Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DORA Presentation of FAQ

Here is the powerpoint that was shared with parents at the past two information meetings held on Feb. 7 and Feb 9. There will be another parent meeting at FWS on Tuesday, March 8 at 9:00 am. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Allergen Policy for Students with Life Threatening Allergies

Burlington Public Schools Allergen Policy for Students with Life Threatening Allergies

The Burlington Public Schools recognize the increasing prevalence of student allergies and the life-threatening nature of the allergy for many students. The Burlington Public Schools cannot guarantee to provide an allergen-free environment for all students with life threatening allergies, nor prevent any harm to students in emergencies. The goal is to minimize the risk of exposure to food allergens that pose a threat to those students, to educate the community, and to maintain and regularly update a system-wide protocol for responding to their needs.

The Burlington Public Schools will maintain a system wide procedure for addressing life threatening allergic reactions by incorporating measures to reduce the exposure to allergens and procedures to treat allergic reactions. For any student whose physician (primary care or board certified allergist) has informed the school in writing that the student has a life threatening allergy, the school nurse will oversee the development of an Allergy Action Plan or Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP), which will includes an Allergy Action Plan (AAP) that addresses the management of anaphylaxis. Parents/guardians have the responsibility to inform the school district when a child’s medical condition might affect the child’s welfare or safety. Effective communication is vital among all parties.

The district wide procedure addresses:

1. The training and education for all Burlington Public Schools employees. The training will include the education on

a description of severe allergies

signs of anaphylaxis

the proper use of an epipen and

the specific steps to follow in the event of an emergency.

2. The Burlington Public Schools is making every reasonable accommodation to lessen the possibility of exposure to food allergens by designating that at all schools, during the school day, implement the following: birthday recognition will be food free, classroom snacks will be “known allergy free” in accordance with the Individual Health Care Plans of each child of the students within a given classroom, and the use of food for curriculum purposes will be restricted to approval by the Principal. Notification will be sent to the parent/guardian if food is used with principal approval for curriculum purposes. The parent can choose to provide a food or non-food based alternative. The use of food as a reward in school will be eliminated. The Principal will implement a No Food or Utensil Sharing practice with particular focus at the elementary level.

3. The school nurse in conjunction with the parent/guardian and the primary care provider/allergist will prepare either the Allergy Action Plan (AAP) or the Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP) which incorporates an Allergy Action Plan (AAP) for any student with a life threatening allergy. The IHCP and AAP will be updated annually. The nurse will review the IHCP and AAP with teachers of the students in their classes and respond to emergencies as per the emergency protocol documented in the IHCP or AAP. The Teachers will leave pertinent information in a substitute file.

4. Each elementary school will provide an allergen sensitive table(s) in the cafeteria. At the middle school and high school appropriate accommodations will be made as needed.

5. The school nurse will recommend to administration the appropriateness of each field trip and consideration of safety of the student with life-threatening allergies. Parents of a student at risk of anaphylaxis will be invited to accompany their child on school trips, in addition to the chaperone.

6. The Principal and Food Services personnel will establish a routine cleaning protocol for all food consumption areas (to include a protocol for hand-washing and table/desk cleaning before and after food/snacks have been consumed).

First Reading: 1/11/11

Second Reading: 1/25/11

Adopted by Burlington School Committee: 1/25/11

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bedford Educators Visit FWS

On a snowy winter day, a team of educators from the Bedford Public Schools visited Francis Wyman Elementary School to learn about our RtI initiative. The team members represented both of the Bedford elementary schools and included the principals, grade level teacher leaders, special educators, reading specialists, and the assistant superintendent. We spent a good part of the morning visiting ELA classrooms and observing our students in action. We also discussed many aspects of our RtI implementation such as our master schedule, universal screening tools of DORA /DOMA, data meetings, grade level team meetings, Problem Solving Team procedures, Core curriculum, interventions, and other relevant topics. It was wonderful to have this time for professional discussions and to share our experiences. As the educators left that day, they were full of enthusiasm and excitement. We wish them well in their RtI initiative and we look forward to more ongoing collaboration with our Bedford neighbors!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

DORA Parent Information Meeting

In the next couple of weeks, parents will receive a summary of their child's most recent DORA (Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment) results. To help parents have a better understanding of this test, there will be a Parent Information Meeting about the DORA on Monday, February 7, at 7:00PM at the Francis Wyman Elementary School auditorium. This meeting is for parents from all four elementary schools. Dr. Conti and the four elementary school principals will share information about the test so that parents will have a better understanding of this assessment.

I will be hosting a morning Parent Information Meeting on Wednesday, February 9, at 9:00 AM at Francis Wyman Elementary School for FWS parents who cannot attend the Monday evening meeting. The same information will be shared at both meetings.