504 for Kindergarten -- school won\'t start until ds enrolled

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 5:34am
mommyofmatt's picture
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Sorry if this has been covered before...I don't recall this question specifically. DH & I met with the principal of the school ds will be starting Kindergarten in next fall.

Overall, the meeting was positive. There were a few negatives which will need to be ironed out, but overall good.

The principal brought up the 504 plan [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] DH wasn't totally convinced he didn't mean an IHP, but just called it a 504...we'll see.

But, he said they wouldn't initiate the process until ds is enrolled, and enrollment doesn't start until the end of the school year. I've read on here how hard it is to get all parties together for a meeting at the end of the year, so this does have me concerned.

I've read from a few other posts lately that other schools wouldn't start the 504 process until enrollment either. Just wondering how common it is? And, if anyone was able to get things rolling sooner, HOW??????????

Thanks. Meg

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 7:35am
Carefulmom's picture
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I wonder if there is some legal requirement about this???? Maybe they cannot do a 504 on someone who technically is not enrolled. I enrolled my dd around late May. Called the school nurse a few days later and introduced myself on the phone and the situation about the allergies (milk, egg, peanut) and the epi. I asked what forms I would need, stopped by school, picked them up, took them to the allergist, brought them back to school sometime in June (school gets out here around June 23). We did not have our 504 meeting until the teachers were assigned which was August. I felt that it was crucial to have her teachers present at the 504 meeting. Everything was pretty much in place when school started in September, but I shadowed dd every day the first week, to supervise the hand washing (a totally foreign concept to the school, but the kids caught on fast) and to see if there were any other situations that we had not addressed.
[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited January 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 8:04am
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They tried making the date later for us too. They did the paperwork for incoming k kids early here though (January). They didn't want the meeting until the very last week of school (the school year prior to dd entering kindergarten). I knew there was no way the 504 would be in place before dd started school if I did that.
I had to write a letter to the principal. I explained that as a teacher I knew those meetings could sometimes go on for a few meetings and not just one. There is definitely at least one meeting to determine eligibility and then at least one more for accommodations. I explained that I did not want dd walking into the school until I knew there was a plan in place.
I also explained that the nurse made it clear that she doesn't work over the summer. I needed to have everything in place before the school year started.
Of course, then I had something more to throw in. I pointed out that they had incoming k parents attend 3 meetings to prepare us for our child's entrance to kindergarten. I had attended every meeting (and they started in January!) I said that if they wanted parents to attend meetings that early to prepare them for their child's entrance into kindergarten, then it was only fair for them to attend meetings that had to do with a potentially life threatening food allergy a bit earlier than the last week of school.
I also pointed out documentation from the doctor that stated that dd's allergy was potentially life threatening.
They also tried to say that dd's teacher should be present.
I pointed out that any grade level teacher can attend a 504 meeting as a grade level representative (I know--I had to do this when I was teaching). Also, perhaps they would know dd's teacher a bit early since this teacher would have to make special accommodations.
They booked the meeting a bit early--early enough so the 504 was complete before dd entered school. AND...they somehow figured out who her teacher was and she attended the meeting.
Here is a link that explains I was going through at that time...
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002210.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002210.html[/url]
I received good advice in that thread. Maybe it could help you too.
Good luck!
[This message has been edited by Lori Anne (edited January 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 10:12am
Carefulmom's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Lori Anne:
[b] There is definitely at least one meeting to determine eligibility and then at least one more for accommodations. [/b]
That isn`t always true. Each situation is different. Our school considered anyone with allergies and an epi to be eligible 504. We did not have a 504 eligibility meeting. It would have been a total waste of everyone`s time, including mine, since we all knew she was eligible. There are others on this board who had the same experience. It sounds like Mommyofmatt is being offerred a 504 like we were (I never asked, it was offerred to me by the school), so I am thinking maybe her child is already considered eligible like mine was.
We only had two 504 meetings in all of elementary school. One was the August before kindergarten and the other was in 4th grade when the teacher kept violating it. Schools vary a lot in how they handle it.

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 10:30am
Lori Anne's picture
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Actually, when I typed that, I was writing what I wrote to the principal in our situation. I knew they told me that the kids in the school with food allergies had IHCP and not 504. I knew we had to argue our case.
Speaking in general, I understand that each case is different which is why I assumed everyone had a meeting to determine eligibility. I've always been told that blanket statements were not O.K. with 504 and that it was determined on a case by case basis. When I was teaching, that is why we always had an eligibility meeting to determine eligibility. However, I can see how that meeting can go right into the accommodations if everyone agrees within the first 5 minutes that the child is eligible.
This may be true in mommyofmatt's case, but I'd want her to be sure before counting on it. Otherwise she could run out of time.
The end of the year is a tough time because educators have to squeeze in a lot of meetings at that time. I'm speaking from experience as an educator who had to attend a lot of these meetings [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
Also, sometimes agreeing on accommodations can take more than one meeting. It's best to be sure you have enough time than to assume you do and then find that you are stuck waiting until the following school year starts.
[This message has been edited by Lori Anne (edited January 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 11:03am
Lori Anne's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by Lori Anne:
[b]I had to write a letter to the principal. I explained that as a teacher I knew those meetings could sometimes go on for a few meetings and not just one. [/b]
Just so there is no confusion....pointing out that I also said that they *sometimes* go on for a few meetings and not just *one*.
I realize the way I typed it earlier was confusing and could sound like I meant "always". When I was talking about 2 meetings "definitely" I meant in our situation. That's what I get for writing stream of consciousness...
Anyway, back on track to the topic at hand...how to get 504 meetings earlier than enrollment..
[This message has been edited by Lori Anne (edited January 26, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/26/2007 - 6:29pm
NicoleinNH's picture
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Joined: 06/21/2003 - 09:00

edit
[This message has been edited by NicoleinNH (edited June 09, 2007).]

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 5:19am
Lori Anne's picture
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Quote:Originally posted by NicoleinNH:
[b] That didn't happen to us, but it could have.
I think if you meet in the Spring, there should be enough time for the plan to be in place prior to the Fall when he starts school.
[/b]
Exactly! I agree.

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 9:22pm
mommyofmatt's picture
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Thanks ladies for your thoughts. I like your ideas to speed things along Lori Anne and will definitely keep them in mind.
On the surface, the principal seemed very cooperative...I walked out of the meeting feeling like I lost like 50 lbs. Hopefully, our situation will be like yours Carefulmom.
But. Then, DH, started to dissect the meeting, and there are some potential issues. Good thing he was there!
Oh, and Lori Anne, I saw your other thread with all the links you used. That's a goldmine! You're a goddess woman [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] What a time saver! I saw that thread and felt like Santa Claus just came...seriously. I was just starting to gather my thoughts to get ready to go back to the principal, and was starting to feel overwhelmed, and BOOM your thread appears! Thank you so much. Meg

Posted on: Sat, 01/27/2007 - 9:53pm
maddiesmom's picture
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Joined: 12/20/1999 - 09:00

I have had very bad experiences waiting until the week or 2 before school starts to have the 504 process start. After the one year that was a disaster, I insist on starting it earlier.
I have approached it with the principal and given them the arguement that, as a former educator myself, I would like for the teacher to have plenty of time to re-think her curriculum and activities to make sure to accomodate my chid and her severe peanut/nut allergies. I actually try to convince them that by starting the process earlier, that it is doing THEM a favor. Helping to work everything out early, so that the first week of school goes smoothly. I have found that there are so many times when something is forgotten to be said at the 504 meetings, so we have to schedule another meeting (like when you said your husband thought of some things--that is just like my hubby, glad he comes along). If you start the process early enough then by the time school gets out, you have a 504 DONE, all meetings are over, it is typed up and the staff involved has ALL summer to read, make accomodations, be familiar with it before the first day of school.
You are doing a great thing by trying to get it done early-the benefits are huge, if the school is willing to go along. Good luck!

Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2007 - 3:35am
Lori Anne's picture
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Joined: 07/13/2005 - 09:00

Maddiesmom has a great suggestion--that you are doing them a favor. Sounds great and well thought out.
I do hope you have an easy time of things like Carefulmom did. I just wanted to be sure that you were prepared just in case things weren't as easy for you.
I'm glad the links are helpful to you. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Best of luck!

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