Children come to school with many different medical conditions, including some that are very serious and life-threatening. Over the past several years, the number of Concord Road children with life-threatening food allergies has significantly increased.
Important New Documentation
- After receiving the Student Health Exam Form, which is filled out by the family physician indicating that your child has allergies, the school nurse will contact you for specific details about your child’s allergies and will notify your child’s teacher. Please complete the Physical form.
- If your child has allergies and you would like to ensure that they are not exposed to the allergen during lunch, you can request that they sit at an “allergy vigilant table.” All requests must be submitted by filling out the Allergy Information Form. To access this form, please click here: Allergy Information Form. The completed form must be returned to our school nurse, as soon as possible.
- Prior to the start of the school year, the nurse will notify teachers if there is a child with allergies in their classrooms;
- Prior to the start of the school year, a letter will be sent to the families in the child’s classroom by our school nurse detailing the specific protocols that will be used to keep the child safe;
- Snack: We feel it is important for our children to have a snack each day. We ask that snacks be packed separately and kept apart from food that is packed for lunch. Allergy vigilant classrooms will continue to have additional restrictions. Parents will be notified in writing of these restrictions at the beginning of every school year;
- Celebrations: There will be no food at any celebration in any classroom. There will be no exceptions to this new policy. Celebrations (including birthdays) will continue, but they will not include food. Classroom teachers will notify parents how birthdays will be celebrated;
- Curriculum: Food will not be used in classroom or special area instruction with one exception. The 4th grade PLTW science unit called Energy & Collisions uses an egg to teach the transfer of energy.
- Teachers will instruct children to never share food with each other.
- Cafeteria staff will instruct children to never share food with each other;
- The school nurse will share the names of children with allergies with all lunch aides prior to the start of the school year;
- Parents of children who have a severe food allergy may choose to have their child sit at a designated food allergy vigilant table. This table is designed to ensure that children are not exposed to any foods that may cause a reaction;
- Children with severe allergies whose parents have requested that they sit at a designated allergy vigilant table, will sit with other children with food allergies. If a child wants a friend from their class to join them at a designated food allergy table, the friend must purchase a school lunch. We cannot ensure that lunches brought from home do not contain allergens;
- Parents of a child with food allergies that have not requested that their child sit at an allergy vigilant table, may request that the child be given a paper mat at the beginning of each lunch period. The paper mat serves as a visual representation that a child has a food allergy but the parents have not requested that the child sit at a designated food allergy vigilant table to reduce the risk of exposure to a particular food allergen;
- Our cafeteria vendor supplies products that do not contain nuts but they may not be produced in a nut free facility/plant. In the future, we will be including a request for nut-free facilities/plants in our bidding process.
Important Terms and Definitions
There are several terms used regarding allergies and when looking at food labels. These include:
- “Nut-free”: This implies that a food product contains no nuts. The term “contains no nuts” is often used interchangeably with “nut free”. This does not guarantee that the food product is made in a facility/plant that is nut free;
- “Nut-free facility”: This implies a food product is produced in a facility/plant that is nut free and therefore there is no risk of cross-contamination;
- Cross-contamination/cross-contact: This occurs when one food comes into contact with another food and their proteins mix;
- “May contain”, “may contain traces of” and “made in a facility with” indicates that these food products may contain allergens and should not be considered safe;
- Please note that allergens are not only related to nuts. For example we have students who are allergic to dairy, eggs and certain fresh produce.
Food Allergy and Research Education (FARE) - https://www.foodallergy.org