Allergies and School

By Heather Legg

I find it interesting that in my daughter’s teacher’s blog this week she mentioned allergies, something to the tune of “I hope this week finds you handling your allergies.” I’m not sure if that is due to her own seasonal suffering or to what she has seen in the class with the kids and allergies. Either way, it’s enough to mention.

I’ve noticed my own children (who don’t get sneezy or sniffly) extra grumpy the past week or two. They’ve both complained of itchy eyes on and off, and though with their moodiness, I don’t think of allergies, I bet it has some connection.  And to tie the two together, school and allergies, our school system just finished up one of the most important rounds of standardized testing for the year.

Obviously, there is no way to plan testing that will work for everything, everyone and every schedule. But is the height of allergy season the best time to test? This is the test that gives county and school rankings, has to do with state funding and for certain grade levels, effects the student’s placement for the following year.

I guess the argument would be the same im the fall with fall seasonal allergies and ragweed, and for winter you could flu and colds. And for the kids with severe seasonal allergies that are taking medication, well how does that effect their test results?

I also blame my kids’ grumpiness to testing itself. It’s stressful to not only test, but to have their routines out of whack for a week. The work that has been put into establishing the routines for the whole school year is thrown off this week, add the allergies and pollen, and you have a slew of out of sorts students.

Do I have an answer? No, certainly not. Maybe just lay off of some of the pressure of the test (especially for these little ones) and understand that they may not be feeling their best. My older daughter said people were sneezing during the test when they were supposed to be quiet. What can you do? I guess just saying “Bless you” is the best thing to do, except you’re supposed to be quiet.

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