My daughter has life threatening allergies to peanuts. When picking a preschool for the first time, we considered Newcastle, but frankly I was so nervous about trusting her with a preschool, I felt the best way to ease into this transition was to put her in an in-home preschool. I felt that instead of being a “number” she would get more individual attention, the teacher would know her needs and be extra careful to keep her safe (boy was I ever wrong about this!). My husband and I both sat down with that teacher, explained our daughter’s situation, and we signed her up. We walked away feeling confident that this teacher knew our daughter’s allergies (she claimed to have dealt with them before) and how to deal with them, that she understood our allergy plan, and that she would keep our daughter safe.
Long story short, it became blatantly clear when the teacher did a craft project with peanuts, FOR THE SECOND TIME, and I tried to explain the severity of the situation, AGAIN, that she was not getting it. For the safety of our daughter we pulled her out and visited Newcastle. Talking with the staff at Newcastle was like talking with another parent who had a child with severe allergies. They just get it. They NEVER serve anything with nuts, or do any craft projects with nuts. Kathleen walked me through the kitchen and went through EVERY type of food they feed the kids and let me read every label. She made lists of things my daughter was allowed to eat, and that list is kept up for the teacher to read. They let me provide my own treats incase a birthday treat is brought in (and all families are made aware that no homemade treats are allowed, and only store bought treats NOT containing nuts are allowed), and anytime a special treat is planned, they let me know it’s coming up in a couple days, and I come in and read more labels. My daughter has never felt left out or scared that her teacher might feed her peanuts, if I feel something isn’t safe, there has been plenty of time for me to get her a safe substitute so she can participate fully with the class.
All the teachers are trained to use the Epi Pen, and it is all handled professionally and seriously. They have clipboards up around the school listing the children with allergies and what those allergies are. My daughter’s name is changed to include her allergy, ex: Sara Peanut Allergy Smith, so that substitute teachers are also made aware of her allergy, as well as other teachers in the school who might not know her. But despite how many kids are in the school, I’m always surprised that everyone knows her by name, she clearly isn’t just a number at this school.
Aside from how obviously impressive Newcastle is academically, they are clearly a safe school that is 100% on top of their game. Now when I leave my daughter at preschool I don’t worry, AT ALL. I’m not stressed, and anxious. I feel like I’ve left her with family who have her best interests at heart and will keep her safe.
Amy Thurston, Draper Utah
May 16, 2014 Google Reviews