Special Dietary Needs

What is a Special Dietary Need?

Food substitutions and other reasonable modifications to a student’s meal may be necessary to meet the medical and dietary needs of students who meet the definition of a disability, such as a food intolerance, allergy, or other medical condition.

What Does Not Count as a Special Dietary Need?

Schools are not required to accommodate a dietary request that is requested due to a lifestyle choice or religious reason.

What are My Rights as a Parent?

Parents have the right to:

  1. Submit a dietary accommodation for their student to make sure their medical need is met; file a complaint if they believe a violation has occurred regarding the request for a reasonable modification; receive a prompt and unbiased resolution of the complaint;
  2. Request and participate in an impartial hearing to resolve their complaints and;
  3. Receive notice of the final decision and a procedure for review, i.e., right to appeal the hearing’s decision.

Why Do Parents Need to Submit a Medical Note?

The medical statement form is very important to ensure a student’s special dietary need is accommodated safely and managed properly. The medical statement form must include:

  • Information about the child’s physical or mental impairment that is sufficient to allow the school to understand how it restricts the student’s diet;
  • An explanation of what must be done to accommodate the student;
  • The food or foods to be omitted and recommended alternatives, when necessary; and
  • A signature from a medical professional with prescriptive powers, this includes a Doctor (MD or DO), Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant.

Información sobre las Necesidades Dietéticas Especiales para los Padres

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