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504 and virtual school?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by FloridaMom, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. FloridaMom

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    Does anyone have any experience dealing with a 504 and virtual school? We've been homeschooling for the past couple of years, but decided to try Florida Virtual School this year. It's part of the public school system. I've talked to several people on their staff about the 504, and what they are telling me is that we have to wait until he starts and gets into the school year to see how he does - get documentation from us and his teacher, etc.

    Does that seem like standard protocol? Obviously, it's a little different because he'll be at home, but I was trying to explain to her how his diabetes affects his schoolwork and she was like, "Well, they are getting really strict on 504 plans so we will see once he gets started."
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    No direct experience with virtual schooling but I will say that the 504 accommodations are never contingent upon teacher evaluation. Yes, they do need documentation from you, and it is not unusual, in my experience, that the 504 meetings takes place in Sept as the school year gets underway, but his right to one is not, and is never, reliant upon how others assess his performance. Period.

    In preparation, it might be smart to think how the whole VS thing could play out and exactly what sort of accommodations you think the setting will require and have that thought through before meeting with the school administrators.
     
  3. cdninct

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    If you have not done so already, figure out how the courses will work. I teach for a virtual high school (not in FL), and the only time I could see a student needing a 504 would be for the final exam. For my school, assignments are completed according to the students' schedule (as long as they get the work done in an 18-month period they are fine). Tests are timed, but they can be taken when the student chooses with no head notice needed, and they are very short, so it would be reasonably easy to work around BGs. Only the final must be scheduled, timed, and proctored, so that could present a problem.

    I'm sure one program varies from the next, so knowing how things work in FL will help you to focus your concerns and make a better case for why he needs a 504 and what should be on it.
     
  4. Christopher

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    Aside from (possibly) taking tests, I am not sure what kind of accommodations you would need for him since he will be at home and you will be responsible for "accommodating" him. I would think this through carefully before trying to impliment a 504.

    Good luck.
     
  5. StacyMM

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    We have a 504 in place for DD, regardless of her school. She's done both public and virtual school and will be doing virtual again this fall. Our public school is not the friendliest district and I prefer that she have the 504 for consistency so that there is no lapse in the plan. Just feel like I'm covering my bases ;) We have the exact plan submitted and just note that this will be monitored at home most of the time. It isn't just for the standardized testing - we have used it for other things. For instance, she was online with her teacher and getting ready to do an oral reading for an accuracy/speed level and she was acting odd. I interrupted, said she was acting low and had her test. She was a 56 and I told them we needed to reschedule. Not an issue to do so at all. Another time she was in a 'class' with the teacher and other students and was struggling to read. She told me she felt low so I sent a private message to the teacher that we were testing her blood glucose then sent one that she was low. She stayed logged in and viewed while eating and coming up but the teacher didn't call on her. Again, teacher was completely easy to work with and DD still had credit for attending.
     
  6. sarahspins

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    I agree.. we did this type of schooling for a year a couple of years ago and the ONLY place where it may become an issue is with standardized testing becuase you would be doing that in a traditional school environment.. everything else in terms of the scheduling of assignments and regular tests is 100% flexible so if you had to take a break to treat a high or low or he was just having an off day, it's not the end of the world.
     
  7. Joretta

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    We are in Florida and we used Florida virtual for DD. She took US History in 9 months. I did need to communicate sickness with the teacher all year as they expect progress to be made. There really were no reason for a 504 except the final and they let us have several resets if her health stopped or slowed her verses the time allowed. To fix that she copied her answers down so on reset she filled in what she had and she continued. Now you would need a 504 if the course is a mandated end of year exam in place of FCAT. Alg 1, Biology, Geometry, and I think Alg 2. These tests are only given at your home high school and you might be able to work out a 504 during the year with that high school. It is normally a guidance counselor who oversees this.
     
  8. selketine

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    Just to be clear, a 504 cannot have testing accommodations that are put in place only because of state testing - the accommodations have to be available for any type of test.

    I would approach it as "these are the testing accommodations" whether the child is at home or in a school setting. Clearly if most tests are at home then the parent would allow the child to stop the test, check BG and treat, and/or resume at a time when the BG is back in range, etc. You just don't want to indicate in the 504 that this is just for state tests, etc.

    Some schools have gotten in trouble for trying to give kids who need accommodations throughout the year a 504 that only applied to state tests (clearly those schools cared more about how well they performed on the state tests than what the child's needs were for the entire year). This is part of the reason "they are getting really strict on 504 plans" because schools are abusing them - not parents.

    I also agree that you don't need to wait and see how the child does before writing up a 504 with some basics in it. However it is probably not an emergency to get it into place at the beginning of school under the circumstances.
     
  9. FloridaMom

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    Thanks for all of the input. I've never dealt with a 504 before, and have only heard how important it is that he has it for protection (his endo's office wants him to have one - even for virtual school). I guess I will start him in August and see how he does.
     

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