Life threatening allergies are a growing concern for our school population. Please take a minute to review the following points so that we can all help to keep our students safe.
Letter to Families re: Food Practices in Elementary Classrooms and Schools
Dear Elementary School Parents and Guardians:
Our District, consistent with national trends, continues to see an increase in the prevalence of students with life threatening food allergies. The focus of our allergy management continues to be prevention, education, awareness, communication and emergency response.
As you may know, our District continues to review and update our Allergy Policy and Regulation (5403) and the Wellness Policy and Regulation (5402) to assure that they appropriately provide for the safety of our children. A copy of these District policies and the regulations are available on the District’s website (www.tesd.net). Proactive procedures for identification of children with allergies, notification of appropriate staff, provision of information related to the allergy, and training on emergency procedures are provided at the beginning of each year and at other times as appropriate.
The District uses this opportunity to remind you that the following food practices are observed in all elementary classrooms and schools.
- No food of any kind is permitted to be brought to school to be shared with students in connection with recognition of birthdays, celebrations such as Halloween, holidays, Valentine’s Day, cultural events, and end-of-the-year festivities at the grades K-4 level either by other students, teachers, staff, parents, or other persons.
- The school may continue, without the use of food, to have activities to recognize special occasions in a manner that is meaningful to our children, respectful of all students, and cognizant of the teacher’s instructional time. Please be sure to communicate with the principal at least one week in advance if you would like to propose any celebrations in school.
- Students may continue to bring into school their individual breakfast, lunch, or snacks, but may not share them with others at any time.
- For snack time, please do not include any foods that contain peanuts, tree nuts, peanut or tree nut oil, or any peanut or tree nut products. However, during lunchtime in the cafeteria, your child may continue to pack or buy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or eat foods containing peanut or tree nut products. A nut-free area is designated in each school cafeteria.
- If a classroom has been designated allergen free, a letter will be sent home at the beginning of the year to inform all parents/guardians of students in that classroom, notifying them of the list of allergens in question.
If you have questions about our District elementary level food practices, please contact your school nurse. Thank you for helping us to keep all of our students healthy and safe!
Rebecca Wills, Principal
Mary McCann & Nancy Schertz, Nurses
- Prevention and preparedness are pillars of allergy management. T/E District Policy #5403 addresses this issue.
- Recognize anaphylaxis – a sudden, severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include: hives, itching and redness on skin, lips and eyelids, swelling and itching of the mouth and throat, nausea and vomiting, paleness, dizziness, loss of consciousness.
- Know how to give epinephrine: research on-line video instruction.
- Avoid the allergen.
- Know the different routes of exposure (mouth, skin, respiratory, nose, eyes).
- Read labels, know hidden ingredients.
- Know how to avoid cross-contact.
If you or someone you know has a life threatening allergy:
- Always have the epinephrine auto-injector and emergency care plan available.
- Know when and how to use the auto-injector.
- All caregivers should know how and when to give the auto-injector.
- Education and discussion of this topic with your child can create an environment of support and understanding.
- Students who have life threatening allergies need all of us to keep them safe.
–The T/E School District Nursing Staff