504 Coordinator - The Principal?

Posted on: Tue, 02/18/2003 - 4:29am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hi Everyone,
Just a quick question....
I called the district office, and asked who the 504 coordinator for my daughters elementry school. They told me it was the school principal.
I thought the coordinator was to be someone at the district office, or *off-site*
so as to be unbias in regards to implementation and follow through.
Please let me know.
Thanks everyone!!!!
Lori

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Posted on: Tue, 02/18/2003 - 4:51am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

We have both-- our elementary school's 504 coordinator is our school counselor. There is also a staff member at our district board office who is the 504 coordinator for all the district. We were told that if we wanted to request 504 status for our daughter, we should request it *in writing* to our school counselor. Our school counselor would then convene a meeting to determine whether or not status would be granted. She would consult with the district at her discretion.
It may be different from school to school, district to district.
Hope that little bit helps~
Gail

Posted on: Tue, 02/18/2003 - 5:07am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thank you Gail!
I haven't been able to speak with the principal yet.
I'm really nervous because the other PA children going to school there don't have any provisions at all (not even Epipens).
The nurse is absolutely intollerable!
If Lindsey has any trouble at school, I can garantee it will be due to the nurse.
??? On what grounds could we be denied 504 status?
Thank You again
Lori
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Posted on: Tue, 02/18/2003 - 5:33am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

As I understand it, they simply can say they convened and determined that your child doesn't meet the criteria. End of story. We were told that they can basically do whatever they want *until you challenge it*... through the District, and then (if still denied) through the Office of Civil Rights. We contact the OCR and were advised that they can get involved only when 504 status was requested and denied. While it is widely held that food allergies are considered a hidden disability covered under Section 504, to my understanding there has not been legal precedent that upholds this (in fact the one and I believe only case-- Land v.-- was actually lost). That is why it is all a bit sticky. At least that is my understanding after having paid large legal reasearch fees 4 years ago [img]/peanut/boards/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif[/img]
I asked our district coordinator if they had any 504 plans for children with food allergies. She was very cautious not to break any confidentiality, and only stated that they had "very few" 504 plans. I interpreted this as a "no." You might see if they can share this info with you?
I found as many as I could posted here that I forwarded on to the district coordinator as examples. I ended up with an IHP, but was told very directly that we would qualify for the 504 if we were to request it.
Hope that helps address your question...
Good luck to you. This was a long, stressful process for me and I certainly wish you smooth sailing.
Gail

Posted on: Tue, 02/18/2003 - 5:47am
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thank You again for all the info, and encouragement!
I'll let you know how it goes.
Lori
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Posted on: Wed, 02/19/2003 - 12:57am
Rae's picture
Rae
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Joined: 03/28/2000 - 09:00

504, in our district, consist of members of the SBLC (School Building Level Committee).
Rachel

Posted on: Wed, 02/19/2003 - 2:38am
Rhonda RS's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2001 - 09:00

Hi Lindsey’s Mom and Gail,
Gail, so lovely to talk with you!
Lindsey’s Mom,
For a few years now, I’ve been trying to collect court cases and OCR rulings regarding food allergy. Additionally, I contacted OCR in Boston to collect data from them under U.S. FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) OCR provided me with rulings that OCR has made regarding Section 504.
I firmly believe that the law is on the side of children who have anaphylactic food allergies, however it’s up to parents to provide the burden of proof. Again, these were cases that applied to daycare centers, not public schools, and they were looking at ADA not Section 504.
OCR clearly states food allergy as a hidden disability, therefore it is recognized. Visit this document for lots of links: [url="http://www.allergysupport.org/index.php?contents=rhondadocs/Primer.htm"]http://www.allergysupport.org/index.php?contents=rhondadocs/Primer.htm[/url] If you wanted to provide your school with a powerful document, I’d provide them with the document that OCR wrote that describes “allergy” as a hidden disability covered under Section 504 (as long as a life system = breathing is affected).
Do not let these cases deter you one bit. The law is on your side. Here are the reasons…
1. The Land v. Baptist Case is an ADA case, not a Section 504 Case. The Land child was in “daycare,” not public school.
2. The “expert” opinion in the Land v. Baptist case was given by the child’s own doctor who made a fate-sealing tactical error: I quote from the summary of this case in the words of one of the judges…“In this case, Megan's allergy is not substantially limiting because, as her doctor stated, Megan's allergy impacts her life only "a little bit."
3. The parents in the Land v. Baptist case could have taken this case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. They never did, which means it does not set precedence as “law of the land.” It is not nationally recognized like Roe v. Wade for example.
4. Your school district probably does not know that the Land V. Baptist case or Petite Academy cases exist. I don’t see their relevance unless your issues were with daycare (and even then you could challenge those decisions), but you still don’t need to bring it up either.
5. The Baptist case was heard by the Arkansas State Supreme Court. Each state has its own Supreme Court and the case had to go through the lower courts first in each state. Based on the quality of skills of each person’s lawyer, a case in your state may have a completely different outcome, should it ever come to that.
6. There also exists the case La Petite Academy v. Jester, Brownds, etc. Again, La Petite academy is a child daycare center, not a public school. This case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Academy settled before the U.S. Supreme Court could make a ruling. Perhaps the Academy thought they could not win.
7. Reed Martin (well known disability lawyer: [url="http://www.reedmartin.com)"]www.reedmartin.com)[/url] has told me that he has taken cases to court regarding food allergy and accommodation plans and has won. I do not know the names of the cases, but some do exist.
Here is the link to the Land v. Baptist case: [url="http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=8th&navby=case&no=982019P"]http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=8th&navby=case&no=982019P[/url]
Here is a link to the Settlement of Le Petite Academy & United State of America
[url="http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/lapetite.htm"]http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/lapetite.htm[/url]
Ps. Let me dig up my OCR rulings. I know there is one case in Rhode Island where the school was found in violation of the child’s civil rights.
Take care,
Rhonda
[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited February 19, 2003).]

Posted on: Wed, 02/19/2003 - 3:08am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

CHANT: Go Rhonda... Go Rhonda... Go Rhonda. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Wonderful, detailed clarification. Thanks!
Gail

Posted on: Wed, 02/19/2003 - 10:25am
cathlina's picture
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Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

The school district can appoint whomever they wish to be the 504 coordinator.
It could be someone in the district office or on a building by building basis.

Posted on: Thu, 02/20/2003 - 12:30am
Rhonda RS's picture
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Joined: 02/24/2001 - 09:00

No, the person does not have to be located off-site. Section 504 states that the district only has to designate one person as the Section 504 Coordinator. The law does not state who that person is. That person could hold multiple titles. And I suppose, there could be multiple 504 Coordinators. In our district for example, our 504 Coordinator holds the title, "Director of Pupil Personnel." She is the Section 504 Coordinator as well as the Special Education Coordinator. We had to make our request to our Section 504 Coordinator for the 504 Designation. However, it was our school principal who called us to set up our first 504 Meeting. Our school principal runs all the 504 Meetings for her building (with great skill I might add.) The 504 Coordinator did not attend, though she told me she would if I wanted her to.
Each district must also have a designated 504 Compliance Officer. Do you know who the compliance officer is? That might be the principal too.
If you find that your school principal / 504 Coordinator is denying you a 504 Designation with accommodations and modification that you believe your child is entitled to, you can go to the next level. You can contact the Director of Pupil Personnel, this person is probably the Special Education Director. You can also contact the superintendent of schools. Each school reacts differently to a 504 Designation request.
Put all your requests in writing.
Be sure to put your request in writing, along with a carefully crafted doctor’s letter - stating that “breathing is affected;” this is the language of 504. And to be safe, I would include my CAP RAST Test results. This method seems to be most effective for parents in obtaining a 504 Designation.
Please keep us posted on your progress.
Take care,
Rhonda
[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited February 20, 2003).]

Posted on: Thu, 02/20/2003 - 1:24am
cynde's picture
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Joined: 12/10/2002 - 09:00

This is off topic, but I'm just wondering Rhonda, if there is something wrong with your keyboard. I think you have a lot of good information, but I am having trouble following it all because of the weird symbols that keep popping up.
I do not have any info to add about the topic, we do not have a 504 system in Canada. But I like to find out how other people handle things.
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Cynde
[This message has been edited by cynde (edited February 20, 2003).]

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