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sweetlife
11-09-2011, 01:19 PM
Hi - my daughter was diagnosed with type1 on 9/21/11. We are in a year round school, so she attended school for one week after diagnosed and was then tracked out (on vacation) for 3 weeks before we went back on Oct. 24th. Since her return to school, her father and I felt it would be in her best interest to have a 504 in place. We were told to contact her teacher and her school counselor to get the ball rolling. I opened up my email to find this response from her teacher, "We will help you with the 504 plan and can get what is needed in place for 3rd grade. It doesn't really matter in 2nd grade b/c we do not have standardized testing." I'm new to all of this and would love some feedback on her response. My initial gut instinct is a bit defensive and I find myself annoyed at her comment that it "doesn't really matter" . Your take on this would be helpful. I'm not sure how or if I should even respond to her email...

Thanks

Butterfly Betty
11-09-2011, 01:25 PM
I'm taking it your daughter is in 2nd grade? IMO, I think her response is wrong. There is so much you need to consider now. Things like, if she needs to test in school will she be allowed to do so in the classroom or does the nurse need to come to her? IF she has to go to the nurse, she needs someone to go with her. How to treat lows. Those are just a few examples.

Now, that said, we don't have a 504 plan in place, but when Sophie was diagnosed, her teachers, and most of the ones above and below her, made it clear to us that they'd be willing to do what they could to make things easier. I simply printed off a ton of information for them to have and they can contact me if they have questions. It's worked for us, but I do think 504 plan is a value to have in place.

Ndiggs
11-09-2011, 01:42 PM
My wife is a reading specialist/interventionist teacher here in Mi and depending on how responsive the schools is to her needs without the 504 I am inclined to agree with the Teacher in this case. She runs into needing a formal 504 when it comes to issues with accommodations on formal testing not day to day class stuff.

If they are meeting all her needs presently and are willing to accommodate and take care of her with no issues, than taking some additional time to get it in place before 3rd grade should not be an issue.

Now if they are not meeting her needs INSIST on the 504 and don't stop until they implement it.

Just my 2 cents worth, form living with someone who deals with this from the schools point of view everyday and also from the point of view as a Dad with a little one who is Type 1, and we struggle to control sugars

AlisonKS
11-09-2011, 01:53 PM
we've had a 504 since kindergarten, where there is obviously no testing like that. Get it no matter what the teacher thinks, the doctor will write up a diabetes management plan and the 504 will make sure they follow it. We've dealt with stupid subs and we can always go back to the 504 to make sure they know why he needs a snack, to go to the bathroom, etc.

Becky Stevens mom
11-09-2011, 01:56 PM
If your daughter is in a public school then she can have a 504 plan in any grade. My son did not have one in pre-k but we felt that when he entered kindergarten he needed one. A 504 plan includes much more then issues with standardized testing although that is an important aspect of the 504. Here is more info and examples of plans http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/504/

virgo39
11-09-2011, 01:59 PM
If your daughter is in a public school then she can have a 504 plan in any grade. My son did not have one in pre-k but we felt that when he entered kindergarten he needed one. A 504 plan includes much more then issues with standardized testing although that is an important aspect of the 504. Here is more info and examples of plans http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/504/

I agree with Becky.

That said, my second grader does not have a 504 plan because we are able to address everything we need to in her care plan. I do intend to establish a 504 plan next year when she begins standardized testing.

szofa12yrold
11-09-2011, 02:00 PM
We don't have a 504, we have an IEP. Put your request in writing. Date it and send it directly to the principal. At least with an IEP, and I imagine a 504 as well, by law they have to respond within a certain time frame. As soon as I did that, the conversations and delays, avoidance etc. ended and we got it done ;) quick and proper and no arguments.

McKenna'smom
11-09-2011, 02:03 PM
Here is a really good source for sample 504s by grade level. A 504 is not specific to testing accommodations. It covers all accommodations required so your CWD can have as normal a school life as possible.

http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/504/

Mom2Will
11-09-2011, 02:04 PM
I agree with Becky.

That said, my second grader does not have a 504 plan because we are able to address everything we need to in her care plan. I do intend to establish a 504 plan next year when she begins standardized testing.

This was us, I met with the 504 coordinator in January to have Will's in affect for 3rd grade.

Where are you in NC? PM me if you are in the mountains!

suz
11-09-2011, 02:54 PM
I would insist on it. The 504 covers more than just testing. It pretty much covers EVERYTHING your child needs whilst in the school's care.

My son is in 2nd grade, and they are already doing a lot more testing this year in preparation for all the standardized testing they'll do next year. Also, the 504 will covers things like field trips and bus rides, bathroom breaks etc...

Once you have it in place it will follow your child throughout elementary school, better to get it done now and have this year to tweak it as necessary before the next grade.

sweetlife
11-09-2011, 03:06 PM
Thank you all so much for your replies. My daughter is in 2nd grade & many people in her school have been great. We are having a few issues with her teacher & our overall
feeling is that she just doesn't get it & when we try to discuss things she gets defensive. Our desire to have the 504 is to make sure we are all very clear on what my daughters needs are & that they are met with as little room for misunderstanding as possible. We want things laid out for our understanding as much as theirs.

badshoe
11-09-2011, 03:13 PM
Welcome to the forums.

If you have seen this link great, if not I find it one of the best sources for structuring conversations around school: http://ndep.nih.gov/publications/PublicationDetail.aspx?PubId=97&redirect=true#main

sweetlife
11-09-2011, 03:51 PM
Thank you all so much for your responses. Yes my daughter is in 2nd grade, and many people in her school have been very supportive. However, we do feel some resistance from her teacher and our overall feeling is that she just doesn't get the severity of the disease. When we try to discuss different things regarding my DD's care, we are met with a bit of defensiveness and resistance. We just feel putting a 504 in place will allow us all to sit down together to go over all the details so we are all on the same page and we feel our daughter is being looked after to the best of their abilities. This plan is as much for our peace of mind as it is for her care. I know a 504 plan cannot keep her safe, I know in the end it's just a piece of paper, but having it in place makes me feel that I am doing all that I can for her given the circumstances with her current teacher. Again, thank you all so much for your advise!!

Christopher
11-09-2011, 04:00 PM
Some of that defensiveness and resistance may be because she is concerned about dealing with all the things she needs to regarding her classroom AND your daughter's medical needs as well. The more at ease you can put her about her responsibilites the better. Education about Type 1 can go a long way to reduce her concerns. Hopefully there are other staff people who will also be able to assist in the care of your daughter. Good luck.

selketine
11-09-2011, 04:11 PM
Technically the school cannot deny your request to hold a 504 meeting. Usually the request is made to the principal and/or the 504 coordinator at the school. The teacher cannot tell you that you cannot do it this year or whatever - she can give her opinion of course.

I would write a letter to the principal requesting the 504 plan. As others noted, it covers way more than standardized testing. In fact, if your school is only putting in place 504 plans to use JUST for kids who need it on standardized tests - this is illegal. The same testing requirements must be in place for all tests - not just standardized tests. The statement by the teacher makes me think the school is misusing the 504 to give accommodations only for standardized tests if that is all they think they are good for.

I would just point out to the teacher that fact.

I wrote this post awhile back but check it out - and also go to the link in there to the ADA - there are some ADA documents on that page that are a HUGE help in getting the school to understand the importance of the 504 plan and how your child is eligible.

And let's hope they aren't just writing up 504 accommodations for kids just for standardized testing - I hope your school's 504 coordinator knows better.:rolleyes:

Sarah Maddie's Mom
11-09-2011, 04:13 PM
A 504 is about providing your daughter the accommodations she might need in order to have equal access to the educational opportunities provided by her school. While test taking accommodations are a part of a 504, they are a small and, on a dad-in-day-out sense, an insignificant part of the plan.

A 504 can afford your dd protection to do, and have done for her, what needs to be done concerning her D in order for her to have the same opportunities to learn. This can mean a school nurse going on field trips, the ability to eat and drink where others are not allowed to, the right to use the bathroom as frequently as needed, to participate in school parties and not have an uninformed teacher deny her the cupcake that everyone else is having and so on and so on and so on.

Read up on them, check your state regulations on the ADA site and be persistent. Good luck!

mmc51264
11-09-2011, 04:34 PM
I, too have a 2nd grader in NC schools. They NEED a 504, if not and IEP. We have had to hire a lawyer twice (1st and 2nd grade) to get our son's needs met. There is a "NC template for Diabetes care Plan" that can be attached to a 504 plan. We had issues regarding ADHD as well, so my son had 2 components to his.
They have assessments in 2nd grade that impact your child's future and I would make sure that BS is in range for ANY testing.
Our son ended up qualifying for an IEP (found out he needed OT therapy for handwriting).
PM me if you have any questions. I have contacts at DPI that can help.

sweetlife
11-09-2011, 05:26 PM
Thanks again everyone for all the advise & support!

@ selketine - fortunately I do not think the school is doing 504 plans only when testing in concerned. I have actually not had any resistance from the 504 coordinator or the office staff, just a little push back from the teacher. In the end we'll have the 504 in place :).

@christopher - I just want to acknowledge your point. Teachers have a lot on their plate and I try to be sensitive to all the roles they have to play. I used to be an elementary teacher before being an at home mom, so I get how hard it can be. I want to work with her and not have a combative relationship. I think it would benefit both of us and my daughter if we could sit down and get everything written out and squared away. For me, a 504 is the direction I want to go. I'm hoping she doesn't feel it's an act of blame or an accusation that she isn't a good teacher... I've tried to make this clear to her.. hopefully she understands.. I am fortunate to have other staff educated in diabetes and they have been very helpful so far on this journey.

Christopher
11-09-2011, 05:34 PM
I want to work with her and not have a combative relationship. I think it would benefit both of us and my daughter if we could sit down and get everything written out and squared away. For me, a 504 is the direction I want to go.


I totally understand and agree with you.

I think you have the right attitude and mindset to get this all worked out.

I didn't realize there was a 504 coordinator. I guess it puzzles me now why you were initially told to go to the teacher and school counselor to "get the ball rolling"?

I realize the teacher is a part of the whole process, but I would imagine the 504 coordinator would be the liaison between the staff and you. But maybe that is not the way it works there.

sweetlife
11-09-2011, 06:32 PM
@ Christopher - my fault for not clarifying. Our 504 coordinator is also our school counselor. Ahhh the many hats of educators :).

Sarah Maddie's Mom
11-09-2011, 06:35 PM
@ Christopher - my fault for not clarifying. Our 504 coordinator is also our school counselor. Ahhh the many hats of educators :).

I think that's fairly common - at least it is here. But the odd thing is involving the classroom teacher at all other than for scheduling the meeting. It's not the teacher's job to be involved in the process other than to come to the meeting and learn how D impacts class time and what he/she must do to provide whatever assistance the 504 stipulates.

Lisa P.
11-09-2011, 09:41 PM
Standardized testing is not to test the student.

Standardized testing is to test the school.

The point of standardized testing is that if a population within the school is not achieving and progressing, that is evidence that the school is not doing its job for that population. Therefore, the consequences fall on the school, in terms of funding, and the staff, in terms of employment record.

In light of that, her explanation makes no sense to me.

I'm sure you'll get it all worked out and in place, sounds like you're right on top of things.

MommaKat
11-10-2011, 12:34 AM
Standardized testing is not to test the student.

Standardized testing is to test the school.

The point of standardized testing is that if a population within the school is not achieving and progressing, that is evidence that the school is not doing its job for that population. Therefore, the consequences fall on the school, in terms of funding, and the staff, in terms of employment record.

In light of that, her explanation makes no sense to me.

I'm sure you'll get it all worked out and in place, sounds like you're right on top of things.

So glad I actually read the whole thread as you wrote half of my answer, Lisa.

Is it possible to remind the teacher that since the 504 lays out everyone's responsibilities (admin, health rm, teacher, parent & student) for supporting your daughter, it also helps her by outlining supports she and the classroom receive from other staff members. Maybe this would help relieve some of her anxiety?

That said, I really don't get her response. Teachers really should recognize that testing accommodations are but a minute component of 504 plans. Honestly, for students with any medical condition, as a teacher I prefer to have an active and up to date 504 or IEP. They really do exist to help both the student and everyone involved.

Ndiggs
11-10-2011, 08:09 AM
It is actually better to have the 504 in place while everyone is happy and on the same page, rather than to wait for an issue to occur.

Also a 504 plan covers all accommidations, not just for formal testing. Unlimited restroom/water, who will be along on field trips, where she can check/treat bg, etc is all covered in a 504 plan.

I don't disagree with you at all, and neither would my wife. Our point was only that if the school is meeting all of her needs without any problems currently without a 504, than there is little to be concerned about in the short term. If however they are not meeting her needs, than by all means have it in place ASAP. Here in MI the 504 will lead to and IEP with and OHI tag which will allow for any accommodations that are necessary. In the 3 districts my wife has worked in here, she has worked with 13 type 1 kids who did not have a 504 in place until late 2 early 3rd grade as the school and teachers all took the approach "whatever is needed for them to be healthy" and there was never an issue, so in that regard it really only did expand into the need for exemption for testing. The districts already had a policy of a nurse going on all field trips, had the entire school staff trained by CDE's at local children's hospital as part of a professional development day ect..

I think this is really a case where your diabetes will very, and if anyone took it as I was saying that a 504 was only for testing, I apoglize as that was not what my intention was, just trying to point out that a piece of paper won't magically solve problems if they are not meeting her needs (it will help as the district it required to comply) but if they are meeting her needs, than the extra step of a "formal 504 and IEP" could probably wait a bit and spread the paperwork load out.

The important thing is that all our children are taken care of at school, and we feel comfortable sending them there, and know that they will make it through the day with little to no problem, and if this teacher is not working towards that goal, than like I said before, push for the 504, talk to the principal and express your concerns, or talk to the teacher in person and get her reasoning, as sometimes email and the internet never really convey what exactly we are trying to say.

Sarah Maddie's Mom
11-10-2011, 09:39 AM
I don't disagree with you at all, and neither would my wife. Our point was only that if the school is meeting all of her needs without any problems currently without a 504, than there is little to be concerned about in the short term. If however they are not meeting her needs, than by all means have it in place ASAP. Here in MI the 504 will lead to and IEP with and OHI tag which will allow for any accommodations that are necessary. In the 3 districts my wife has worked in here, she has worked with 13 type 1 kids who did not have a 504 in place until late 2 early 3rd grade as the school and teachers all took the approach "whatever is needed for them to be healthy" and there was never an issue, so in that regard it really only did expand into the need for exemption for testing. The districts already had a policy of a nurse going on all field trips, had the entire school staff trained by CDE's at local children's hospital as part of a professional development day ect..

I think this is really a case where your diabetes will very, and if anyone took it as I was saying that a 504 was only for testing, I apoglize as that was not what my intention was, just trying to point out that a piece of paper won't magically solve problems if they are not meeting her needs (it will help as the district it required to comply) but if they are meeting her needs, than the extra step of a "formal 504 and IEP" could probably wait a bit and spread the paperwork load out.

The important thing is that all our children are taken care of at school, and we feel comfortable sending them there, and know that they will make it through the day with little to no problem, and if this teacher is not working towards that goal, than like I said before, push for the 504, talk to the principal and express your concerns, or talk to the teacher in person and get her reasoning, as sometimes email and the internet never really convey what exactly we are trying to say.

I prefer not to rely on the kindness of strangers or the good will of the professionals at my daughter's school in order to endure her safety and comfort during the school day.

Nor do I think it's a great idea to approach D mgmt in school without a clear and concise game plan: which is what I think a 504 should be. Why would you want to leave it it to the benevolence and good intentions when you can have a 504 and give actual and specific guidelines and expectations?:confused:

What happens when the helpful principal is fired? Or when the excellent teacher goes on maternity leave and the sub is unwilling to comply?

With a 504 in place everyone knows what is expected of them and the child isn't put in the position of "hoping" that they will get the care to which they are legally entitled.

Ndiggs
11-10-2011, 10:17 AM
I don't disagree with you, but on the flip side, what happens if as a parent you are now in a position that you must fight for every accommodation that is necessary for your child, or the school feels that what you are asking is above and beyond what your 504 calls for.

As I said before, if you feel that at any point your child is not getting the care they need by all means get a 504. But, if the school/district is already meet all your needs or exceeding them, than getting a 504 in in my opinion not necessary.

As my lawyer always reminds me when I sign a deal, a contract is only worth anything if you need to go to court, as until that point its just too people having a conversation. If in this conversation everyone is on the same page taking 2-3 months to put everything formally on paper, to me, is not an issue. As I said before, if that is not the case than have the 504 in place ASAP. Sometimes I think we all jump to say we need something "formal" for it to be official, and that is not always the case.

As far as relying on the good will of professionals or strangers, or going in with out a management plan, I would agree with you on all of that, but would preface it by saying each situation is different. If the school has proactively taken steps that I feel provide a safe environment (such as having the entire staff trained by a CDE) and is showing that they are going to work with me, it it take 2,3, or 6 months to have a formal 504 drawn up, ok. That does not mean I am not going to provide them with information on my daughter, as her care is different than little Johnny in 4th grade who is on MDI, or not provide them the tools they need.

Again it all comes back to the conversation with the school, and their willingness to work with the family. At no point have I ever advocated NOT getting a 504, my point was simply if needs are met, slowing down to ensure everything is done properly is not a bad thing. Again YRMV

MamaC
11-10-2011, 10:31 AM
I don't disagree with you, but on the flip side, what happens if as a parent you are now in a position that you must fight for every accommodation that is necessary for your child, or the school feels that what you are asking is above and beyond what your 504 calls for.

As I said before, if you feel that at any point your child is not getting the care they need by all means get a 504. But, if the school/district is already meet all your needs or exceeding them, than getting a 504 in in my opinion not necessary.

As my lawyer always reminds me when I sign a deal, a contract is only worth anything if you need to go to court, as until that point its just too people having a conversation. If in this conversation everyone is on the same page taking 2-3 months to put everything formally on paper, to me, is not an issue. As I said before, if that is not the case than have the 504 in place ASAP. Sometimes I think we all jump to say we need something "formal" for it to be official, and that is not always the case.

As far as relying on the good will of professionals or strangers, or going in with out a management plan, I would agree with you on all of that, but would preface it by saying each situation is different. If the school has proactively taken steps that I feel provide a safe environment (such as having the entire staff trained by a CDE) and is showing that they are going to work with me, it it take 2,3, or 6 months to have a formal 504 drawn up, ok. That does not mean I am not going to provide them with information on my daughter, as her care is different than little Johnny in 4th grade who is on MDI, or not provide them the tools they need.

Again it all comes back to the conversation with the school, and their willingness to work with the family. At no point have I ever advocated NOT getting a 504, my point was simply if needs are met, slowing down to ensure everything is done properly is not a bad thing. Again YRMV

One of the great things about a 504 is that it can be revised at any time...one need not wait for the annual review.

Getting the first 504 in place need not take months...unless one or more parties are dragging their feet.

akgiauque
11-10-2011, 01:40 PM
Standardized testing is not to test the student.

Standardized testing is to test the school.

The point of standardized testing is that if a population within the school is not achieving and progressing, that is evidence that the school is not doing its job for that population. Therefore, the consequences fall on the school, in terms of funding, and the staff, in terms of employment record.

In light of that, her explanation makes no sense to me.

I'm sure you'll get it all worked out and in place, sounds like you're right on top of things.

Exactly right. Her explanation makes no sense because you are thinking like a Parent, she is thinking like a teacher. As teachers we are pounded with testing results, we feel like we test more than teach. The teacher is thinking about the 504 for testing reasons rather than the standard of care, let her know why you are concerned and see what happens. In the case of a D child it is often necesssary to help enforce the health plan and stipulate actions to be taken, I assume that is your motivation.

deafmack
11-11-2011, 05:28 AM
The 504 plan is not only for testing situations such as standardized testing. It protects your child's right to take care of his or her diabetes in a manner that is safe for him or her. it protects his or her rights to manage his or her diabetes at any time and at any place during school and at all school related events. The school nurse is wrong in thinking you will not need a 504 plan until your child starts standardized testing as the 504 covers more than just standardized testing.

Beach bum
11-11-2011, 08:23 AM
I prefer not to rely on the kindness of strangers or the good will of the professionals at my daughter's school in order to endure her safety and comfort during the school day.

Nor do I think it's a great idea to approach D mgmt in school without a clear and concise game plan: which is what I think a 504 should be. Why would you want to leave it it to the benevolence and good intentions when you can have a 504 and give actual and specific guidelines and expectations?:confused:

What happens when the helpful principal is fired? Or when the excellent teacher goes on maternity leave and the sub is unwilling to comply?

With a 504 in place everyone knows what is expected of them and the child isn't put in the position of "hoping" that they will get the care to which they are legally entitled.

This is my feeling too. Have it in place from day 1, so that if a problem arises you already have a plan in place. If the plan is in place, and there is a problem, you are not scrambling to get a 504 put together and trying to solve the problems. Instead of trying to pull together a meeting, all you have to say is "refer to the 504." This way, the school knows you mean business.

As for relying on the benevolence of others, in a perfect world, that is great. However, things change, and things change fast. The caring staff member who you always relied on may have to go out on medical leave, the aid who was your back up person may be moved to another school because there is a student who needs a 1 to 1 para. The principal who was always willing to listen and ok things may be under stress of the job and for some reason may not be as willing to work with you as they had been in the past.

I don't think a 504 is a bad thing, it is just one more tool to help our kids perform successfully in school.