Allergy Aware Schools

In recent years, there has been a continued rise in the prevalence of food allergies, particularly allergies to nuts.   Many students in the district suffer from serious nut allergies that impact them even if they do not ingest nuts.  For these students, even cross-contamination puts them at risk of anaphylactic shock.  Cross contamination happens when someone simply touches an item in the room after eating nuts, which transfers the nut oils.  If a student with a nut allergy later comes in contact with that item, he or she can suffer a life-threatening reaction. 

In order to enhance safety for all students, the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools are “allergy aware” schools.  This means that families and personnel are respectfully asked to refrain from bringing nuts, or foods processed with nuts, into the schools.  This extends not only to lunch and snacks, but to classroom events, special occasions, before- and after-school activities, and on the buses. We understand this is a change of practice that will require some to alter the food choices they bring to school, and we greatly appreciate your anticipated cooperation.  If your child does have a life threatening food allergy, please know that becoming an allergy aware school enhances, but does not guarantee, safety from all possible cross-contamination.  As always, we will continue our safety practices and encourage you and your child to do the same.

Thank you for your understanding as we work together to continually enhance our children’s safety and well-being. For further reference, please see the attached Frequently Asked Questions document.


Maria Geryk, Superintendent of Schools

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