Public School overnight trip requirements

My son age 15 is taking part in a Model UN conference with school that requires them to stay 4 nights. While there are chaperones - they are not specific to his needs of course. Just wondering if the school has any legal requirement to provide accommodations. As of now the school want us just to call him if his blood goes high/low. Feeling stressed already and it’s not until February

@nicolastewart, All you need for a 504 plan is a diagnosis and some instructions from his Endo. He should have one even without the school trip because schools can get weird about possession of sharps and medicine on school property.

The 504 should have a emergency medical instruction set for an extreme low as a precaution.

Once the plan is in place, then yes the school is responsible to have a nurse or responsible person on the trip. And the school is required to do so but that 504 plan needs to be there. Good luck.

@nicolastewart Welcome Nicola to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum!

It is wonderful that your son has been invited to participate in this conference - this would indicate that he must be talented. You do not mention the length of time your son has been living with diabetes, but if it has been more than a few months, he should have a pretty good idea how to care for himself - an average 15 year old should be able to self-manage diabetes quite well.

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I agree with @Dennis (as I do often do as a fellow long term-er). There was a lot less technology when we were growing up with it (actually none in comparison with what we have now), and we managed without 504s(?) in place - my parents just gave instructions on giving snacks of I said I “felt funny,” but things have changed and it is what it is. It would be a shame for him to have to miss out for lack of a medical professional on the trip if it came to that. And while parents serve as chaperones the kids who belong to them may not be delighted, especially if it’s due to a medical issue.
If you’re friends with some of the chaperones, could you sit down with them and explain what your son knows and does to manage his own diabetes, and give them instructions on what to do in the hopefully unlikely event there is an emergency? Hopefully that will just be an excess of caution and he will enjoy the trip with no issues, and they will feel better knowing what to do just in case - and of course you’re just a phone call away. If he’s friends with a chaperone’s child maybe he could spend a few nights with them so they can see in advance how he handles things on his own.
It’s ironic that often teens know better how to handle things, than the adults entrusted with overseeing their care.

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Thank you for your reply- he does have a 504 plan but it does not have any accommodations for overnight trips. I am not too concerned about the daytime as he pretty much self manages. Overnight is my main concern as he’s not great at responding to alarms.

@nicolastewart The school is responsible for his safety during this entire trip and must accommodate. They will need someone who can manage a high or low blood sugar emergency including overnights. That might be a nurse or a designated person. If you have doubts you are allowed to call a meeting to discuss. It’s ok to talk to them.

Yes I am sure he can take care of himself as well but this is for the safety of a minor on a school trip so the responsibility goes to the school.

Thanks for your reply - I am mainly concerned about the overnight as he doesn’t always hear the alarm. The Chaperones are teachers and the school does not want to place the responsibility on them

Thanks Joe-
We did meet with the school already but they feel a 15 year old should be solely responsible. As I said daytime I feel completely comfortable but overnight is the main issue. He’s a teen he doesn’t always wake to an alarm. Just wondering if legally the school has to provide care?!?

Thanks for your rely - he was diagnosed at 11. He is pretty good at daytime management it’s just the overnight I am concerned about!

ok, but this is madness. I believe they are pressing back because it will cost too much or they do not have resources. They are 100% liable for anything that happens and cannot seriously say that a 15 year old minor is “solely responsible”. you have a legal case. they are “bluffing” to see if you agree. imo.

Thanks for the clarification. When you say he’s not great at responding to alarms, does that mean he doesn’t hear them, or he doesn’t take action? If he’s a deep sleeper and doesn’t hear it or feel the vibration, there are some posts on the forum where people have shared very creative work-arounds. Do a search for “alarms” - one user said they place their receiver in a porcelain cup, for instance. Another possibility is that he drifts low and is unable to respond - which of course I hope is not the case; but if it is, your doctor might consider a slightly higher target BG for him. I myself find I tend to start dropping - and quickly - when I hit 120. Unfortunately Dexcom’s low alert cannot be set higher than 100 so I aim for a higher number.

Hi, I am a 15 year old girl with Type 1 who recently went on a 6 day overnight school field trip. During the day I manage my diabetes independently, but at night I have trouble waking up to my dexcom alarms and my Mom usually has to help. For the field trip, the school nurse came along as a chaperone. She followed me on Sugarmate so she could see my blood sugar. Her room was near mine so that she could come in at night if she got any alerts. During the day she carried my glucagon and chaperoned my group. I am lucky that I have a very good relationship with my journalism teacher and the school nurse, they supported me in working with the administration to ensure my safety and arranging a substitute nurse for the school. I did not at the time have anything in my 504 plan about overnight field trips because I had not foreseen that issue. If no one is supporting you - which is ridiculous- I suggest that you schedule a meeting with your school’s administration to update his 504 to include this situation.

Thanks I will definitely look at the tips for waking him up as going forward this is something he needs to do.

Thanks so much for replying - it’s great that your school are supporting you.
Can I ask which state you live in?
We have met with the school twice and they really just say he has to get better at managing it or he can’t go!!!
I am going to talk with his school again highlighting his rights.

I was over the ago of 40, maybe even pushing 50 when CGMs came out. Overnight lows were not generally a problem but you can’t be too careful; so when family went away I set my alarm clock to go off every two hours. Come to think of it we didn’t even have BG meters then so I didn’t have any numbers to go by - I would eat a snack if I “felt funny.” It’s not ideal, but for those who respond to their alarm clock but not their alerts, that could be an option. Decidedly low-tech.

I live overseas on an air force base. My high school is part of the Department of Defense school system. Like any U.S. public school, they are required to make reasonable accommodations to children with documented disabilities in order to provide equal access to educational opportunities. However, journalism is a class for me; if Model United Nations is an extracurricular it may be subject to other rules.

Also remember that eventually your son will live on his own. He needs to become responsible for his nighttime care as well. Now is the time to solve that problem. Get a phone app with a loud sound that he will hear if he goes low at night. Or have him eat a large snack that will intentionally keep his BG high all night. (Doing this for a few days a year is not going to kill him!)

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Thanks - we do understand that he needs to take responsibility and know that eventually he will be able to. As if now I think he’s going through a bit of diabetes burn out and does not always make good choices with snacks before eating and can go really high at night.
It’s also only his second time away from us as we don’t have relatives here so the stress is a little different.