Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Welcome to Kindergarten

We went to Kindergarten this week. Well, it was an abbreviated version of kindergarten, just an hour and a half on Tuesday morning, but it was fun.

Andrew's school does a short reading program for kids who are entering kindergarten this year. It's a 4-week program, and the kids and parents get to meet the principal, the kindergarten teacher and the librarian. And Geoff got to play with the Grade 7 kids who had been hired as babysitters.

How wonderful was this experience for an allergic mom? Let me count the ways.
  • The kindergarten teacher wanted to make sure that he'd have his epipen in a fanny pack and suggested that I get him one with a fun logo on it, as that's worked in previous years. He's going to be her 5th anaphylactic child so she's feeling pretty capable of handling any situation.
  • The kindergarten teacher lives in my neighbourhood, only two blocks away, and her kids went to that school, decades ago. She's super friendly and I think that she's the kind of teacher that would be loved by her kids.
  • Going by the registration forms, there are only going to be about 18 kids in his class, less than the 22 maximum. That should be easier for him to handle, as there are only 20 kids in his preschool class.
  • The principal gave me a form for a free medic-alert bracelet. There's a program that makes sure that all anaphylactic kids in elementary school get registered for free.
  • I was assured several times that the school was totally peanut and nut free — the only one so far in the district — and the principal sends a note home every couple of months to remind all parents of that fact.
Yeah, we could put him in the French immersion elementary school that's only a couple of blocks further away, but this one feels so much more safe for him.

And the weirdest part was that we spent part of our session in the teachers' staffroom, and felt SO grown up! My memories of the staffroom in elementary school was that it was totally off limits to kids, so it was weird to be in there. It was also weird that the principal was my age, or even possibly a little younger.

Andrew's already announced that he's now done with preschool, since he's already started kindergarten. I think he'll make the transition nicely when it comes in September.

Edited to add: it looks like the free medic alert bracelets are for Canadians only. Here's a CBC story about it.


Allergy Mom said...

That sounds like such a great experience! (I'm already sweating about transitioning my son to the big K next year.) The program for free medic alert bracelets: is it specific to your state? If not, would you post the contact info? I've sunk at least $50 into bracelets so far, and my son's only four! Thanks, Libby

Growing in Grace (Nicole) said...

I was interested in the free medic alert info too. It sounds like a great school!

Shannon B. said...

Well, it's good to read a blog like this talking about what a school is doing right to help your child! Also, that the teacher is experienced and willing to deal with a child that has allergies.

Is the school a private or public school? (If you don't mind me asking.)

I'm also interested in learning more about the free medic alert bracelet, that's the first I've heard of it!

Mamique said...

Not sure if you check your email at I have lots of questions since you live in my area and your boy is a bit older than my allergic girl.

allergicmom said...

To Libby and Nicole -- it looks like the free medic alert bracelet is a Canadian thing, funded by the government.

To Shannon -- The school is a private school, and ranked really well in the province two years ago (in the top 25) but in last year's report was back in the top third in the province. Most of my neighbours' kids have gone there (except for the two who went to the French immersion public school) and the neighbours say really good things about the school and the teachers.

Mamique said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mamique said...

Check your spam ;-). Gmail has been doing funny things with people's emails the last few days. I've gotten several non-spam emails in my spam folder, too.

Amy said...

That sounds like it's going to be a really safe environment, good for you guys.
I'm scared & dreading the school days, tho they're approaching oh so quickly.
I'm a teacher, so I hope to take her where I'm teaching, so that I can at least be within running distance of my dairy allergy girl.
Stay safe & allergy-free!

bella214 said...

How wonderful that you have had such a wonderful experience. A few months ago my kindergartener was actually taken to the nurse for a suspected allergic reaction and how about no one bothered to tell me! You are SO lucky girl!

All Adither said...

Oh, can I send my kid to that school?