Sample Letters to School Personnel

Not sure where to begin when it comes time to talk to the principal, teachers and other school personnel about your child’s type 1 diabetes? Try copying one of these sample letters developed with the help of certified diabetes educator Angela Ginn, R.D., education coordinator for the University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology at Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore. Tweak and fill in the details for your son’s or daughter’s unique needs, then disseminate them to school staff — either prior to your 504 Plan meeting or at the beginning of each new school year as an introduction to both your child and type 1 diabetes.

 

Sample Cheat Sheet for Your Child’s Vital Info

Sample Introduction Letter to Teacher, School Nurse, Principal

Sample Introduction Letter to P.E. Teacher

 

Cheat Sheet for Your Child’s Vital Info

Teachers and other school personnel can keep this one-sheet handy for quick reference throughout the year.

 

(Leave space at the top to attach your child’s photo.)

 

Child’s Name

Medical condition: Type 1 Diabetes

In Case of Emergency, contact:

 

Age:

Height:

Weight:

 

Grade:

Teacher:

 

Pediatrician:

Insurance Info:

 

Age at Diagnosis:

 

Medication and Times:

Monitoring Times:

 

Dietary Considerations:

Meal Times:

Snack Times:

 

P.E. Instructions:

Field Trip Instructions:

 

Hypoglycemia Treatment Guidelines:

Hyperglycemia Treatment Guidelines:

 

Father’s Daytime Phone Number:

Mother’s Daytime Phone Number:

 

 

Please note that this is not a complete list. It is only intended as general guidance. Content was developed by Disney and reviewed in consultation with Lilly USA, LLC.

 

Sample Introduction Letter to Teacher, School Nurse, Principal

Use a letter like this as preparation for a 504 Plan meeting or to introduce yourself and your child to new teachers and personnel at the start of each school year.

 

 

Dear ______________________,

My child’s name is _______________, and he/she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in ______________. To help make things easier for everyone, we have compiled the following information about his/her diabetes care.

 

Insulin

[Child’s name] wears an insulin pump. [Include photo so everyone is aware what this pump looks like.] It is a vital piece of medical equipment that delivers insulin and must never be taken away from him/her. To help you become familiar with the alarms so you’ll know what to do if [child’s name] is not able to communicate in an emergency, [insert alarm information here].

– or –

[Child’s name] gets [X number] injections of insulin each day, at ____ AM, _____ PM, and ____ PM. He/she will/will not require insulin during school hours. [If child gets insulin at school, include detailed instructions here.]

 

Diet

[Child’s name] follows a meal plan. He/she eats [X number] meals per day, as well as [X number] snacks per day. [Child’s name] must eat his/her entire snack at the same time every morning. Please do not give my child any food without notifying me first. If there are any parties, snacks, or treats during the day, please tell me ahead of time so that his/her insulin can be adjusted.

 

Blood Sugar/Monitoring

[Child’s name] must test his/her blood sugar at least ___ times during the school day:

1. Before morning snack: ____________ AM

2. Before lunch: ___________ AM

3. Before P.E.: ____________ AM

4. After P.E.: ____________ AM

5. Before afternoon snack: ____________ PM

6. Before leaving for home: ____________ PM

Whenever [child’s name] is outside of the class (in P.E., fire drills or field trips, for instance), he/she should have a glucose meter and snack with him/her at all times.

 

Treatment

If [child’s name] is experiencing the symptoms of low blood sugar (such as dizziness or nausea), please make sure he/she tests his/her blood sugar immediately. Please make sure he/she has another person accompany him/her to the nurse’s office, since he/she may lose consciousness if his/her blood sugar gets too low. If blood sugar is too low, please give fruit juice, hard candy or glucose tablets. Test again in 15 minutes. Please call me at [phone number] immediately if this occurs. If he/she is unable to eat or drink or is not improving, administer treatment for severe low blood sugar if available and call 911.

 

If [child’s name] is experiencing the symptoms of high blood sugar (such as drowsiness, excessive thirst, or an urgent need to go to the bathroom), please make sure he/she tests his/her blood sugar immediately. If blood sugar is too high, immediately give [child’s name] a cup of water. Call me immediately, because additional insulin may be needed.

 

Exercise

[Child’s name] has been cleared by his/her endocrinologist to participate fully in gym classes and outdoor play, but [child’s name] might need to eat a small snack before P.E. class. During the first week of school, we’d like to work with the school nurse to check his/her blood sugar level before and after P.E. to determine what sort of snack or juice he/she needs beforehand.

 

Field Trips

[Child’s name] can go on field trips, but his/her diabetes care requirements must be met. If I am available, I will volunteer to go on the field trip to supervise. If I am not available, someone assisting with the field trip and/or accompanying the students should be trained in the diabetes care requirements for [child’s name]. We are happy to work with the school nurse on an action plan before any scheduled field trip.

 

Emergency Contact Numbers

Parents’ name(s)/number(s):

Doctor’s name/number:

Secondary emergency contact name/number:

 

Although [child’s name] has type 1 diabetes, we want him/her to be treated like every other child in school and never to feel excluded because of his/her diabetes. Thank you so much for your support in making school a happy and healthy place for [child’s name]. Feel free to call me anytime at [phone number] with any questions or concerns.

 

Best wishes,

 

 

Your Name

Cell Phone Number

 

(Attach a copy of your child’s 504 Plan if you have one.)

 

 

This letter does not include complete instructions for managing type 1 diabetes. It is only intended as general guidance. Content was developed by Disney and reviewed in consultation with Lilly USA, LLC.

 

 

Sample Introduction Letter to P.E. Teacher

Send a letter like this to your child’s physical education teacher at the start of each school year.

 

Dear ______________________,

My child’s name is _______________ and he/she has type 1 diabetes. [Child’s name] has been cleared by his/her endocrinologist to participate fully in gym classes and outdoor play.

[Child’s name] might need to eat a small snack before P.E. class. For the first week of school, we will work with the school nurse to check his/her blood sugar level before and after P.E. to determine what sort of snack or juice he/she needs. [Child’s name] might be late to class because of this.

It is important that my child be well-hydrated during gym class, because of the effects of dehydration on blood sugar. Please encourage [child’s name] to drink water before and after exercise.

It’s important to be aware of his/her low blood sugar symptoms. These include: dizziness, nausea, excessive sweating, lightheadedness and/or drowsiness.

[Child’s name] will have his/her blood-sugar testing kit readily accessible whenever he/she is participating in physical activities. If symptoms of low blood sugar occur, please keep a supply of emergency glucose tablets on hand (which I will provide) to treat hypoglycemia.

I’d love to schedule a time to meet with you in person so that I can answer any questions you may have and we can go over what to do in case of emergency (such as convulsions or unconsciousness).

Thank you for ensuring [child’s name] is healthy and safe in P.E. class. Your support means so much to us. You can reach me anytime at [phone number].

Best wishes,

 

 

Your Name

Cell Phone Number

 

(Attach a copy of your child’s 504 Plan if you have one.)

 

 

This letter does not include complete instructions for managing type 1 diabetes. It is only intended as general guidance. Content was developed by Disney and reviewed in consultation with Lilly USA, LLC.

 

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.