How do you work with School to manage?

Our 5 year old will be going to kindergarden in August and I hope to gain some ideas on how to best work with the school to manage.  Any things that worked well/did not work?  Our daughter just got the Animas Ping pump.

Thanks for your sharing your experience.

Hi there... how do you like the Ping?  We will be upgrading to one in June and I can't wait!  Love love love Animas!!!!!

Sending a child off to school with D is so scary.  I was petrified when my son started, although I shouldn't have been.  Here are some things that we did that really helped:

Write up a 504 for your child and schedule a meeting with the principal, school nurse and teacher before school starts.  There are great examples of well written 504 plans on the Children With Diabetes website.  I used one for a template and modified it to suit our needs.

We send a small "logbook"/notebook daily to school with our son to communicate with his school nurse.  She will write down the times he was tested and what his sugars were to we can keep on top of trends. An example of what a typical day:

   April 30, 2010

   7:45am    145   54g breakfast   3.8 units insulin given

   Lunch:  Sandwich:  45g,   Banana 20 g, Yogurt 25 g.  Total g = 90g.  4.5 units insulin needed to cover lunch.

The nurse keeps a supply kit in her office and we also have Ted keep a meter, strips, lancet, and glucose tabs on him, in cargo pants.  He has glucagon in his backpack and the nurse has one as well.

He's allowed to test anywhere in the school and at any time.  He usually just tests his sugar at his desk and tells his teacher the number.  If there is a problem, the school nurse will get on the phone or come to the classroom.  Every staff member in the school needs to be aware of his condition, and what the symptoms of hypoglycemia are.

Any field trip he has that a nurse does not go on, a parent is allowed to attend.  Same for parties in the classroom that contain food.

Extra sick days are to be expected and have it stated that your child will not be penalized for missed days.

One last piece of advice:  Become your school nurse's best friend!  It helps :)  I've developed a wonderful relationship with our nurse and she really looks out for Ted, as do the rest of the staff.  I volunteer as much as I can at the school and try to help them understand Ted's condition and make their lives a bit easier.  It's scary for some of the teachers.  We've had teachers actually say "Is this really necessary, all this testing and stuff?"  It's crazy sometimes.  Some are afraid.  Some jump right in and are wonderful.  A lot of it will depend on you and how you handle it.

So this was so long winded.  I hope I gave you some useful info!

Beth

 

I agree with making sure you get a 504 plan in place.  It really helped my daughter's teacher to have it and to know exactly what to expect.  Our school nurse actually wrote it, with my approval.  Hopefully you have a nurse in your school at all times.  Some schools don't.  We are so blessed to always have an RN in the school.  I am a pediatric RN myself and I even had a hard time letting go and allowing another nurse to care for my daughter.  She was just diagnosed in October 09.  I spent her first week back to school after diagnosis up in the nurses' office, "just in case".  You really do need to have a good relationship with the nurse(s).  My daughter's nurses call me every day with her pre-lunch blood sugar, as well as her afternoon blood sugar.  They don't mind calling me at all. 

I would request a meeting with your child's teacher, principal and nurse prior to school starting.  I found a brochure that gave a quick and simple explaination of diabetes with the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia which I had given to other staff like the music teacher, gym teacher, art teacher, librarian, janitor and cafeteria staff.  My philosophy has always been, the more people who know about my daughter's diabetes and can look out for her, the safer she is.  At this point you should request that 504 plan.

Good luck and I hope she has a great school experience.

 

Hi, it sounds like you have a really good school.  My son is 6 years old and also has an animas Ping pump.  We have had a really hard time with the school and still are.  He is not allowed to test wherever and whenever needed only in the office.  The school has no nurse and the teacher wants nothing to do with taking care of him.  At the beginning of the year a student was walking him to the office and the secretaries were taking care of him.  This did not work well at all.  After my going up to the school trying to train these women 3 times a day and them acting like they didn't have the time for it, I arranged for a diabetes educator to come in for the day and a title one teacher volunteered to take care of him.  So now she comes to his classroom and walks him down to the office and takes care of him there.   Of course some days she is absent, and this has caused problems.  Once the principal took it upon himself to take care of Troy and ended up doing it wrong.  Just this last Friday without my knowledge the class went on a short morning field trip to see a play at another school, so Troy missed his 10:30 a.m. check and he was there without his supplies.  I do have a 504 plan but it is not written very well.  Hopefully next year will be better and Troy will get a teacher who is willing to be more involved, the one he has now he does not even feel comfortable going to her and saying if he is feeling high or low.  I like the idea of the  cargo pants I may have to try that.  I welcome any advice.  Thank You,   Niki

Hello Mommyoftype1,

I do not log onto this site as often as I should but try to get on and update at least once a month.  Anyway; as I was browsing the groups I belong to I came across your question.  There a couple of things that you want to do that will help you, your child and the school take good care of her during her school days.

If you'll view my page you will see that I have had the privilege of working with schools for the past seven years (my son is going into 7th grade in August).  The few important things that I have learned over the years are:

  1. Stay involved with the front staff or nurse (make sure they call you when they are not sure how to treat her blood sugar levels whether too high or too low).  
  2. Ask them to print or email (whatever is easier of course) you a list of her blood glucose readings and treatment for the week at the end of the week.  This should not be problem as they will want to be able to protect themselves if need be, and will want to keep a working log of  her day to day treatment for themselves.
  3. The first thing I should have said is to request (again they may even beat you to it if you already informed them that your daughter is a diabetic) a meeting with the principle, front desk and or nurse as well as her teacher and any other teacher that maybe in contact with her daily (IE: gym, art. etc.).  This meeting is not only for your peace of mind but for the school's too.  

You want to tell them about your daily routine with your daughter, also consult her Endocrinologist to find out if they recommend additional testing during the school day, additional snacks and extra testing before physical activities.  Also make sue the school know whether or not you have her on a certain type of diet.  

     4. My son goes to a small charter school so he keeps a supply of snacks at the front office as he snacks at least 3 times a day aside from lunch, I also keep extra supplies (meter, test strips, etc.) so he does not have to carry them daily.

Well I know this is long winded but I wanted to share my experience in hopes that it will help you.  Please feel free to contact me via my Juvenation page if you have any questions, and feel free to subscribe to my Examiner.com page at @ Phoenix-Diabetes-Examiner

Hello Niki,

I am saddened by your story and am actually a bit upset at the same time (not at you but the school0.  If I am not mistaken the teacher and whoever else is unwilling to help are in violation of the 504 plan (at least they should be if I am wrong).  I'm not sure what state you live in but I suggest checking into the laws surrounding these types of issues and of course getting a better 504 plan written.  Don't be afraid to be thought of as the irritating parent if you have to get more involved in your son's management.

However; from a parent of a diabetic I have to make this suggestion:  I am not sure what your household situation is (whether two parent, both working, you stay at home) but; if you can CHANGE HIS SCHOOL!  I know not everyone is able to do what I do but; I drive my son to his school daily 25mins. away from our home for two reasons.  it is a great school teaching a grade ahead, but also because Everyone (all staff) are caring for Maurice and look after him.  His teacher knows him so well she can tell when he may be high or low and he is comfortable telling any of them that he may feel either.  If your son is uncomfortable in school then he is not in the best environment for learning or nurturing and as a Diabetes (heck any child) that is important.  He needs to feel as though him having Diabetes is not his fault and should be treated with the same care and concern as the rest of his classmates.  Also PLEASE, PLEASE train everyone (yourself if need be, or have and educator come in) including the principle on how to test blood sugar and care for your son, have a meeting with him as well about the fact that you have not been informed about field trips and things of that nature.  We as parents should always be made aware of any outings outside of school grounds even if our child is not a diabetic.

Please do not take offense to my statement as I am saying it out of love for all children (and families) who deal with Diabetes and cannot stand to hear a family dealing with uncaring people.  

 

Take care and Good luck next year with school.

 

 

I had a little trouble when my son was diagnosed but I became very active and made sure they knew I was watching.  I schedule an appointment with the school principal, office staff, nurse and anyone else who would be taking care of him.  I asked for them to attend a free diabetic class with me and one of the office personnel went with me.  I stayed all day at the school until I felt comfortable with them taking care of him.  If you aren't able to stay until you know they are on their game, maybe a relative can that knows how to take care of him.  We also stated that their has to be at least one person at school everyday who know how to take care of Hayden.  If that teacher will not comply then ask for another.  Be persistent and don't let them push you around.  I found a bigger tiger in me when he was diagnosed.  They need to understand the consequences of not taking care of him, it can cause complications.  I just don't understand how they can take it so lightly.  I know this has to wear on you, and worry you to death.   Deb