A very successful regional School Nurse Summit was led by the DeForest Area School District and hosted by the DeForest Area Public Library on March 4, 2011. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Nurse Consultant Rachel Gallagher, DeForest Area School District Director of Student Services David Perrodin, Yahara Elementary School Principal Michael Weisensel, Yahara Elementary School Kindergarten Teacher Ann Brown, Food Service Director Becky Terry, School Nurse Laurie Krause and New Reflections Alternative School students presented at the summit.
The summit was attended by over 30 school nurses, administrators, daycare directors, food service directors and directors of special education and pupil services. The School Nurse Summit had a primary emphasis of school-based allergy management and the latter portion of the summit was an open forum regarding Wisconsin Act 160 and its impact on school nurses. The summit also featured a presentation about a student with a peanut allergy and how the DeForest Area School District met the needs of this student through allergy education, cross-contamination mitigation, staff medical training, creation of a pass-system peanut free lunch table and field trip safety practices. Summit participants also discussed district allergy policy and procedures considerations.
According to David Perrodin, there are 308 students attending the DeForest Area School District who have some type of allergy ranging from latex to insect bites. Of that figure, 64 students have a food allergy, 24 students are allergic to peanuts either through contact or ingestion, and 46 students present with a food intolerance and require a special diet.