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 Post subject: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
I have been involved in my daughter's school council for the last 3 years and I want to suggest that others consider doing the same. It's a great way to find out what is being planned and give input.

I personally feel that if I want the school to work with me, I should be willing to work with them as well. I have found that the school and the other parents see me less as the allergy mom and more as a parent of a student (lain and simple).

Other PTA parents have been able to approach me ans ask questions about allergies. I no longer see these questions as challenges and more as a sincere desire to understand.

Take some time this summer to consider joining your school's council. If you can't make the committment of one evening a month, you can still attend the meetings and give input, you just can't vote on issues. They also rely on volunteers, so if you can give a few hours once in a while, let them know that.

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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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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
I put in a lot of hours over the years in schools. I have also attended many School Council Meetings. The PTA is a thing of the past here in Alberta....the new name would imply that it is more "community", but they do also have that rule about the voting.

Here's a story I told awhile ago. viewtopic.php?f=48&t=5758&start=60
Quote:
Now, here's something quite interesting. In Wildrose School Division there are two elementary public schools in the same town. Even though I am pretty sure that this school probably got that kit that all those wonderful people worked on, the principal there has this instead. http://ecolerockypages.wikispaces.com/f ... 009+II.pdf

When my child attended this school, I felt there were a lot of issues regarding safety there and I most definitly felt not listened to nor understood. I saw a lot of things I questioned. Some things in my own mind and others things I voiced. At one school council meeting, I was told that the my concerns were of a personal nature and the chair person of the council told me that her child was allergic to bees and they never had any problems so couldn't see why any changes should be made.
Just before we moved, (2004) I went to say goodbye to some of the staff there. On my rounds I ran into the principal, he told me that his youngest child had just recently had a really bad reaction to peanuts.
Things that make me go hmmm.
In 2009 someone put this http://ecolerockypages.wikispaces.com/f ... 009+II.pdf together. I guess they didn't know about the AAIR that was sent out.
Dd was in grade 3 when this happened and it was the same day that she had been given something she was told was out of her tin (it was out of another childs) and that particular teacher noticed a few minutes later, but thought she was fine so didn't think it was neccessary to tell me....Dd told me when she remembered....she was so excited cuz it was good and thanked me. :huggy The teacher nor the aid that was in the room (with the other student - eating trouble too. ...had a tube in his tummy)....thought it was important to mention....and yes, I was upset about it......Dd & I had a talk and a new plan.

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
Susan raises a very good point because as the only old-timer at our Parent Council I have seen many people come once for "their issue" not get a lot of support. Completely understand that not everyone can make the meetings but the majority can attend sometimes and volunteering can be done 24/7 since some volunteer jobs can be taken home - book orders, costume prep, making booklets etc.

Amazing how telling kids they cannot have candy in the classroom on Halloween can bring out 50 parents but those same parents are too busy any other month of the school year. True story! Fascinating to me that out of 350 families (possibly 700 parents) there are only 5 parents who regularly attend meetings. And when financial decisions are made on the thousands of fund-raising dollars, it is only the 5 of us that get a vote. :dungetit

Our Parent Council deals with situations that pertain to multiple students - if it is only for one student then it is not for the council - it would be for the teacher then administration if the teacher has not dealt with it. Our Principal honestly asks for the council's feedback and uses it.

When I was an Executive on the council, I had the support of the council and we successfully lobbied the administration for changes that were for the safety of all students but especially the students with food allergies.

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me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
Those are what are called the STP's Same Ten People. I hear you, walooet.

My point is that is exactly why there should be some hard and fast rules on 1) annual training 2) identification and 3) storage. Trying to get even annual training is some schools is like pulling teeth.

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Susan:
Quote:
I personally feel that if I want the school to work with me, I should be willing to work with them as well. I have found that the school and the other parents see me less as the allergy mom and more as a parent of a student (plain and simple).
:thumbsup

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
alberta advocate wrote:
Those are what are called the STP's Same Ten People. I hear you, walooet.

My point is that is exactly why there should be some hard and fast rules on 1) annual training 2) identification and 3) storage. Trying to get even annual training is some schools is like pulling teeth.


The annual training was what we fought for as well as increased adult lunch supervisors. The identification was done by the school on it's own. Storage was always fine for our school thankfully. Our parent council also bought walkie-talkies for the lunch supervisors.

Love the STP's handle - this year I had to drop out of my volunteer roles and it was interesting to watch other parents have to come forward who normally would not. I like being involved and knowing what is going on at my kid's school!

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
walooet wrote:
The annual training was what we fought for

I do not feel we (parents of ana children) should have to "fight for" annual training. Everything I read advises "annual" some even go farther. I really am appalled by the way this has been handled in the past here in Alberta....and do not see "things getting better" as I was told by L. Harada (Anaphylaxis Canada) when she was here last fall.....but then she has been dealing with different people than I have been dealing with.

Which province do you live in again, walooet?

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:11 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
Annual training etc needs to be determined at the school board level so that schools get the resources (funding) to ensure it actually happens happens.

Parents can point out to those in charge, that there are key safety issues in the schools and demand improvements. I think it's atrocious that all Canadian children cannot receive a public education as to do so would place them in situations that pose extreme risk to their health-even life threatening. :banghead :verymad

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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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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
_Susan_ wrote:
Annual training etc needs to be determined at the school board level so that schools get the resources (funding) to ensure it actually happens happens.


It is a shame that each individual board is going to spend money, time and effort on lawyers and administrators to avoid annual training. No wonder our education and health system suck. up a lot of money. tooo :banghead I was told by someone in Alberta Ed. that having people trained isn't costing any money......that makes no sense to me.........it has always seemed that everything cost something.......or is cost coded to something.....so where does it come from? Seems to me that whether it is "charged" to education, health, infrastructure....whatever.....the $ all comes from the same place......that taxpayer....or donator.....and everything cost money.......or it must be a smokescreen.....cuz there are a lot of people working in Alberta schools untrained.

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


Last edited by alberta advocate on Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:18 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
alberta advocate wrote:
_Susan_ wrote:
Annual training etc needs to be determined at the school board level so that schools get the resources (funding) to ensure it actually happens happens.


It is a shame that each individual board is going to spend money, time and effort on lawyers and administrators to avoid annual training. No wonder our education and health system suck up a lot of money.


Yep! But, it's cheaper to pay a lawyer for a short period of time than to pay all staff yearly to attend... :freak

It really comes down to...what do Canadians expect from their right to a public education?
Should it be safe? Inclusive? What about the curriculum? Should we accept that students have to miss several days of school due to an unsafe environment? How many days? Should access to emergency equipment be immediate or is it OK to have to wait? :dungetit

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
_Susan_ wrote:
alberta advocate wrote:
_Susan_ wrote:
Annual training etc needs to be determined at the school board level so that schools get the resources (funding) to ensure it actually happens happens.


It is a shame that each individual board is going to spend money, time and effort on lawyers and administrators to avoid annual training. No wonder our education and health system suck up a lot of money.


Yep! But, it's cheaper to pay a lawyer for a short period of time than to pay all staff yearly to attend... :freak

It really comes down to...what do Canadians expect from their right to a public education?
Should it be safe? Inclusive? What about the curriculum? Should we accept students to allowed to attend several days due to an unsafe environment? How many days? Should access to emergency equipment be immediate or is it OK to have to wait? :dungetit
Exchange Canadians to Albertans.

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:44 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6476
Location: Ottawa
I think there are many Canadian children in several provinces and territories that have subadequate safety when attending school. I wish we had a national benchmark...beyond nil. :banghead

_________________
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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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:00 am
Posts: 1119
The annual training that we fought for was for the adult lunch monitors who only come in for 1 hour each day. All other staff do a refresher session each year with a nurse - at my high school they cover ALL medical issues in the school. We get the epi-pen video and they have trainers for everyone. They do a good job. So good that I nearly fainted one year :oops:

_________________
me: allergic to crustaceans plus environmental
teenager: allergic to hazelnuts, some other foods and environmental


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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:23 pm
Posts: 129
_Susan_ wrote:

I personally feel that if I want the school to work with me, I should be willing to work with them as well. They also rely on volunteers, so if you can give a few hours once in a while, let them know that.


Couldnt agree more-the more you are involved with the 'important' (decision makers") in the school the more you are likely to be included in discussions that are important to you and your family and have your opinion sought on different issues. Its also great to be on first name terms with the powers that be-makes life so much easier when you have issues that come up in the classroom.

_________________
twin boys-
c-eosinophilic oesophagitis
j-avoids peanut, sunflower, pineapple all ana-sensitised to maccadaemia.pecan.Passed barley (previous ana) last year...out grew egg ana and peanut at 3 years..became re sensitised with ana at 6 years to peanut.


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 Post subject: Re: Join the PTA?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:26 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Caz;
Quote:
Couldnt agree more-the more you are involved with the 'important' (decision makers") in the school the more you are likely to be included in discussions that are important to you and your family and have your opinion sought on different issues. Its also great to be on first name terms with the powers that be-makes life so much easier when you have issues that come up in the classroom.

I agree, great advice from you all. :thumbsup

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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