District 39 recognizes the importance of healthy nutrition and protection of students with life-threatening food allergies. We also recognize celebrating accomplishments and milestones and the variety of ways to celebrate. As food may be a component to events, a review of food in the classroom was conducted to update guidelines for the elementary buildings. Please refer to District 39’s Resource Guide for Supporting Children with Life-Threatening Allergies (223 kB, adopted 3/23/05; revised 2010-11) for comprehensive guidance related to allergies.
General Guidelines for Communal Food
- District 39 discourages the use of food as a reward.
- District 39 encourages alternate methods for recognition of birthdays other than food treats. Some possible non-edible alternatives are school supplies, pencils, stickers, note pads, donate a book in your child’s name for his/her classroom or school library, a parent or family member read to his/her class in honor of the event, or donation of a game or activity to his/her classroom.
- Activities across classrooms involving communal food sharing are not recommended as this increases the likelihood that a student could ingest a food containing an ingredient that may cause an allergic reaction. Any such activity will need the Principal's permission and a formal plan to communicate food allergies to parents providing the food and parents of children with allergies.
- If food is brought into the classroom to be shared, items should be commercially prepared or prepared by licensed food vendors. This includes fruits and vegetables. Pre-packaging will avoid the possibility of cross-contamination. Pre-packaged foods should list all ingredients on the labels.
- For any food or drink brought into school for instructional purposes or celebrations, the classroom teacher should authorize and approve the food selection at least two days in advance.
- Curriculum and supporting activities will be reviewed individually as needed to evaluate the use of food for projects.