~~~ CLASSROOM TREATS & CELEBRATIONS - policy change ~~~ 

Dear parents and guardians of Dowling students,

Dowling School is committed to providing a school environment that promotes and protects children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn.  In support of this commitment and in compliance with Public Law 108-265, Section 204 (Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004), Dowling has been instituting changes recommended by the Minneapolis Public Schools District Wellness Policy.  The Wellness Policy, completed in 2007, aims to improve students’ health and well-being by improving nutrition and increasing physical activity levels.

Because of this policy, and also because of the significant increases in food allergies, diabetes, and childhood obesity, we are changing the policy regarding classroom celebrations here at Dowling.   Ten years ago, there were no students with food allergies in the school.  Since then, the number of students and the number of allergens has increased every year.  Currently, we have more than a dozen students with life-threatening food allergies, as well as other students with less severe food allergies.  Foods students are allergic to include:  peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, dairy, honey, eggs, citrus, seafood, and tomato products.  These are common ingredients in most foods and very difficult to avoid.

Because of this, FAMILIES ARE BEING ASKED TO REFRAIN FROM BRINGING IN ANY TYPE OF FOOD ITEMS FOR CELEBRATIONS AT SCHOOL.   We understand that this may be disappointing to families and students, and that there is a long tradition of families bringing in cupcakes or other treats for school celebrations.  However, the safety of the students must be the priority.  Each year, we have had increasing numbers of students with severe or life-threatening food allergies, and we need to take reasonable steps to ensure their safety by controlling the food products that are given to children in school.    

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this change.  This is a difficult change but one that we felt was important to make to ensure the safety of Dowling students. 


 Roxanne Truen, RN PNP Lic. School Nurse,  &  Joe Rossow, Principal

(for additional information, click on FAQ document below)