Special Meal Accommodations


Meal Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: 

Poway Unified School District is required to make reasonable accommodations for any student with a disability that restricts his/her diet, when supported by a Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and/or Accommodations from a state licensed healthcare professional.  The California Department of Education only permits the following state licensed healthcare professionals to complete and sign the form: licensed physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.  The form must be completed in its entirety and returned to the student’s school administration office.  The form should be updated by the licensed healthcare professional, as appropriate, to reflect current medical/nutritional needs of the student. 

Please note: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act has broadened the definition of disability, to cover most physical and mental impairments.  A student need not have a life-threatening allergy to be considered a disability.  For more information about what constitutes a disability for the purpose of meal accommodations, please refer to the California Department of Education’s Management Bulletin SNP-02-2017, “Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the School Meal Programs.”


Milk Substitutions:

If a state licensed healthcare professional deems a child’s milk allergy or intolerance to be a disability, then the Medical Statement form must be completed and signed by the licensed physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner.  Appropriate accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis (e.g. soy milk, fruit juice, water).

In cases of non-disabling milk allergy or intolerance, a parent/guardian may request soy milk to be provided as a substitute for cow’s milk.  Juice is not an allowable milk substitute for students without disabilities.  To request soy milk for a non-disabling medical or dietary need, please complete and sign the Parental Request for a Fluid Milk Substitution form, and return it to your child’s school administration office.


Peanut-free Environment: 

It is not possible to establish and maintain a “peanut-free environment” in school nutrition centers (formerly known as cafeterias).  Because of this, parents with concerns regarding special needs may be well advised to consult with their medical professionals, school administration, and the school health technician or nurse, to ascertain the best course of action for their children and to assist their children in making appropriate choices.  Monthly menus can be sent to your email address and can be accessed on the Menus page of this website.


Personal Preferences: 

Unfortunately, Poway Unified is unable to provide special diets based on personal preferences or religious convictions.  To meet the needs of a diverse student population, we offer a variety of menu choices every day.  By offering choices (protein, grain, fruit, vegetable, and milk), each child can customize a meal that suits his or her appetite and food preferences.


Medical Statement to Request Special Meals and/or Accommodations
Parental Request for a Fluid Milk Substitution (Soy Milk)

California Department of Education Management Bulletin SNP-02-2017: "Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities in the School Meal Programs"