ACCOMMODATING STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS
(Food Allergy Management)
In order to properly implement the Board policy pertaining to the management of food allergies, the following administrative regulations/guidelines are hereby established.
- Each school shall establish a method of ensuring that relevant information is transmitted to all supervising persons of an identified student. It is incumbent upon the school to notify any person who may be supervising an identified student with food allergies, especially those which may be life-threatening, such as, but not limited to, peanut allergies.
- The primary concern of the school is the prevention and appropriate treatment of potentially severe allergic reaction, anaphylaxis.
- Parents with allergic children must provide the school with an individualized action plan prepared by the student's physician. The school nurse will develop, in consultation with the parent(s) and/or physician of the student, a written plan for allergen avoidance and response. This food allergy plan will establish the specific protocols to help the student avoid food allergens as well as develop emergency response protocols in the event of the student's contact with the identified allergen. This plan shall be provided to all personnel supervising the student. This plan will be updated annually.
- Neither the District nor its school personnel shall be responsible for determining food allergens and/or those foods or ingredients in foods that are safe for a student with an identified food allergy to consume; this will be done by parents.
- Most food-allergic children bring their lunch from home. However, guidelines established by the USDA Child Nutrition Division in charge of school lunches requires school food service staff to provide substitute meals to allergic students if the physician of the student sends in written instructions certifying the child's allergy, what foods are to be avoided and safe substitutions.
- A no-food and no utensil trading/sharing policy within the school will be encouraged.
- Parents can review/preview menus for school lunches in order to select safe foods their child may eat.
- The District will establish at least one "allergen free" table in each elementary school cafeteria. This table will be washed with separate cleansing material before each lunch period. Friends whose lunches do not contain an offending food may also be seated at this table.
- The District will not knowingly make use of peanuts, peanut products, tree nuts and tree nut products for instructional purposes.
- Administrators and teachers will encourage non-food related alternatives to celebrate developmental milestones and student accomplishments.
- When classroom activities in grades PreK-8 include food, the classroom teacher will contact the parent/guardian of the identified allergic child prior to the activity.
- School personnel planning a field trip will provide the school nurse with a list of participants in advance of the trip. The school nurse will identify those students with identified food allergies and provide the teacher with a copy of the written food allergy plan for the student(s). This will also be done for other school-sponsored events taking place off school grounds.
- If Epinephrine is administered, call 911 for transport of the student to the Emergency Room for evaluation, treatment, and observation.
- Consider the following avoidance strategies due to the fact that risk can never be fully eliminated in the school environment:
a)Parents should be encouraged to instruct their children in how to avoid contact with substances to which they are allergic.
b)Carefully monitor identified children, especially in the younger grades.
c)Allergic children should consider eating foods that are only prepared at home.
d)Students should be encouraged not to exchange foods or utensils with other students.
e)Provide staff updates
Guidelines Specific to the Health Office
Prior to the start of each school year, the School Medical Advisor will supply a prescription and directions for the use of epinephrine and Benadryl for the school nurse.
- All school health offices will have additional epinephrine for unidentified students and for identified students should the need arise.
- The EpiPen, if prescribed or ordered by the student's physician, will be supplied by the family. This will be kept either in the Health office under the supervision of the school nurse, or secure on the person of the student as appropriate, or under supervision of the classroom teacher, or in the main office under supervision of the (assistant) principal.
- Appropriate school personnel, as per Board of Education medication policies and Regulations, shall be trained by the school nurse in the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis and the administration of the EpiPen. The school nurse shall also instruct appropriate personnel supervising a student with an identified food allergy regarding the student's emergency plans for food allergies.
- A copy of the Emergency Health Care Plan for the identified allergic student shall be kept in the office of the school nurse, as well as with the classroom teacher and in the folder for any substitute school personnel supervising the student. If the student with the identified food allergy has a prescription or order calling for the administration of an EpiPen and any other physician ordered medication in response to an allergic reaction, the plan concerning the administration of such medication shall be kept in the school nurse's office and in folders for school personnel and substitutes.
- The School Nurse shall take measures that he or she deems appropriate to notify parents of children in grades K-6 in classes where students have been identified with school allergies.
- The School nurse shall notify the Food Services regarding the names of students in each school with a food allergy.
Guidelines Specific to the Classroom
- The teacher of a student with an identified food allergy shall notify the parent/guardian of the identified allergic student during the planning process for any special event that may include food (celebration, teaching unit, field trip). The teacher will post in the classroom the classroom policy against food and utensil sharing and/or trading.
- The school nurse will inform classroom teachers regarding the names of students with identified food allergies who are enrolled in their class. The school nurse will also provide the teachers of such students with a copy of the applicable food allergy plan, including the emergency health plan.
- The teacher of a student with an identified food allergy must inform the school nurse of all field trips during the planning process.
- Teachers are expected to be mindful of field trips and/or other class activities (on or off school grounds) that include hands on activities. Teachers are expected to make reasonable inquiry as to any items, displays, etc. that may contain products to which the student with the identified food allergy is allergic (i.e., nuts or fish shells).
Litchfield Board of Education
Regulation implemented: April 18, 2007
Regulation reviewed: December 9, 2009