We want to remind you of some recent changes to the District’s practices around nuts in schools and other allergy protocols, which have gone into effect for this school year.
This year, rather than calling the District nut-free, which we cannot guarantee, instead we’ve adopted the expression “Allergy Aware, Allergy Prepared.” The shift in name and practice accounts for the need to be aware and prepared for a variety of allergies, not just nut allergies.
This includes a new requirement that all District employees take a training course on life-threatening allergies and faculty or staff who work directly with students who have severe allergies are provided with more specific training.
The District is also implementing “Allergy Aware, Allergy Prepared” posters in every building to help recognize the symptoms of severe allergic reactions, report concerns to faculty/staff and remind students never to criticize others about their allergies.
“Allergy Aware, Allergy Prepared” FAQs
What does “allergy aware/allergy prepared” actually mean for the schools?
This shift in name and practice accounts for the need to be aware and prepared for a variety of allergies, not just nut allergies. It also accounts for the fact that the District cannot guarantee we are completely nut free, but we will continue to recommend nut-free foods for school for snacks, lunches and party items.
Are school lunches nut-free?
No cafeterias in the Niskayuna Central School District serve nut products. Additionally, only pre-packaged or healthy snacks are allowed to be brought in for parties. We also do not allow homemade snacks (baked goods, etc.) to be brought in.
Please note, nurses will no longer be screening party snacks. We want to encourage families to use the following resources when choosing pre-packaged party snacks: Potential Nut-Free Snack Resources The Best Shelf-Stable Nut-Free Snacks for Kids – We Are Teachers
Will there once again be an “allergy table”?
Allergy tables are handled on an individual basis by building administration. For more information, please contact your child’s school administrator.
Will nurses screen my snack to make sure it’s ok to share with classmates?
No, school nurses will not screen food items that have been brought into school. However, you can refer to this list of nut-free snacks for further guidance. Additionally, here is a list of shelf-stable snack suggestions.
For more information on the “Allergy Aware, Allergy Prepared” Committee work, please refer to the final report to the BOE.