Dear Herbert Mills STEM Elementary Families,
This year, we will be implementing a new building-wide policy regarding birthday celebrations. For the safety and well being of all students, we will no longer be allowing food treats to be brought in. We also will be holding any deliveries such as flowers, balloons, etc. in the front office until dismissal.
Some of these considerations that went in to making this decision include:
Safety: With 1 in 13 children having at least one food allergy, anyone serving foodto children needs to be aware of food allergies and the potential for a life-threatening allergic reaction. More than 15% of school-aged children with food allergies have had an allergic reaction at school. These reactions range from mild to severe and even fatal. The safety of all students is one of Herbet Mills STEM Elementary’s top priorities.
Inclusion: Sending in a food treat to the classroom to celebrate can exclude those children who have food allergies, diabetes, or other dietary restrictions. It also can exclude children who come from families facing financial hardships who are unable to afford to send in items for a special celebration.
Loss of Instructional Time: Although staff will continue to find creative ways of celebrating birthdays/special events with students, it is important to protect the instructional day so that it is not spent on cutting cake, cleaning up messes, and dealing with hurt feelings.
Please know that we are not trying to take the fun out of birthdays. Classroom teachers will continue to recognize children on their special day in special ways. If you would still like to celebrate your child’s birthday at school, please see the attached sheet for suggestions for non-food ways to do so. We just ask that you always check with your child’s teacher prior to sending something in.
This is a learning process for all of us, but we trust that you understand how deeply important it is to respect and adhere to these guidelines. The safety of all our students is our utmost priority and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding. Thank you for your continued partnership!
Mary Ellen Weeks