Clark County School District Procedures/Guidelines for Managing Potentially Life-Threatening Allergies

Thank you to Dana and Duane Gordin, Principal Paula Naegle, and other parties that put so much hard work into making the CCSD Guidelines for Potentially Life-Threatening Allergies a reality.  These guidelines were 2 years in the making and made possible with support from the Food Allergy Guidelines Committee Members, key leaders of CCSD including the Board of Trustees and Superintendent, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), and those who participated in the Nevada FAAN/FARE walk in previous years.  The guidelines I’ve linked to below are the product of a FAAN/FARE walk grant and with Dana’s permission, I wanted to make the resource available here for download:

2014 CCSD Food Allergy Manual (pdf download) “Clark County School District Procedures/Guidelines for Managing Potentially Life-Threatening Allergies”

A copy has been sent to schools in Clark County (the district was ranked the 5th largest in the nation in 2012) as well as to local allergists.  The guidelines are 79 pages and cover everything from classroom activities to food service and laws of note.

Some highlights as I look through the document and am encouraged about the guidance Southern Nevada teachers, nurses, and other school employees receive:

  • “The emotional, as well as the physical, needs of the child must be respected.” – pg. 7
  • “Avoidance is the key to preventing a reaction.” – pg. 9
  • “Remember, students with food allergies are children, first and foremost. Do not ask them if it is acceptable to deviate from any of their individual plans. Be aware of signs of anxiety or bullying.” – pg. 11
  • Avoidance Measures for Insect Venom/Stings Allergic Reactions – pg. 13 (tips new to me included avoiding wearing blue and yellow or floral clothing and ensuring garbage is properly covered and away from play areas)
  • CCSD Regulation 5150 covers self carrying medications while CCSD Regulation 5157 covers nutrition concerns.
  • Page 24 has a school nurse checklist that would be handy for any parent meeting with a school’s nurse at the start of the school year.
  • Page 32 has a parent checklist for a school nurse to provide to a parent
  • “Every single person plays an important role in preventing food-allergic reactions, including the child with the food allergies.” – pg. 34
  • Page 35 has a teacher checklist.
  • “The student must not be required to wipe down his/her own area prior to eating to avoid accidental exposure to or ingestion of allergens.” – pg. 37
  • Page 43 includes the recommendation that cleaning supplies be marked specifically so that, say, a mop bucket used when mopping up peanut butter is not later used to clean an area meant to be free of a given student’s allergen. (A great detail I would not have considered.)
peanutfreesanitizer
Photo taken at Principal Naegle’s school in Clark County and included in the Guideline packet
  • Page 57 includes a bus driver checklist.  CCSD guidelines also prohibit eating on the bus (with a diabetes exception of course).
  • Page 62 has a resource regarding reading food labels.
  • Page 63 discusses “Constructive Classroom Rewards” and begins: “Rewarding children in the classroom need not involve candy or other foods that can undermine children’s diets and health and reinforce unhealthful eating habits.”  It concludes with two pages of suggestions of alternative rewards, including everything from privileges to trinkets/tokens.  The recommendations are taken from the Healthy Schools Campaign and adapted from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
  • Page 73 references epinephrine auto-injectors Adrenaclick, Auvi-Q, and Epi-Pen, which is helpful since school employees may be familiar with one and not others as they go through the process of assisting families and students.

Dana and Duane Gordin are Southern Nevada food allergy advocates that for 5 years worked to direct local food allergy walks (first through FAAN, the Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network, and then through FARE, Food Allergy Research and Education) in addition to testifying regarding stock epinephrine in Nevada and more.  One thing I didn’t know until I met Dana was that money raised by the national FAAN/FARE organization didn’t just go to funding walk operations and research activities, a small portion is used for local walk grants.  The Gordin family saw the need for training and education here in Clark County and worked hours upon hours to help make it happen.  Their eldest son graduated high school last month and their younger son is in high school so the impact of these guidelines is a wonderful parting gift!

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Updated July 15, 2014 – Debbie Bornilla, who first brought the then-FAAN walk to Las Vegas as a director and co-leader of our local Food Allergy Parent Education Group (FAPE) provided me with the full list of people that contributed to these guidelines.  Thank you all!

Cynthia Alamshaw, Principal
DeAnn Baker, Nurse
Virginia Beck, Director of Food Services
Abby Berhe, Operations Coordinator
Debbie Bornilla, Parent & FAPE Co-Leader
Gina Clowes, Director of Education FARE
Betsy Fuentes, Food Services Coordinator
Eleanor Garrow, VP Ed & Outreach FARE
Doug Geller, Director I of Transportation
Duane & Dana Gordin, Parents & FARE Walk Directors
Michael Harley, Chief Officer Compliance
Vicki Herman, Related Services Coordinator
Sally Jost, Director of Related Services (Committee Lead)
Rod Knowles, Principal
Connie Kratky, Eq. & Diversity Coordinator
Kimberly Krumland, Risk Management Coordinator
Gwen LaFond, Director of Guidance
June Likourinnou, Nurse
Karie Mulkowsky, FARE Grants
Paula Naegle, Principal
Daniel O’Brien, Attorney CCSD Legal
Greta Peay, Director of Eq. & Diversity
Irma Pumphrey, Health Services Coordinator
Roseanne Richards, Instruction Coordinator
Lynn Row, Director of Health Services
Bevelyn Smothers, Principal
Denise Thistlewaite, Director of Instruction
Linnea Westwood, Principal

6 thoughts on “Clark County School District Procedures/Guidelines for Managing Potentially Life-Threatening Allergies

    1. Thank YOU for your hard work on this! And thank you for gathering more credits so I can add them here, such a great team effort!

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      1. Here’s the list you requested of the many tremendous committee members who dedicated time and expertise to develop the CCSD guidelines:
        Cynthia Alamshaw, Principal
        DeAnn Baker, Nurse
        Virginia Beck, Director of Food Services
        Abby Berhe, Operations Coordinator
        Debbie Bornilla, Parent & FAPE Co-Leader
        Gina Clowes, Director of Education FARE
        Betsy Fuentes, Food Services Coordinator
        Eleanor Garrow, VP Ed & Outreach FARE
        Doug Geller, Director I of Transportation
        Duane & Dana Gordin, Parents & FARE Walk Directors
        Michael Harley, Chief Officer Compliance
        Vicki Herman, Related Services Coordinator
        Sally Jost, Director of Related Services (Committee Lead)
        Rod Knowles, Principal
        Connie Kratky, Eq. & Diversity Coordinator
        Kimberly Krumland, Risk Management Coordinator
        Gwen LaFond, Director of Guidance
        June Likourinnou, Nurse
        Karie Mulkowsky, FARE Grants
        Paula Naegle, Principal
        Daniel O’Brien, Attorney CCSD Legal
        Greta Peay, Director of Eq. & Diversity
        Irma Pumphrey, Health Services Coordinator
        Roseanne Richards, Instruction Coordinator
        Lynn Row, Director of Health Services
        Bevelyn Smothers, Principal
        Denise Thistlewaite, Director of Instruction
        Linnea Westwood, Principal

        Such an impressive team! I hope I didn’t miss anyone or make any mistakes on any names/titles. A heartfelt thank you to everyone!! It was an honor to be a peice of the puzzle who worked hard on this labor of love!

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  1. Hello!

    I have a 6 year old with severe nut allergies (both peanut and tree nut). I was considering relocating from California to the Henderson, NV and I’ve been doing research on Nut free school/ Allergy friendly school districts. From what I gather Clark County school district seems to be very allergy friendly and aware. Are there any schools in the district that outperform the other schools in regards to safety measures and tactfulness? I would obviously prefer nut free, but any place that is as close to nut free as possible would be great! If you could please provide me any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

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    1. Thank you for commenting and reaching out! I think as with any factor of schooling, so much depends on the mix of people and personalities involved. Staff can move a lot and policies go only so far, which is to say that my great experience at school B may not match yours a year later when the nurse has switched. Clark County School District is in major flux right now and I have heard that some allergy families have met with resistance when they reach out to a school before moving, even ones that are purported to be highly rated in other regards. The best option would be to come see if you can meet with a teacher who might be teaching your little one and get a feel for their engagement and interest in working with you. For me the best start is a class with a good teacher to student ratio. It is easier to watch for safety with 15 kids than with 30. The kicker is that ratios may be good up until 4th or 5th grade so you do have to look ahead a few years as well if you’re buying instead of renting.

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