• Below are the Food Allergy Protocols for Ardsley High School.  You may also download a pdf version for printing.

    Ardsley School District - High School

    Food Allergies: Protocol for Managing Risk and Promoting Safety

    (Updated February 2020)

    I. Purpose of the protocols: 

    The Ardsley School District is committed to providing a safe environment for all students. Food allergies can be life threatening. We are committed to keeping students diagnosed with severe food allergies made known to the School safe.  At the high school level, our goal is to both recognize the unique challenges students with food allergies face in school while also encouraging developmentally appropriate independence. 

    It is important that families and students recognize that there are no restrictions on foods that can be brought into Ardsley High School for snacks, lunch, curriculum lessons or other activities.  There is a focus on independence, education, and support. 

    Together we can reduce the risk of accidental exposure to food allergens while students are at school.  Effective prevention and treatment plans, proper procedures, and clear communication with families and staff can save lives.

    II. Family's Responsibility:

    • Families of Students with Allergies:
      • Parents should notify the School Nurse of the presence of a food allergy with documentation from the student’s licensed medical provider (physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner).  
      • Parents of students with food allergies need to fill out a Food Allergy Action Plan (FAAP) which can be downloaded from the school’s website. 
      • A parent and doctor need to sign and date the form at the start of the school year and/or throughout the school year as needed. 
      • A parent, together with the medical provider and school nurse, should determine if the student can self-carry and self-administer medication.
      • For students who are not authorized to self-carry and self-administer medication, a parent must bring the medication to the school nurse in the box from the pharmacy with the pharmacy label on it, and replace used and expired medications, as needed, in the same manner.
      • For students who will self-carry and self-administer, parents must provide doctor’s orders and attestation that the student can self-administer.  
      • If your child is involved in a non-Ardsley sponsored after school program the parent will speak with the program organizer in regard to your child’s specific allergies.  
      • At the beginning of the school year, the parent will contact the student’s teachers regarding his/her specific food allergy.  
      • Parents can speak directly to the food service director to discuss their child's specific allergies to determine what food/meals/packaged snacks are safe for their child to purchase at lunchtime.
      • Parents of students with food allergies are expected to educate the student regarding his/her specific food allergies and to stress the importance of eating foods that come from home/approved by the parent for purchase from the school cafeteria.
      • Parents will provide the student with his/her own water bottle and will discourage him/her from using the public water fountain.

    III. District-Level Administrative Responsibilities:

    • The district administration will implement and monitor compliance with the policy, regulations and procedures.
    • All staff members will be trained before school starts and as needed throughout the school year. This includes teacher aides, teaching assistants, recess aides, and regular/leave replacement substitutes. 
    • Training includes recognizing the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction, actions that need to be taken, and the proper use of an epinephrine auto- injector.  
    • During the first days of school, the bus drivers and monitors of students that carry their epinephrine auto-injector on the bus will be trained as well. 
    • Throughout the year, new staff members and substitute staff will receive training.

    IV. School’s Responsibility:

    • General:
      • “Signs and Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction” posters will be posted and visible in the cafeteria and other instructional areas throughout the school.
      • Each school, with the School Physician’s orders, will make available extra epinephrine auto-injectors in at least two locations throughout the building for emergency access. 
    • In the Cafeteria:
      • Students eat lunch at a regular table and sit with their friends and know they must read ingredient labels and not share food.
      • Parents of students with food allergies can request that their child sit at an allergy vigilant table which can be made available.
      • The lunch tables are washed down by cafeteria staff before and after each lunch period.
    • On Field Trips and Before and After School Activities Sponsored by the School District
      • Students are required to self carry on field trips and at before/after school sponsored activities.
      • There will always be staff trained and approved in the use of an epinephrine injector for life-threatening emergencies.  
      • As per doctor’s orders and attestation to self-carry and self-administer, the student will carry his/her medication on the field trip bus.  The nurse typically does not go on field trips. 

    V. Emergency Procedures 

    • If an adult observes signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction the nurse will be contacted immediately. If the nurse is not available, emergency services (911) will be called immediately, on-site administration will be alerted and parents will be promptly contacted (after 911 is called).
    • The student will be immediately assessed for signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction. The student’s allergy action plan will be followed. 
    • If epinephrine is administered, emergency services (911) will be called, with notification to the parents.
    • A Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) call will be initiated. 
    • The child will be transported to the Emergency Room with a staff member if the parent is not present.

    VI. Student Responsibility:

    A student:

    • Should not trade food with others.
    • Should know how to read ingredient labels and not eat anything with unknown ingredients or known to contain any allergen.
    • Should be proactive in the care and management of their food allergies and reactions based on their developmental level.
    • Should notify an adult immediately if they eat something they believe may contain the food to which they are allergic or if they feel as though they are having an allergic reaction.

    VII. Definitions: 

    • Allergen - Anything that causes an allergic reaction.
    • Allergy Vigilant for Snack Classroom - This term is primarily used at CRS & AMS.  Some classrooms are extra vigilant with access of allergens in the classroom. Children with allergies are purposefully placed in these classrooms. Teachers are informed of allergens that are not allowed in the classroom during the school year.  A letter is sent home to ALL of the parents in allergy vigilant classrooms before school starts and midway through the school year, explaining which allergens are not allowed to be brought into the room at snack time.  
    • Anaphylaxis - A serious allergic reaction that comes on quickly and may cause death.  Early use of an epinephrine auto-injector is the primary treatment for anaphylaxis. 
    • Cross-contamination/cross-contact - This occurs when one food comes in contact with another food and their proteins mix.
    • Epinephrine auto-injector (Also, referred to as an epi-pen or auvi-q ) - It is a self-injectable medicine and is the first-line treatment for a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
    • Food allergy - When the immune system mistakes a food protein as a threat and creates an antibody to that food protein.  When the food is eaten again, the immune system releases histamine and other chemicals that cause an allergic reaction. 
    • May contain - Statements such as “may contain traces of” and “made in a facility with” indicates that these food products may contain allergens and should not be considered safe.
    • Nut-free - This implies that a food product contains no peanuts or tree nuts. The term “contains no nuts” is used interchangeably with “nut free”. This does not guarantee that the food product is made in a facility/plant or on equipment that is nut free.  Note: Coconut is a tree nut, however a person can be allergic to coconut and not have a tree nut allergy. Similarly, someone with a tree nut allergy can tolerate coconut unless that is specified as an allergy for them. 
    • Nut-free facility - This implies a food product is produced in a facility/plant that is free of peanuts and tree-nuts and therefore there is no risk of cross-contamination.

    Note: If a parent or guardian wishes to raise any questions or concerns regarding the contents and/or application of the Allergy Protocols, they should contact the building nurse.