TRANSITIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS
Policy # P5142
STUDENT ALLERGY INTERVENTION & RESPONSE POLICY
The St. Louis Public School District (SLPS) has created this policy to describe an organized system for preventing and responding to allergic reactions. This policy is not a guarantee of an allergen-free environment; instead, it is designed to increase awareness, provide education and training, reduce the chance of exposure and outline responses to allergic reactions. The best form of prevention for life-threatening allergies is avoidance of the allergen.
Research shows that allergies can negatively impact student achievement by affecting concentration, auditory processing and attendance. In addition, healthy students are better learners. Allergies can be potentially deadly for some individuals, as well as pose significant health risks.
This policy applies to district facilities to which students have access and includes transportation provided by the district. The Special Administrative Board (SAB) has instructed the superintendent or designee to develop procedures to implement this policy.
Each school site will attempt to identify students with life-threatening allergies, including food allergies. An allergic reaction is an immune system response to a substance that itself is not harmful but that the body interprets as being harmful. Allergic reactions range from mild to severe, even life-threatening. At enrollment, the person enrolling the student will be asked to provide information on any allergies the student may have. Parents/guardians need to provide School Nurse with all essential medical documentation (Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and Medical Statement for Student Requiring Special Meals: OHS 18) that supports the stated allergy.
Students with allergies that rise to the level of a disability as defined by law will be accommodated in accordance with district policies and procedures pertaining to the identification and accommodation of students with disabilities. These students will be accommodated through a Section 504 Plan or within their IEP. An Individualized Health Plan (IHP), including an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), may be developed for students with allergies that do not rise to the level of a disability.
All school staff members are required to follow any Section 504 Plan or IHP/EAP developed for a student by the district. School staff members who do not follow an existing Section 504 Plan or IHP/EAP will be disciplined, and such discipline may include termination.
Although nearly any food is capable of causing an allergic action, only eight foods account 90 percent of all food –allergic reactions in the United States. These food are: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, and shell fish.
The School Nurse will notify the Director of Food and Nutrition Services and District Registered Dietitian (RD) if fish or other food allergens need to be prohibited on a case by case basis.
Vended items must include a list of ingredients on the individual package. The Director of Food and Nutrition Services will create an ingredient list for all foods provided by the district as part of the district’s nutrition program (National Breakfast and Lunch Programs) during the school day.
Prepackaged items used in concessions, fundraisers and classroom activities must include a list of ingredients on the package.
The After School Program Coordinator will provide the Food and Nutrition Services Department with an ingredient list for the food that is being served in the before and after school programs. Each list will be available upon request.
The School Nurse will provide an allergy list to the “need to know” individuals such as the Principals, teachers and student support staff including Social Workers, School Counselors, as well as the Family and Community Specialists with the identification of students and their known allergies.
A second allergy list that contains no names but all known allergies in the school will be compiled and updated by the School Nurse given to the teacher for use with parents; and to the Principals for use with vendors.
The rationale behind not having homemade or unlabeled foods is to protect those with life-threatening food allergies to ingredients that could be contained in those food items.
School staff members shall not use air fresheners, oils, candles or other such items intended to add fragrance in any district facilities. This provision will not be construed to prohibit the use of personal care items that contain added fragrance, but the building administrator may require school staff members to refrain from the use of personal care items with added fragrance under particular circumstances.
School staff members are prohibited from using cleaning materials, disinfectants, pesticides or other chemicals except those provided by the district.
Education and Training
The Principal and School Nurse will work together to ensure that all school staff members including After School and Full Service Personnel will receive annual training on the causes and symptoms of and responses to allergic reactions. Training will include instruction on the use of epinephrine premeasured auto-injection devices (Epi-Pens), as needed.
Age appropriate education on allergies and allergic reactions will be provided to students as such education aligns with state Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs) for health education. Education will include potential causes, information on avoiding allergens, signs and symptoms of allergic reactions and simple steps students can take to keep classmates safe. The School Nurse will notify the Director of Food and Nutrition Services and District Registered Dietitian (RD) if fish or other allergens need to be prohibited on a case by case wide basis.
Information about individual students with allergies will be provided to all school staff members and others who need to know the information to provide a safe learning environment for the student. Information about individual students with allergies will be shared with students and others who do not have a legitimate educational interest in the information only to the extent authorized by the parent/guardian or as otherwise permitted by law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Response to an allergic reaction shall be in accordance with established procedures, including application of the student’s Section 504 Plan or IHP/EAP. Information about known allergies will be shared in accordance with FERPA. Each building will maintain an adequate supply of Epi-Pens to be administered in accordance with the standing orders written annually by the school district’s Medical Director and in accordance with SLPS district policy.
Adopted: July 7, 2011
Legal Refs: 167.208, RSMo
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. 1400 - 1417
34 C.F.R. Part 300
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, 29 U.S.C. 794
34 C.F.R. Part 104
Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101 – 12213
P.L. 79-396, National School Lunch Act, as amended, and accompanying regulations
P.L. 89-642, Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, and accompanying regulations
Food Allergy Research and Education website: http://www.foodallergy.org//allergens