Allergy Awareness Policy
Allergy Aware means we are providing a safe learning environment for students, including those with severe allergies and those without. To help provide a safe learning environment for all of our students— we ask that parents avoid sending products containing peanuts/nuts to school. Either in student lunches or as snacks. This is no different than saying we are a peanut-nut free school, where the exact same request is made. Ultimately it is a parent’s decision if they send a snack which contains certain ingredients. We cannot tell a parent what they can or cannot send to school as a food for their child, but we can suggest certain foods or request that foods containing peanuts–nuts not come into the school.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a Peanut-Nut Free Environment as we cannot guarantee that peanuts–nuts or other allergens do not come into the school or workplace. The only peanut-nut detector that is available is us, and we cannot check each lunch or snack personally every day. We chose to provide an allergy aware school through education and respect for all students, including those who have severe allergies. However, we can request that foods containing peanuts-nuts remain at home and are not sent to school as a lunch, recess snack or as treats for birthdays and class parties or celebrations.
As a school that is allergy aware, our policy is to communicate to parents and our community regarding allergies and what can be done to help create a safe school learning environment for all children. Some of our classrooms have been designated peanut-nut free classrooms because there is a child with a life threatening allergy. A separate letter will be going home during the Meet the Teacher Open House to let parents know of the unique classroom need for extra caution and care. In an Allergy Aware school, to help support these students, some additional safeguards are in place to help ensure that their learning area is safe for them. This also includes ensuring common areas such as washrooms are cleaned more regularly to help prevent the accidental spread of allergens to children. In fact, our washrooms have all hand touch areas disinfected following all recess breaks, which is beyond regular cleaning level expectations in most schools. As well, we know that sometimes products that contain peanuts–nuts will enter into a classroom or school. If this occurs, we simply move that child to a safe area to have their lunch or snack and contact the parent to avoid sending such foods in the future.
On special days like birthdays, many parents like to send a special treat. We ask parents to exercise caution, as many commercial store bakeries have peanut or nuts in their kitchen bake areas thus they cannot guarantee that their kitchen is peanut-nut free in terms of bakery standards. If a parent brings in cupcakes from Safeway or Sobeys’ that say 'may contain nuts' etc, because they have peanuts in the bakery area, then there is potential for cross contamination in the food handling that peanut or nuts may be present in trace amounts. We request parents to be aware of the foofd allergy needs in their child’s classroom and if sending a classroom snack, to select a snack that is safe for all students. A vegetable tray or fruit tray is a healthy alternative to cupcakes.
It is through education rather than banning that we teach children, along with parents about allergies and helping to be aware and safe for all.
An allergy aware school can be designated a Peanut-Nut Free school for a particular year or can designate certain classes if necessary. We strive to monitor and check snacks and lunches whether they contain peanuts-nuts. However, with 420 students, this may not be possible every moment of the day, whether at recess or lunch.
For Parents of children with allergies:
If your child has an allergy be sure to contact the school office upon registration to ensure we have record of this. We believe that through proper education and awareness of allergies and support fromtehhome, we will provide a supervcised safe environment for children to grow and learn about each other, their needs and in cases of allergies, about safe food and allergy awareness.
While we try to limit the exposure to foods that can trigger allergic reactions, we cannot guarantee that these products will not make their way into the school.