!

Posted on: Wed, 04/28/1999 - 3:24pm
Lynda's picture
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Joined: 03/08/1999 - 09:00

If your child is 504 classified, at what age did you do this? Is this something that is done when entering kindergarten or can this be done at any age prior? My husband and I are confused as to how and when we should have Sean classified. He is almost 17 months old.

Posted on: Thu, 04/29/1999 - 5:46am
EILEEN's picture
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Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

How do we get our kids 504 classified. Is there a form or do we just declare 504! I'm confused.

Posted on: Fri, 04/30/1999 - 1:16pm
Noreen's picture
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Joined: 01/24/1999 - 09:00

Call your school district office and ask who handles the 504 classifications. In our school district, it is managed by the director of Special Education and the School Psychologist.
What I needed to do was write a letter explaining why my son had special needs and attached any supporting documents (letters from the allergist, ER visits, etc.). I have had no problem with getting through, even though I am applying for kindergarten admission in the Fall of 2000. BUT my son has other special needs as well. So that might explain why I'm getting in while others are made to wait.
Noreen

Posted on: Sat, 05/01/1999 - 11:46am
EILEEN's picture
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Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

Thanks for the information.

Posted on: Tue, 05/04/1999 - 12:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Hi all,
I enrolled my son in Kindergarten yesterday and while I had "butterflies" in my stomach, my son was so excited. I had a rubber stamp made (I believe I have Tracy to thank for that idea) that says "ANAPHYLACTIC REACTION TO PEANUTS" and I purchased a RED stamp pad and stamped every form at the school necessary for registration. You definitely can't miss it!
The Kindergarten classes are lined up along the same wall as the Front Office/Clinic. The teachers and principal carry Walkie Talkies and if there is an emergency, anyone can respond right away. The PTA President is an EMT and I had spoken to her and the Principal a couple of weeks ago regarding my son's peanut allergy. At the registration yesterday, they have a form called "Tell us about your child so we can better meet his/her needs." This way, they know which teacher to place your child with who can better handle the needs of your child whether it be food allergies, Hyperactivity, temperment, etc. They have one peanut allergic kindergartener there now and has not had any reactions this year--thank God! I had mentioned the epipen issue with the Principal regarding them being locked up in the clinic and not having it close by in the classroom. She said we would discuss it at registration. The PTA President was there and she said once my son has been assigned a teacher, we will be notified by mail and we can then all meet with the teacher and administrative staff and discuss our course of action. I have to say they seemed very caring and responsive to my fears. Overall, they seem accomodating to us and willing to listen to our needs and will work with us.
I wish you all luck with your children. This is the most exciting time for my son. We will ALL get through this!

Posted on: Thu, 05/06/1999 - 11:02am
EILEEN's picture
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Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

I have posted this under the Schools and Section 504 as well. I called the MD in charge of the health dept at our local school board (in Southern CA) about my peanut allergic son. This MD told me she also sits/chairs on the board that decides Section 504s for the school district.
She told me she "..wouldn't ever write one for a peanut allergy..."
She said this school district is so good
there will be no problems and there is no need for a Section 504. Her best
idea was that perhaps I could
go on a waiting list for a school near the hospital (just in case). At any rate they
wouldn't do anything in advance of registration and there certainly won't
be anything even "written down". So I can't get a Section 504 for him.
I baffled, confused, and disheartened.

Posted on: Tue, 05/11/1999 - 12:35am
Lidia's picture
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Joined: 04/25/1999 - 09:00

Eileen, get an attorney, that is ridiculous!
contact somebody, anybody, to get some results. I wish you luck.

Posted on: Thu, 05/13/1999 - 12:04pm
Mark's picture
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Joined: 01/19/1999 - 09:00

We registered our son today for kindergarten next fall. During the registration, we met with the Principal, school nurse, office secretary and teacher. We let them all know how seriously we take Tanner's peanut allergy and they were all extremely open to learning what they could do to accomodate us. The Principal agreed to give us as much time as we need during an in-service staff meeting scheduled in August before classes actually begin to do a presentation. All school staff including the custodians and the outside catering service that does the school lunch program will be at that meeting. (We will also be contacting the catering service in the next few weeks to start a dialogue directly with them.)We are planning on an initial 45 minute presentation to everyone starting with the "It Only Takes One Bite" video. We also mentioned that we would be presenting a written action plan to be followed should a reaction occur. The school nurse and Principal both thought that was a great idea so that they would know exactly what the protocol would be. (It would actually help them.) We left the registration feeling that it was a very positive initial meeting and everyone that we came into contact there today was keenly willing to learn more about the peanut allergy in order to help protect our precious little boy. We realize that we still have lots of work to do and will not let our guard down, but feel we are on the way to a cooperative relationship/partnership with the school staff in keeping our son safe.
Good luck to everyone facing new school issues next year.
Mark

Posted on: Fri, 05/14/1999 - 9:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Mark, I am very glad to hear things went well at the school. We registered our son this month for Kindergarten and once his teacher is assigned, we will be meeting with everyone concerned and going over everything with them just as you are.
There is a peanut allergic child in Kindergarten this year and I would love to find out who she is and if the parents are aware of this web site but because of confidentiality, I can't get her name. I guess I could leave my number with the school and have her parents contact me (as someone else suggested).
Good luck to you! I sincerely hope you don't encounter any problems!!
Stay safe.

Posted on: Thu, 01/20/2000 - 5:58am
Sue's picture
Sue
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Joined: 02/13/1999 - 09:00

This board has some good advice on 504 and schools.
Sue in Sunny Arizona

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