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Why are schools resistant to 504 plans?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Charlotte'sMom, May 15, 2012.

  1. Charlotte'sMom

    Charlotte'sMom Approved members

    Dec 6, 2008
    I've been reading all the school related and 504 threads. It seems to be a recurring theme that while many parents want 504 plans for their T1 child, many schools are resistant to them.

    I'm just curious as to why a school wouldn't want one in place. Anyone know? Is it more work? Too involved?

    Charlotte will be in half day kindergarten this coming year. I've talked very briefly with the nurse's aide, but from our conversation it sounds like the school really "gets" diabetes, which has been a huge relief. I'm trying to put together the information needed for next year and am thinking about a 504. But so much of what I've read makes me think if I pursue a 504, there's a good chance it's going to be a battle. And I'm not sure I'm up for that yet.
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    No, I wouldn't jump to that conclusion. You just read more about the difficult cases because who's going to post "I had a quick and easy 504 meeting" :rolleyes: kwim?
  3. mysweetwill

    mysweetwill Approved members

    Dec 10, 2011
    I agree with Sarah Maddie's mom. I think with any forum we post when frustrated and not necessarily when things are going smoothly. In our case, our school nurse and principal called a 504 meeting within 1 week of my son's diagnosis. They were very proactive, and helped me understand what his rights and their obligations were. My school has always allowed changes in his management that were not specifically articulated in 504, things that we learned from living with diabetes for 6 mos that we would never have known initially, i.e. how gym, recess, test taking effect his BG, how much his management has changed (injections to pump). We will formally add those changes in now for next year. I would think that if your school really "gets diabetes" there should be no battle. Good luck!
  4. weeblebiker

    weeblebiker Approved members

    May 15, 2012
    Joshua started full day kindergarten this year. 7 months post diagnosis. met with the school staff principal, nurse, gyn teacher, etc before school started. we have very close contact with the school, they know us by voice over the phone.

    he is 504 but no one called it that. didn't even know about 504 till a few months ago.
  5. KatieSue

    KatieSue Approved members

    Oct 5, 2010
    I had a quick and easy 504 meeting. But they did try to discourage us from having one. It wasn't a hard sell discourage just a you don't really need it but if you must no problem. Honest we've had no issues ever with her care but I like that it's there "just in case".

    I think it does entail more paperwork and time out of people's days. Also I don't think sometimes they don't hear what you're asking.
  6. Mish

    Mish Approved members

    Aug 20, 2009
    that's how it was for us. They just didn't think it was necessary yet once I explained that I wanted it they knew they needed to have the meeting and do it.

    To give you a frame of reference now - we've had a 504 since K in 2005. He's just finishing 6th grade and our 504 review this year went like this :
    Mrs Coordinator: HI, we need to set up a meeting for his 504 review
    Me: ok well nothing is changing so if you want to just send me the form and I'll sign it.
    Mrs Coordinator; sounds good.

    and that was IT. lol.
  7. momof2marchboys

    momof2marchboys Approved members

    Jan 26, 2012
    my son was in part time K this year at diagnosis - the Endo's office sent home with us from Dx and training with a school plan all filled out for the school as to what his levels needed to be before recess, PE and going home on the bus and what they needed to do if they were not at the target level or higher. It also had in it about snacks and carbs for lunch and some other info but I can't remember what it all was right now - it was a very simple template that had different areas for MDI and pumps usage.

    As for a 504 we discussed it prior to him returning to school but decided to hold off until he was a little older and we got a feel for how things were going to work with testing and shots.
  8. MamaC

    MamaC Approved members

    Dec 9, 2006
    Just my personal opinion - get a 504 in place before you *need* it. You can request a review/changes at any time.
  9. hdm42

    hdm42 Approved members

    May 1, 2008
    I think one of the main reasons that some schools don't like 504 plans and try to discourage them is that they hold the schools accountable and open them up to potential liability.
  10. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    I don't think that is a fair statement, like others have said. You only read about the bad ones.

    How many hundreds of parents here have had no problems with 504's versus the handful or two that have had them?
  11. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    I agree with the others, the reason that you are only seeing the bad is because the posters are coming seeking for help and advice. I would say that for every one bad experience, you have many good.

    As for not pursing a 504 now because the school "gets it," I would stop and think for a minute, would you rather get it hammered out and in place now while there isn't a problem, or what until they have royally screwed (worst case scenario) and have to fight then when your nerves are raw and you are upset?
    We started ours in pre-k, and have changed it slightly every year. The process has always been quick and painless because the school knows we mean business, we aren't asking for anything crazy and just want what's best for our daughter.
  12. Lisa - Aidan's mom

    Lisa - Aidan's mom Approved members

    Dec 3, 2011
    I agree, our 504 meeting went well and the principal, nurse, etc. were all on board to making sure DS's needs were met. I hope you have an easy time with yours!!
  13. momtojess

    momtojess Approved members

    Aug 15, 2007
    this is the best advice!!!
  14. Michelle'sMom

    Michelle'sMom Approved members

    Aug 21, 2009
  15. akgiauque

    akgiauque Approved members

    May 13, 2010

    The simple answer is to few staff with limited time and resources is the primary reason for resisting 504 plans.

    I think most schools do not resist them. A 504 plan is guided by the person writing it. Their load may be very heavy and they resist more work. They are widely used in a variety of situations. An example 504 can be written for a student with a broken bone that is in a cast to excuse PE participation. A person that has a larger load will resist writting a 504 and having the meetings necessary for one that will be necessary for a short period of time. A diabetic child will need a 504 for the entirety of their education so this is different but if the coordinator/ principal has it in theor mind that 504's are a waste of time you may face this. Most schools do not respond to children in wheelchairs, diabetics or other long term ailments this way. So in a nutshell it comes down to time and money. As for the liability, most are written in a vauge enough manner the burden of proof of neglegence would be very difficult to prove.

    I will also say that having a type A personality and being in your face forceful is not a beloved trait of parents as seen through the eyes of school staff. My wife is a perfect example, she will quote ADA law and regulations at a 504 meeting, So I will be the one at our DD meeting next fall. Be firm and even insistent, listen to what is said and feel free to ask for advice.
  16. CAGrandma

    CAGrandma Approved members

    Mar 14, 2006
    As someone mentioned, some schools don't want 504s because they reveal a legal obligation that, if violated, can have serious effects on the school.

    Ideal situation would be a school that 'gets it', with parents and school creating a 504 that simply puts into writing what is expected. This would clarify things (even those who get it can't read minds), would ensure that changes in personnel wouldn't change things without parents permission, and would establish precedent. My grandson's 504 in a great, cooperative school helped the school retain a nurse they would have lost. It let him get off to a good start a couple of years later when he changed schools (and states). It allows for accommodations during standardized testing. Simply having a short, official 504 on record makes it so much easier to modify in the future instead of having to start from skratch - and it serves as an example to the nearby school that makes it difficult for their kids with diabetes.

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