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504 plan and absences

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by mommyx4, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. mommyx4

    mommyx4 Approved members

    Nov 18, 2006
    Today I got a letter in the mail from Hayleigh's school saying she now has 28.5 absences since the beginning of school. I know that is a lot, but she has a lot of health issues. Not only is she a Type 1 Diabetic, she also has Celiac (which really wouldn't keep her from going to school) Asthma, a vascular/bleeding disorder called Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia and has had 3 cardiac catheterizations to embolize multiple Pulmonary Arteriovenous Malformations. She has a lot going on.

    In this past year she has been absent due to:

    a week long stay in the PICU (because of her asthma)
    3 additional days after that for recovering at home
    Strep twice
    Multiple drs appointments (she sees 6 specialists)
    Medical tests/procedures
    Stomach bug complete with large ketones
    A few other sicknesses here and there

    It all adds up to a lot, I know. But they are things that cannot be helped.

    Today I got a letter in the mail saying she is Truant. She has a 504 plan and the principal even wrote a note on the bottom of the letter saying he knows she has a lot of health issues, but that she is considered truant by the school district. Now I have to get a note from the Dr every time she is sick from now on. That's not a big deal. But I don't like how this makes it seem like she is just staying home for every little thing. Doesn't the 504 plan cover this? Is there any info I can show them on absences?

    By the way, she is getting straight A's and always has. Her grades have never been a problem and she has never fallen behind on her work.
  2. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    Wow. I was going to say that that many absences halfway through the school year was kind of excessive, but then I read the list of what she's been through. Kudos to her for maintaining her grades through all of that!

    What does her 504 state with respect to absences? On the one hand, the school does see kids whose parents send them to school or not, willy-nilly, and I'm sure is trying to crack down on that. On the other hand, your daughter obviously has a variety of serious medical conditions, and simply IS going to miss some significant number of school days because of that. Neither she or you should be punished for that.

    I'd set up a meeting with the prinicipal. I suspect you got a form letter that is generated whenever a student has X number of absences. In my opinion, your daughter should not be considered Truant.
  3. twicker1

    twicker1 Approved members

    Apr 10, 2006
    Do you have notes for all the doctor appointments and hospital stays? If so, I wouldn't worry about it. Brandon had an excessive amount of tardies when he wasn't on ADHD meds, compounded with being relatively new to D. I got a letter from the courts because of it. Fortunately, we already had it in the 504 about not being counted against him if tardy due to time needed to manage diabetes.

    My neighbor works for the judge in our town that handles all the school related issues like truancy. I had talked to her about it, and she told me that yes, I could be sent a notice to appear in court, but with the documents we had, it wouldn't be an issue. Just make sure to get notes for everything you can. I hope she has a better second half of the year!
  4. Kalebsmom

    Kalebsmom Approved members

    Aug 29, 2008
    They do not count them against Kaleb, but they do keep track. The bad thing about Kaleb's school is each class is counted as an absence. he has missed about 4 days but counted as 28.
  5. mikesmom58

    mikesmom58 Approved members

    Feb 19, 2008
    I also got a letter last year from Mike's school. He had been out quite a few times, some excused by a Dr., some just because maybe he threw up from his sugar being so high, etc. Sometimes they just don't feel up to going to school, but not sick enough to see the dr. This letter stated that if he had any more unexcused absences, he would rec. failing grades in every class for that day he missed. I was so mad when I read this that I called the school and demanded that an item be added to his 504 plan stating he is allowed unlimited number of days absent for diabetes-related sickness. They said they can't put anything in the 504 relating to absences. I got even madder and told them "if this is what I have to go thru every time he's out sick it's going to be a very long 4 years" I haven't received another letter since.
  6. spamid

    spamid Approved members

    Jul 11, 2006
    We had the same issue in 5th grade. You basically have two federal laws (504) and 90% compulsory attendance compteting with each other. I spoke to the head of the attendance committee for my DD's school, with a 3-inch binder of blood sugar logs, doctor's notes, the 504, etc in my hand. They were going to set up a court date (attendance court) and only backed down when I asked if I needed to bring an advocate and/or a ADA lawyer.
  7. cpm122

    cpm122 Approved members

    Dec 14, 2008
    We received a note after 1st qtr because Hunter had missed 8 days. He was home sick with the flu for 2 and we were out of town for a third. The other 5 were because the school made me keep him home. He came home with lice one day (a neighbor, who attends the same school had it). They called me in the am to pick up. I took him home, treated the lice (on all kids - 5 heads to comb, pick, etc. What a pain!) And, after checking him the next morning (no lice) sent him to school. They called right away and said come back and get him. There are still nits. I asked when he could come back and they said only when all nits (even dead ones) are gone. Took forever. Finally went back after missing a week of school. I called the assistant principal when I got the letter and explained the 3 absences I was responsible for and told him its not my fault they wouldn't let him back the other 5 (although I totally understand why - I wish someone hadn't let the other kid back, then maybe we wouldn't have gotten it) I also explained to him again about Hunter's D and the fact that there would be absences. He was cool about it. On the flip side - his teacher's are letting him slack on assignments and homework (because of D) and he didn't do very good on his first report card. I have a mtg scheduled w/ them to explain that, while he shouldn't be penalized for problems with D, he needs to turn in the assignments if he is still going to be held accountable for them. And would they, PLEASE, let me know what he needs to turn in. (also had BIG talk w/ him about being responsible for his own work!)

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