Diabetic Kids in Private School situations?

I’m contemplating school for Elisabeth next year and would like to send her to the private school her sister attends, however they do not have a school nurse. Elisabeth will be 4 then and wears a pump. She really wants to attend this school and we’re trying to figure out a way to swing it. My husband has suggested I go daily to the school for before lunch blood checks, which might be possible, but I am nervous about this since we are about 7 minutes away by car. The staff seems like they want to work with me, but they would be unable to do blood checks or give insulin through the pump unless we find a volunteer nurse that would volunteer her time.

Does anyone have experience or advice they could share on young children at private school (or public without a nurse) and how they managed this? The public schools in our neighborhood are pretty rough, so this isn’t really an option for us.

Thanks in advance!


I don’t know too much about private schools. I’m shocked they don’t have a nurse on staff. Sorry I can’t be much help.

Thanks for your response. I believe in NY private schools, they’re not required by law to have a nurse, and it’s usually money issues.

I’m interested on what you get as response too.

I have a son age 7 that was diagnosed with diabetes at age 3.
My daughter goes to private school and like you our school has not a nurse…is just not the norm here on private schools.
So for preschool I actually went with him and worked on his classroom as a teacher’s aid…but this did not go well.
We are home schooling now…but he does miss his friends :frowning:

I went to public school all my life, but I don’t remember ever really seeing the nurse, so it wouldn’t have mattered to me. I only lived 2 blocks away though and my mom was a stay at home mom, so she was available if the school needed to get a hold of her.

Before every school year, we met with the teacher and went over what to do in certain cases. My mom always made sure there was glucose tabs, cans of juice etc available in the classroom. I remember having some issues with lows, but I was pretty much always able to handle it on my own.

This was of course before everyone was afraid of getting sued, so I don’t know how a private school like you mentioned would feel in this case. Or, if you yourself feel comfortable with it. I just never really felt a school nurse was all the helpful or important in my case.

Hi, Glen, Thanks for your response. I’m assuming you were on shots at the time and do you mind if I ask how old you were when you were diagnosed? That’s wonderful that you were able to manage without a nurse and any health emergencies aside from the lows.

I’m also a stay at home mom, but I would certainly feel more comfortable if I were only down the street from the school, I could pop in for blood checks, boluses, etc. But, knowing that I’m about 10 minutes away by car makes me nervous especially since I saw my daughter seize once from a quickly falling BG and I never want to repeat that again! That happened so quickly and when I think about being a 10 min. car ride away, I have Mom Panic! :slight_smile:

Thanks for your input. Take care~

Hello, there~
thanks for your response. I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out being a teacher’s aid. My older daughter’s school has said that I’d be welcome to come into the classroom at any time and do what I need to for Elisabeth, but I think it would be hard to do any errands, etc. knowing that I have to be back by certain times and never knowing if they’re going to call me for an emergency. We’re in NYC, so if they call me and I’m in the middle of Target or somewhere else…it’s a challenge to drop everything, back to the car and travel back in time, etc.
I have also considered home school for my daughter as well and I’m still considering that. My daughter really wants to go to school like her big sister.
Let’s keep in touch…blessings~

I had a similar problem when i was in middle school. i was going to a private catholic school when i was diagnosed at age 11. They had no regular school nurse. I am not sure how my parents worked everything out but before lunch etc. i just went to the office to check my blood sugar but i was not allowed to carry my machine with me (weapon… uhm yeah whatever) and they kept insulin for me and i would administer it to myself, they would write it down then call one of my parents to confirm everything was okay. This was almost 10 years ago, so things have probably changed: more worries about getting sued and liability, but i did go to a very small school where everyone knew each other kind of thing… my parents had the same problem as you with not being able to just drop everything and come to school so i was very much on my own: we i lived and i went to school in virginia, but they both work in DC as surgeons

Good luck though with everything, i’m sure there is something that can be done.

Dear Jessica:

I’m learning a lot from the answers of others to this question. :slight_smile:
What played a roll with us for the Preschool teacher aid that didn’t work out was mostly the fact that the teacher didn’t really like me there. She was comfortable managing the mid size class and I feel she saw me as an intruder. I end up helping on other classrooms instead on my son’s class only to find that he has been crying because he didn’t feel well and the teacher instead of calling me she punished him by sitting him at the corner.
First time that happen and after several times of having explain things about lows and heights to the teacher, I was forgiving and just trusted she will be kinder next time but she was not and after the second time I felt it was too much to deal.

Homeschooling was not something I relish on doing, but the circumstances have make my husband and I consider and now Todd is in first grade and doing second grade work. He is bright and picks everything up quick. Our schooling consist of two hours a day of work and many fun times at the park, library aquarium, etc… He is happy but he still lack more playtime with other children. I have an older daughter and she is a great sister. We also go to church and he goes to Sunday school so is not like he has 0 companionship of same age pears but never the less we think the homeschooling will just go until he is old enough to administer his own shots or use his pump (he is not on one yet) Maybe by the time he goes to 6th grade… well’’ see.
In the meantime my older daughter is really wanting to be home schooled too…she sees his brother advancing fast at 2 hours a day of work and feels jealous of our outings.

I wish you the best on your quest. :slight_smile:

Dear Lena,
Thanks for your response. I’m sorry to hear about the challenges you had with Todd’s teacher. That’s really tough. It’s hard for me not to be very protective of Elisabeth. Her well-being really depends on me being there and monitoring the way she’s acting, what she’s eating, drinking, how much insulin, etc.

I’m glad to hear that homeschooling is going well with Todd. Elisabeth hasn’t been feeling well recently and it’s made me think it might be better to wait another year and try to do something similar to what you’re doing with some schooling plus lots of fun times to learn at. She might do better with another year at home and hopefully be better able to communicate how she’s feeling by the time she’s 5.

I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet…I still have a few months to decide. Our daughters also have Sunday school, so they also get other forms of playtime plus they have a few close friends their age that we play with frequently.

God bless you all & take care,

Hi, Jessica,
Thanks for your response…I’m getting a lot of good ideas on how to manage things should I decide to put her in this next year.

Take care! Jessica

Leah, thank you so much for your response. I’m going to respond more fully when it’s not so late, but I wanted to say hello and thank you for all the great ideas.
Your girls are beautiful as well.
Take care ~ Jessica

Usually I would suggest that the youngster be responsible for her own maintenance. However as a public school administrator I do not suggest this for a four year old. I have seen students as young as 5th graders manage pumps and insulin very well. but I have seldom send children less than 5th grade do it well.

Lets first address public schools. In a public school your child would be eligible for a case conference and likely a semi private attendant if a nurse were not available. However in a private school, this is nto a legal requirement, so youa re really stuck.

I have tow suggestions that i knwo private schools have used in my area. First you could easily contact the visiting nurse service and they could put your little one on a regular daily stop. obviously this costs money, but depending on the cost it may be well worthwhile, Second, and this is one I really advocate, call your local hospital and ask if they can contact or give you a list of retired nurses or nurses who work part time. Both are really accessible for daily school visits. In fact for the cost of a retired, or part time nurse your school may want to hire them for this kind of service. I know in public school that I have worked in, where a nurse is not available.

Finally, it is very possible that your school will allow a no medical person to come in and do this work. I am thinking of a parent who wants a simple part time job and who you could train. I am guessing the school would want a wavier of responsibility but in many ways this is an excellent way to deal with it. Remember most public school use para professionals for administration of insulin daily. It is really very common.

Rick Phillips

Unless a private school accepts Federal funding, they do not have to comply with laws regarding 504 Plans. If the staff will not do blood sugar checks or administer insulin through the pump, and a volunteer nurse cannot be found, I would train her to do her own blood sugar checks, and come in myself at a moment’s notice as that is the only real option at that school. I would make sure my daughter had a cell and communicated with me at all blood sugar checks, and lunch and all dosing unless I was present (and it sounds like you will be present). Will the staff administer Glucagon in an emergency? I already don’t like your school. Are there any others where the staff would be more helpful?

My son was diagnosed at age 3. He is 7 now and will be in 2nd grade this year. He started in private school in Kindergarten. The school has always been very cooperative with me. How I’ve handled it is to go a few days before school starts and talk with his teacher (and her assistant) and do a crash course in diabetes management. I have prepared a notebook that answers a lot of questions that might arise during the day. I also list carb counts that the teacher might encounter at a birthday party or whatever and I also meet with the cafeteria staff and figure out the carb counts for school lunches. I hate school lunches but Riley begs to eat them, so I let him eat out of the cafeteria 2 days a week. When I send his lunch or snack I write the carb counts on the food.

Anyway, in Kindergarten Riley was old enough that he checked his sugar himself and the teacher figured carb counts and gave him insulin . He uses a pump. I trained her how to use it as well as gave her step by step written instructions.

In 1st Riley checked his sugar, his teacher figured his carbs, and Riley administered his own insulin. He always had his teacher or assitant standing with him to make sure he entered the right numbers into the pump. This year my plan is to do the same thing. Basically, his teacher has to make sure to adequatly treat lows and correctly count his carbs and monitor Riley while he gives his insulin.

Also, I make sure I am available by cell at all times. A lot of things can be handled right over the phone. I hope this helps. Email me if you have any questions.

Hi Jessica. I can certainly understand your concerns. I am not familiar with the laws in NY so it is hard for me to specifically address your concerns. As a member of the school board for a private Christian school my suggestion to you would be to go to the school board and present your case to them. Ask to look at the school’s policies and procedures and see what provisions there are for students with health issues. The teachers should be aware of any relavent policies but what should be and what is are sometimes two different things. I think that might be your best course of action. If there is not aa policy maybe it is time there is.