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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:22 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Winnipeg Manitoba
Hey there
I posted earlier about our school division not wanting to participate in the No Child Without Program...which has got me burning mad. Here is the letter that I am sending to the assistant superintendent with whom i spoke. I am also sending it to the superintendent of the division, the manitoba minister of health, minister of education in manitoba, my member of parliament and our local member of the legislative assembly...hoping this gets a fire burning. I think I did well in that i didn't mention that I wanted to hit them over the head with a frying pan to knock some sense into them :D

Please feel free to make suggestions to improve it or things to change. oh yeah, i'm also going to cc it to clifford leigh-mossley of the No Child Without program (i'll send it before and ask for his comments as well. Here it is.... and thanks for the input (in advance). Sorry - it's kind of long too!

Dear Ms.

I am writing to you today as a result of our telephone discussion last week regarding the No Child Without program. As I mentioned to you previously, I am disappointed and frustrated that PTSchool Division, as you indicated, would not be applying to participate in this program due to “liability issues” and concern with “increasing confusion” with regards to the emergency protocols already in place.

No Child Without is a charitable program that offers all elementary school aged children with medical conditions or allergies, free Medic Alert protection regardless of their financial resources. Children with allergies, chronic medical conditions (diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, anaphylaxis, asthma etc), special sensory needs (ADHD, ADD, developmental delay, anxiety disorders), sensory impairments (hear loss, visual loss) and those taking life-saving medications (Blood Thinners / Anticoagulants, Epipen, Flovent, Ventolin, Immunosuppressants, Insulin, etc) all benefit from being a Medic Alert participant.

In his address in May 2008, Minister Tony Clement stressed the importance of the No Child Without program.
“As parents, we want to do everything we can to ensure our children's safety, particularly when we cannot be with them throughout the day. For parents of kids with medical conditions, this can be an even greater worry.

With an increasing number of Canadian children suffering from conditions such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy, parents, caregivers and school administrators have reason to be concerned. These conditions can be life-threatening if emergencies are not treated appropriately and promptly.

For this reason, the Government of Canada announced a $5 million contribution to the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation's No Child Without campaign, which will allow children across Canada with medical conditions, allergies, or special needs to be protected by the MedicAlert program.

The program will provide children in junior kindergarten up to 14 years of age with a free bracelet and membership that will make critical information available during a medical emergency. The program will be implemented in all 12,000 of Canada's elementary schools over the next five years. (emphasis mine).

When it comes to medical emergencies, children can be vulnerable because they are often too young, too afraid, or too hurt to express themselves. Parents can rest assured that their children's MedicAlert identification can speak for them if they are not around.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to thank and congratulate MedicAlert, and applaud the Lions Club of Canada for providing funding and community-based support to this wonderful initiative.”

In contacting Clifford Leigh-Mossley, Manager, School Program of No Child Without, I was provided with the following information (most of which can also be found on their website – www.nochildwithout.ca):
•The national launch of the No Child Without took place in November 2006.
•Currently, participation in the program includes 2379 across 143 school districts across Canada.
•Funding is in partnership through the Medic Alert Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Government (to date they have provided 5 million dollars in grants) and local Lions Clubs across Canada.
•The Deputy Minister of Education in British Columbia has recommended the program to all his school districts as has the Department of Education in Nova Scotia.
•In Manitoba, there are 208 participating schools across 15 divisions; 4 of which are in Winnipeg.

When I asked directly about liability issues, Mr. Leigh-Mossley indicated “The program is in virtually every major school district across Canada. It has been reviewed by Directors of Education, Superintendents of Education, trustees, and board lawyers throughout Canada.” Personally, I don’t feel the government of Canada would provide funding grants if there were liability issues, nor would so many school districts/ divisions be participating. I certainly do not understand why Pembina Trails School Division would not want to be part of a valuable program that could save the lives of the students they serve.

In regards to “increasing confusion” and the current emergency protocols, I can only see this program augmenting the existing protocols. The Medic Alert bracelet/necklace is a visual reminder that a child has some type of medical condition and that staff need to be cognizant of that and of emergency protocols. For example, if a child with food allergies is seen sharing food at the lunch table, the lunch monitor may see the bracelet and recall the allergies and stop the student from sharing. The bracelet can also be a visual reminder to substitute teachers who may not be as fully aware of student needs when in the classroom on that basis. As well, parents can add valuable medical information online with the program and it is available instantly to emergency personnel (or school personnel) should it be needed.

As per the No Child Without website, the “program was specifically designed to complement existing school emergency plans to help create a safe environment for students. While this program focuses on protecting children, No Child Without® also helps school administrators and teachers to face many of the healthcare challenges and meet government regulations. In Ontario for example, the passing of Bill 3 (Sabrina's Law) requires schools to implement proper strategies to address the needs of children who are anaphylactic through a formal anaphylaxis management plan. Other provinces across Canada are contemplating similar legislation.”

Fortunately, my husband and I can afford the membership and bracelet for our 2 sons with life-threatening food allergies. I would not feel comfortable sending my grade one son to school without his bracelet, knowing that pertinent and valuable medical information is only a phone call away and that it could help save his life – anywhere at anytime. I do believe that not every parent whose child would benefit from participating in Medic Alert can afford to do so, and this program would provide them the choice to do so…if it were made available to them through the school division.

The Mission Statement of the Pembina Trails School Division states that
“Pembina Trails is dedicated to educational excellence through challenging and enriching experiences for all, in a safe and caring community.”
The Vision Statement includes the following: “In the Pembina Trails School Division, our vision is to…2. Ensure a welcoming environment where everyone is emotionally and physically safe.”
By NOT participating in this program (which is NO COST to the division, schools or parents) you are not ensuring the safest environment (both emotionally and physically) which is expressed in both the mission and vision statements.

I ask that you re-consider the position of the Pembina Trails School Division in participating in this valuable program - No Child Without.

I look forward to your written and timely response.

Respectfully,

_________________
Kim - mom to
Caleb - NKA
Owen - ana to eggs, dairy, allergic to cats, dogs, mould,asthma, eczema,
Benjamin - ana to peanut, egg, sesame & kiwi, asthma, eczema
Mattea - outgrew FPIES to a host of things!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
I think it's a great letter! It's a little long but I can see why you've put in all that is there.

You are responding to a telephone conversation and you are defending your positiion in this letter.

I would suggest that instead you ask her to elaborate on the school divisions position and defend it against what Mr. Clement and Mr. Leigh-Mossley both support. You want her to respond, not just read your letter and toss it.

I'm glad you are writing the letter. Your story has troubled me. I hope you are able to sway the powers that be.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Kim, This is an excellent letter. Nice work.

A couple of points to mention:

- Susan's spot on when she says to ask for a response. My suggestion: be clear that you are awaiting a prompt response on whether the board will review and potentially reconsider the liability position. You look forward to hearing what next steps the board will be taking on the No Child Without issue.

- I'd cc anyone who might make this happen. e.g. is Ms. ? the school board superintendent? If not, get the name of the person who is and other members of the school board executive and cc them. (E-mails are sometimes hard to get, but there is likely a mailing address (or addresses) on the school board website.)

- Do you have a PAC or PTA? Make them aware of this issue. As parents looking out for school issues, perhaps they will help to take up the cause.

- As the letter is a little long, I would make the Tony Clement sentence one paragraph. That way it's clearer that the quote is from him all the way through, and it moves the reader along more quickly to other points.

Best with it. Keep us posted.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:22 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Winnipeg Manitoba
Thanks for the input. Your suggestions are very good and i"ve incorporated them. IIn the printed letter, there will be emailed CC's to the superintendent (the letter is going to the assistant superintendent as that is to whom I spoke), our minister of health, minister of education, our local member of legislative assembly and our member of parliament as well as to clifford leigh-mossley. And if i"m not happy with the response, the letter as well as the response will be given to the media. THe person to whom I'm writing will recieve a hard copy, hopefully delivered tomorrow, and then I'll email the CC's. I thought better to give her a written copy as it is not as easy to "delete".

Here's hoping for a good outcome.

_________________
Kim - mom to
Caleb - NKA
Owen - ana to eggs, dairy, allergic to cats, dogs, mould,asthma, eczema,
Benjamin - ana to peanut, egg, sesame & kiwi, asthma, eczema
Mattea - outgrew FPIES to a host of things!!!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 9:16 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Good job! Keep us posted.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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