Hey Ladies....I know I have been MIA for a few weeks but I have a serious dilemma and need some encouragement and/or advice. Nathan is going to be entering Kindergarten in September. He will still be only 4 years old. His birthday is October 21 and the cut off dates for our district is December 31st. I started the process of registering him because I don't want him to step foot in that door alone in September without awareness of his allergies. I spoke to the nurse today who says they don't typically have 504's in place for food allergies, that they are more for kids who have diabetes and need to leave the classroom throughout the day due to their illnesses. She said that they aren't even thinking about next year and won't until September. She said that the staff is there for a full day before the kids begin and she would tell the teacher of my son's allergy. However, I can't speak to the teacher myself before school begins and that I could always talk to her Back to School night. I am going to speak to the principal about this as well because this doesn't fit well with me. I am new to allergies in the public school....what have you guys experienced yourselves? Do you just say ok and trust them? I don't think I could do that.
Kindergarten is a whole different ballgame than preschool. Is it all day? Will there be snack and/or lunch served?
We don't have a 504 or IEP. (Actually, I'm not even sure of what the difference is.) I forget the "official" name for our forms, it's something like "Health Action Plan", or something along those lines.
Why can't you speak to the teacher before school starts? I've always been able to talk to the teacher before the first day of school. Like you, I wouldn't be able to wait until the Back to School Night, or leave it up to the nurse to talk to the teacher for me.
"They aren't thinking about next year and won't until September" -- that's bull, and would have ticked me off. They are thinking about next year, that's why they have you registering for Kindergarten now!!!!!!
Something that did help me feel better when Emily was in Elementary school was having her wear a medical ID bracelet. I don't know if you have one or not, but I highly recommend one, even if just for peace of mind. I'm pretty sure that Deb and I use the same company. I THINK it's medicalert.org. They have a juvenile program that is pretty inexpensive, and well worth it IMO.
Kindergarten by us is full day. They eat snack in the classroom as well as lunch in the cafeteria. I was told they sit on the ends of the table so they are only next to one person and that person will not be eating peanut butter. Apparently there is one aid for every two classes.
So you are satisfied not having a 504? I have been under the impression he would be safer with one but it seems he would be ok with the "health plan?" What is in your health plan to make sure she stays safe? I am SO scared!!
I think it is absurd that I couldn't speak to the teacher first. After the nurse's comments, I said he could just miss the first week of school if he had to because I wasn't sending him in without speaking to her/him and without that health plan. I am going to email or send a letter to the principal and see what she says.
I was going to get Nathan a bracelet and I never did. That is a great idea though. I am going to order one after his egg challenge in two weeks. If he passes, I can leave eggs off of it lol.
Thanks for getting back to me but I figured you guys had a lot of experience with this and would be the best of help
She should have said SHE is not even thinking about next year yet. You will be providing them with EPI pens, right? So believe me they will want documentation to cover their asses about administering it. You might try going to your district web site and looking at the various forms they might have online - I know mine posts health plan forms there, because they have to be signed by the physician. My district uses the health plan devised by FAAN, actually (Is it FARE now? I forget) and uses their forms. It just outlines what the allergy is, how to know a reaction is happening, and what the expected response is.
As for speaking to the teacher, I would keep trying with that. Like maybe two weeks before school starts, show up in the office and ask to talk to someone. My school nurse is the one who connects me to my new teacher every year, but I can totally see how that would depend more on the personality of the nurse than anything else. I also know that the school is doing some major scuffling up until the last minute, moving teachers and kids (and nurses) around before the year begins, so they may not be able to tell you much until then.
One last suggestion - see if there is another allergy parent you can call for help. Maybe the principal or vice principal can connect you with someone who has already been through it. AND - finally - on meet the teacher night, if that is all you get, you will probably be able to set something up directly with the teacher to talk it over. He or she is going to want all the info they can get about keeping your kid safe, believe me.
Starting K is so nerve-wracking! I hassled the CRAP out of my school before the year started. You just have to put on that Mama Bear hat lol.
Deb (40) DD (4) Funny, spirited, curious, has a severe milk allergy, DS (1) fearless and bottomless, peanut allergy
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