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First step in 504 process today

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Nancy in VA, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

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    So, Emma will be going to middle school in the fall after being homeschooled for all of her elementary years.

    So, I had my first meeting for a 504 today. I know it will be a long process so I started it now. It's crazy because even though we all know the law "reads" that she's qualified, the school system has to go through this process, and one of the steps is a federally mandated "observation", so they have to come to my house and observe Emma. I told them she works mostly independently, so they said if its just her watching a math video or taking an online Latin lesson, that's fine. It's crazy but it's started.

    Because she's in 5th grade, I have to start this process for qualification with her home elementary school and then write the specific 504 plan with the middle school she'll end up going to. Again, crazy, but it is what it is.

    My goal is for her to manage herself as independently as possible with as little teacher and nurse assistance as necessary and accommodations for out of range blood sugars affecting tests for grades and state testing.
     
  2. DDmama

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    It sounds like a big process, but from my perspective, it seems awesome that the school is putting forth the time and effort to get to know Emma and make her 504 specific to her needs. It will be a big change for you all in the fall and it's fantastic that you got a head start on the process! It sounds like you have a great handle on what she will need for the 504.

    I'm sure if you have questions about what you might want included in the 504, this community would be glad to give some ideas.
     
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Federally mandated observation? That sounds wrong. I think that's not a 504 thing, it has to be, if it's real, a home school thing.

    Getting a 504 in a public school shouldn't be a big deal. Someone has misunderstood, or misinterpreted. We never started any of ours, not even our first, until the week before school started and no one ever "observed" her, not at home, not in school. Something is not right.
     
  4. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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    Carson has had observation in both schools districts he's attended for 504s. I think it is mandated. It's not a big deal they just have to make sure they are needing to do a 504 and not an IEP too. A 504 was a big deal for him in both districts. We just finalized his high school 504 a couple of months ago and it is very very thorough. It involved the social worker, psychologist, nurse, counselor, and administration. They covered every detail from regular school days to PE to sports to school day field trips and away from school overnight field trips. They also covered standardized testing and have a plan to ask for ACT and AP accommodations. I think it's great they are willing to do a home observation even before she starts school. I hope it all goes smoothly!!
     
  5. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Are you also in VA? Or did you also home school? Maybe it's a state thing because you can have a perfectly thorough, evolving, appropriate 504 sans observation. Nothing shabby about how our school system did it, they just didn't drag it out for months.
     
  6. Mish

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    I'm wondering here - since 504 needs absolutely no educational requirements, (ie, you don't have to have educational needs to be entitled to accommodations under section 504) what are they observing? She has diabetes. Let her check her blood sugar in front of them? What she requires in her home setting has absolutely no bearing on what she might need in a school setting.

    bizarre.
     
  7. Beach bum

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    I know when my friends daughter was transitioning from home school back to public, they came out and observed her (she has IEP). But, we've never encountered any type of physical evaluation. I do recall the nurses having to review all 504's in the school because something in the state laws had changed, but this was only on paper. But, I don't see why they need to evaluate for a 504. She has diabetes. She needs xyz accommodations. Read 504, sign 504, follow 504. Done.
     
  8. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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    The law talks about having the right to a 504 evaluation and teacher observation reports fall under that category as part of the whole evaluation process to determine eligibility. I do feel like some districts are much more "efficient" at putting a 504 together and some (like ours) decide to go through lots and lots of super basic steps....like an observation. It really does depend on the district on how they've decided to do things. The observation alone doesn't determine 504 eligibility, it just adds to a more comprehensive report that also includes things like medical records and diagnosis. But as long as the end result is a solid 504 then I wouldn't choose to fight a home observation. (To answer your questions no I'm not in VA and did not homeschool).)
     
  9. Nancy in VA

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    Yeah, it has to do with eligibility. The Assistant Principal was clearly "choosing his words" in the meeting because he knows what he's "supposed to say" with regards to "determining eligibility" when everyone in the room knows she'll be eligible. The process is defined because some people who request 504 accommodations are not as "cut and dry" as diabetes and they use the same process for everyone. Maybe some school systems decide that knowing a student has diabetes is "observation enough". It has nothing to do with homeschool. This would be the same if she were an incoming Kindergartener.
     
  10. Lorraine

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    I agree with others that an observation seems unusual. Diabetes is a medical diagnosis and doesn't need to be observed to be verified that accommodations are needed. But I see your point about consistency for all 504 determinations. We certainly did not have any observation required to implement a 504 plan.

    Good luck as you go through this process. My son is 13, in 7th grade and has been in a public school setting since kindergarten (dxd at age 3). He gets no assistance, as is our choice. The school nurse follows him on dexcom g5, and will follow up to make sure he's ok if she gets an urgent low alert. People are trained for emergency medical intervention, but otherwise Caleb is autonomous.

    Our testing provisions are that he be given a second chance for routine assessments if his performance is not his norm and his bg was out of range at the time. For standardized testing, the test will be postponed until his blood sugar is in range. We haven't needed anything more significant that that, and have yet to need these accommodations.

    Again, good luck!
     
  11. hawkeyegirl

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    Yeah, that's weird. Our 504s were easy peasy and quick. Formal observation with a T1 diagnosis? I just cannot imagine.

    I hope they aren't a pain in the rear going forward.
     
  12. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

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    I had talked to a couple other parents before I called, so I wasn't surprised by this. One has already graduated a child from high school and never had a 504 and never any problems, the other has one in the system now and does have a 504. From what I hear, the school system is actually really good to work with, and the Assistant Principal had to bite his tongue to keep from saying "it will be approved" - it was clear he knew it would be but HAD to say certain things to follow their process. So, I'm not too concerned.
     
  13. caspi

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    We are in Virginia and didn't have a 504 for many years. Quite frankly, the only reason we got the 504 in 10th grade was for SAT and AP exams. Prior to the 504 we had a DMMP every year, and Virginia has a standard one that the Endo signs. I'm curious as to why they couldn't go off the DMMP? A home evaluation seems like a bit much, not to mention intrusive IMO.
     
  14. Nancy in VA

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    We don't have a dmmp plan yet either since she isn't in school. That won't be done until right before the school year starts.
     
  15. caspi

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    That's just it - they're wanting an in home evaluation and they haven't even seen the DMMP yet. It's just a bit baffling to me.

    FYI - Most Endo offices like to have the DMMP done a few months before the new school year because they're inundated with them. You can probably check your school district's website to find the form to bring with you to your Endo appointment before school starts.
     
  16. Beach bum

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    Our school system wants DMMP & 504 meetings and paperwork in place in the spring. IMO, so much less stressful! I just update the nurse the day prior to school starting of any changes (i.e. If we have Summer endo appt ), and just have Doctor sign off on it.
     
  17. Nancy in VA

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    Our endo doesn't need a form. They have a standard form and every year when we have gone for our June or July appointment, they've asked if we need the form. They basically complete them whenever your summer appointment is before the next school year.

    they are doing an observation because they have to determine you are qualified to have a 504 plan. Its the same whether you are requesting a 504 for ADHD, Autism, or any other qualified condition. A classroom observation is the first step in the process. The DMMP is just how they will manage the "medical" condition and could be in place, even without a 504. The 504 is how I will make sure she can test where she wants, dose herself, etc, and is independent of what her I:C ratios are, etc.
     
  18. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    That's just so crazy. Eligibility for a 504 hinges on a medical diagnosis not a dog and pony show. I've really never heard of such a thing in 14 years with a type 1 kid in public school. All it takes for a kid to be able to test, dose and treat as needed, where needed, is the Dr's statement that they are capable.
     
  19. misscaitp

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    While it is not federally mandated to observe, schools are required to gather as much information as possible to make their decisions (just as they would do with a IEP). Even if the school knows she is eligible*, I don't see a problem with the observation.

    It sounds like your county has a set procedure for eligibility and it is a procedure that exceeds the expectations of federal law, so it's nice to see. A lot of data is better than not enough.

    *Legally, a medical diagnosis does not automatically mean eligibility for 504 or SpEd services. There has to be evidence of impairment that requires accommodations or modifications. BUT, with Type 1 Diabetes you can easily point out a life area that is impaired (eating, thinking, etc.) that would show eligibility.
     
  20. jenm999

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    We're in Massachusetts. No classroom observation. Automatic 504 with meeting during those few days before school each fall when teachers are back but students haven't started yet. They are fine with the school orders from our endo instead of a DMMP.
     

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