Public School policies on T1 care

Our son is three years old and has started a pre-K program at our local public school in New Jersey. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on July 10, 2015. He started the program in November and the school has assigned him a one-on-one RN to shadow him for his diabetes care. The school also has a full-time school nurse who is trained in his care. The school has been very welcoming and has taken Mikey’s health and safety very seriously. They have agreed to test him inside the classroom so he will not miss class time. We feel very fortunate to be in this school district.

Our concern is that having a one-on-one aide or RN is unnecessary and unsustainable. We would prefer the nurse is the primary caregiver of diabetes care but that at least two other staff members (preferably a classroom teacher and/or para) are trained in his care in case the nurse is absent, there is an emergency, or the nurse is unavailable. When we asked the school if this would be possible we were told that the teachers could not be required to administer care and we were offered the one-on-one aide/RN.

We are interested in helping the school district adopt a safer policy for children with diabetes. We believe the policy should require that a minimum of two people are trained in diabetes care, with the nurse acting as the primary caregiver; the secondary caregivers are required to step in in case of emergency or if the nurse is absent/unavailable.

We are reaching out to request any model policies others may have and/or any other guidance you can provide and/or information on your schools’ policies. We are very concerned about the time when the school tells us he can no longer have a one-on-one and only one person in the school will be trained. Rather than wait for such a situation we would prefer to proactively help craft a policy that makes sense for families with type 1 and the school community. Thank you!

You are very lucky to have dedicated resources at that school to attend to the care of your youngster. Our public school in NC has an assigned school nurse that is there once a week, and is more of a policy maker than a care-giver. As towards making a more sustainable model, I recommend the JDRF material on the subject (google for the JDRF School Advisory Toolkit); it can help you craft a policy inline with federal laws on the subject.