The last day of school is in view. Maybe it’s a matter of days at this point. Maybe it’s a few weeks. The point is, your students can almost taste the start of summer break. Before you bid this school year farewell, roll up your allergy parent sleeves and check off a few more to-do boxes to end this year on a high note and get next year off on the right foot.
Yes, it’s a busy time of year for teachers and school staff. Set up a time to meet with your student’s classroom teacher, the nurse, and/or the 504/IEP coordinator for an end-of-year debrief. (If your allergic student is mature enough for the conversation, consider including them as well.)
Now is the time to review this year’s allergy management plan as a team. What worked well. What didn’t work. What accommodations were included but not needed? What accommodations were missed that really should be there going forward? Get the information you need to work with your support team to create a solid plan for next year.
Get Paperwork Ready
Whether you’re setting up a formal 504 plan or not, you will need some documentation for your child’s school in order to have their autoinjector available in school and other accommodations as needed. This paperwork usually requires a doctor’s input and signature. Grab the forms you’ll need now so your allergist can fill them out of the summer and you can turn them in before the start of the next school year.
Speaking of allergists completing paperwork, now is the time to schedule that annual allergy visit. Summer is a popular time for appointments with allergists with a roster of pediatric patients. Why? Well, it’s when all that school paperwork needs to be completed. Don’t wait for the last minute. Call your healthcare provider now and make an appointment for a date prior to the start of the school year so you can be sure you have the documentation and prescriptions you need.
Collect Your Stuff
If you’ve kept an autoinjector and/or a stash of safe snacks in the classroom or other allocated space at school, now is the time to make arrangements to collect them on or just after the last day of school.
Hopefully your child had a wonderful school year free of any allergy-related challenges. Take the time to thank the team that helped keep your child safe this year. Send a handwritten note or email to express your gratitude, and be sure to copy the school’s principal on your communication this time. Let her know that her team has done a stellar job at caring for and accommodating any special needs of your student.
School parties and potential food allergy challenges exist right up until the last day. From end of year picnics to surprise popsicle parties on a hot summer afternoon to hands-on learning projects that involve some sort of food, food allergic students should be alert and ready with alternative options right up until the last minute of school. Don’t let your guard down just because the end is in view.
Make Summer Plans
Planning vacations, weeks at summer camps, or day trips to fun places? Awesome. Enjoy the summer break! Just don’t overlook allergy accommodations when you’re planning. The same due diligence you put into getting ready for the school year last year should apply to all the fun and wonderful stuff you’re going to do this summer. Make your plans with allergy needs in mind.