In an effort to minimize risks for our students with food allergies, the school staff, teachers, parents, and students will work as a community to implement the following precautions to the best of our ability.
The school administration wants to emphasize that we share the building and the kitchen with the church congregation as well as many groups attending events (conferences, weddings, funerals), and so school staff cannot monitor all food brought into the building. The school staff and kitchen staff, however, will make every effort to practice these precautions regarding the school lunch service and the use of food in the classrooms.
Responsibilities of School Faculty and Staff:
- The school faculty and staff as well as the kitchen staff will attend the Allergy Awareness education meeting scheduled before the first day of school. The training will include instruction for administering an epipen injection.
- The homeroom teacher will meet with the parents of a student with food allergies to complete a Food Allergy Management Plan and Emergency Response Plan. Copies of those plans will be kept in the school office, in the kitchen, and provided for the homeroom and enrichment teachers. The school faculty and staff will review the Food Allergy Management Plan and Emergency Response Plan for the students with allergies.
- Students with food allergies will keep an epipen with them at all times. Additional epipens and Benedryl will be kept in the school office.
- School staff who monitor the lunch periods will be trained to implement precautions such as the proper cleaning of the lunch tables and appropriate seating for children with food allergies. Teachers trained in the use of an epipen will be present at each lunch period.
- Substitute teachers will be notified about the students with allergies and provided with copies of the students' emergency response forms. If an epipen must be administered, then the substitute teacher will enlist a staff member to administer the epipen injection.
- Students will wash their hands before and after lunch service. Students will not be allowed to trade food or to tease other children about their food.
- All students will be educated about the seriousness of food allergies. Students who tease or threaten children with allergies will be removed from the scene and disciplined by the Head of School.
- All parents will receive copies of the Permitted Snack List, which will include snacks that do not include nut products.
- All teachers, students, and classrooms will use only foods from the Permitted Snack List in the classroom.
From her first day of school to graduation day, my child with severe food allergies was well cared for at The Covenant School. Never was there one mistake made on the part of the school staff regarding allergy protocol. I have confidence that if a reaction would have occurred, the staff would have been well prepared to do all that was necessary in a timely matter.
Julie Brown, Covenant Mom
Responsibilities of Parents of Students with Food Allergies:
To help the school staff assist students with food allergy management, the administration makes these requests of parents.
- Parents should notify the school staff about the child's allergies and provide written medical documentation of the child's allergies from the child's doctor.
- Parents should submit to the school office documentation that describes the child's allergic reaction symptoms, the child's medications, the child's Food Allergy Management Plan, and instructions for an Emergency Response Plan to the child's allergic reaction. The Food Allergy Management Plan lists accommodations for the child's needs in the lunch room, in the classroom, in After-School Care, and at field trips. The Emergency Response Plan lists the instructions for treatment of the child's allergic reaction.
- Parents should meet with the Director of Food Services to provide written notification of the child's allergies, including a list of foods that pose risks to the child. Parents may consult with the Director of Food Services regarding options for lunch menus.
- Parents should provide epipens and medication to the school office, and the child should carry an epipen at all times. Parents should replace medications and epipens after use or expiration.
- Parents should review the child's Emergency Response Plan with school staff following a child's reaction and the school's response.
- Parents should provide snacks and lunches from home to avoid risks to the child. Parents should provide treats for special occasions like class parties.
- Parents may attend class field trips to monitor the child, particularly if the trip includes a meal. If the parent cannot attend, then the parent may designate another adult to participate in the field trip and monitor the child.
- Parents should educate their child about self-management of allergies:
---recognizing safe and unsafe foods;
---strategies for avoiding exposure to unsafe foods;
---symptoms of allergic reactions;
---how and when to tell an adult about an allergy-related problem;
---create a signal the child may use to indicate he/she is having a reaction:
---how to self-administer the epipen (at appropriate age);
---how to read food labels (age-appropriate instruction).
Responsibilities of Students with Food Allergies:
- Students should not trade food with others or taste other students' food.
- Students should not touch or eat any food containing allergens.
- Students should not touch or eat any food with unknown ingredients.
- Based upon their developmental level, students should be proactive in the management of their allergies and reactions (including use of the epipen).
- Students should notify an adult immediately if they have eaten something that may contain an allergen or if they believe they are having an allergic reaction.
- Students should remind their teacher about the signal that they may use when having an allergic reaction.
You can find out more information about peanut allergies and how to keep the school and classroom safe here.