This is a sample email to notify new teachers at the beginning of the school year about your child’s type 1 diabetes and highlight important aspects of the 504 plan.
When Q was in grade school and had one main teacher, we usually set up a meeting with the teacher, nurse, and the staff member who oversaw her 504 plan a few days before school began or during the first week of school to go over her care. We also looped in any teachers that might see her during the day who hadn’t already had her as a student before.
When Q was in middle school, she had eight different teachers during the day. Eight! I decided then to send a quick email in advance of school starting to highlight a few important points. It wasn’t meant to cover all aspects of her daily diabetes management at school but rather was intended as a head’s up that Q will be in their class and to alert them of her medical condition. They will learn more at her annual 504 meeting.
Now that Q is in high school — and I honestly don’t know how that happened because it seems like she was just a little girl yesterday — I mostly communicate with the nurse. Q keeps low blood sugar supplies with her in her diabetes supply bag instead of in each classroom. Q self-manages, but knows the classroom teacher can call for the nurse if needed, and she checks in with the nurse after lunch each day.
I decided to share my email here on D-Mom Blog in case other parents needed a starting point for their own communication with new teachers.
Email to Teachers and Staff
My name is LC, and I am the parent of Q who will be in your class this year. Q has type 1 diabetes
I’m attaching a resource called “10 Things Teachers Should Know About Diabetes.” Please take a few minutes to read this.
I am also attaching a copy of Q’s diabetes instructions.
If you are a classroom teacher, you will receive a “low blood sugar kit.” This is a pink pencil box and includes juice boxes, peanut butter crackers, and Smarties. (The PE kit also includes glucagon and blood sugar testing supplies.) If supplies run low, please let the school nurse A or myself know so that they can be refilled.
You will also receive her diabetes instructions, which have been placed in a sheet protector. When you have a substitute, please place these in the front of your instructions for the sub and make the sub aware of Q’s diabetes.
I know we will meet soon to go over her 504 plan, but in the meantime, here are a few important points:
— Q should carry her supply bag during school. She must have this bag with her when leaving the school including during fire drills.
— Q needs free and unrestricted access to water and to the bathroom. She carries a water bottle, and she has a hall pass that allows her to use the bathroom, go to the nurse’s office, etc.
— Q may not be alone when her blood sugar is low. Navigating stairs can be dangerous with a low blood sugar.
— As much as possible, Q should test her blood sugar and treat low blood sugars in the classroom.
— Glucose is literally fuel for the brain. Low blood sugar may impair her thinking. High blood sugar may make her sluggish and not feel well.
— Q can use her phone to text the nurse and text/call her parents regarding her diabetes management.
— Q uses an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).
— If Q were to have an extreme low blood sugar, it is possible that she could have a seizure or lose consciousness. She immediately needs a glucagon injection, and 911 needs to be called. While we have never had to use glucagon, we must be prepared for the possibility. There are several trained diabetes personnel at school who know how to use glucagon; these include A, B, and C. I’m attaching information about glucagon. There is also an app (http://www.lillyglucagon.com/glucagon-app). Q carries glucagon in her supply bag. There is also a glucagon kit in each of these locations: student services (in her supply box), in the nurse’s office (in her supply box), and in the PE low blood sugar kit (which should be carried by the PE teacher when they go to the park).
Please have a plan in place to contact the school nurse during the day.
Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you might have regarding Q’s care and management. You can email me at (email) or call/text me at (phone). I am usually quick to respond during school hours.
Managing Type 1 Diabetes at School (LOTS of resources and blog posts!)
(Click on the title to download the PDF.)
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