504 Meeting with school

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 10:33am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Thought I would post an update of how things went at our 504 meeting with the school this morning.

Everyone (school staff) had a completely different attitude when I got there, very pleasant and friendly. The nurse came in last, she did have a difficult disposition and look on her face about the first 1/2 hour, but HER boss (the head nurse over the whole district) was there and she (the school nurse) was a lot tamer than the past meeting where she was my biggest adversary.

The head nurse, school nurse, District 504 Coordinator, Principal and Asst. Principal were there. We went through my proposed plan line by line.

Everything was pretty well agreed to, the only exception was the hand washing, I asked that the kids washed there hands upon entering the classroom in the a.m., after snack and after lunch. The time restraints were the issue, I brought up the baby wipes at the door scenerio, but that was quickly dismissed (by myself and them) b/c of costs...we are talking 80 students (we have "pods" here, which are 4 classrooms with approx. 20 students each and they switch classes, so this would have to be done for ALL 80 students) They will be doing the liquid santizer after lunch. I am comfortable with this at THIS POINT.

They had consulted with the office manager that does the ordering of supplies and she is in the process of compiling a list of the soaps and art supplies that are purchased so I can okay these things. They wanted to do this even though I had offered to supply Cam's soap, but they didn't want him to feel different using a different soap.

They asked me to draft two letters, one for the parents of the whole school and one letter for all the parents in his pod.

The training of all staff members will be trained and will have to sign off that they have indeed been trained. The epi....there will be a kit with 2 epi's and benedryl in his class and handed off each time he leaves the class, the only thing that I wasn't thrilled with but will comprise too, is that it will be in a locked cabinet while in the class, then there will be a backup in the nurses office.

They will be placing him in a "pod" classes that is closest to the nurses office, I also requested that they place him with one of their more compassionate teachers, the principal highly agreed.

I could not believe the difference in these peoples attitude! It was uncanning, the only time the nurse got a little ticked was at the end of the meeting she left to go get a medical release, I asked while she was gone what the release was for exactly (although I knew) and they said for communication with his dr. I said I have no problem with communication as long as it's written communication that is CC'd to me. I will not allow any phone conversations, and explained this was nothing personal, it just is a measure that I will only have in writing, they were totally understandable and ok with it, when the nurse came back in and when they said that to her, she kinda got snippy and I said "XXXX, please don't take that personally it has nothing to do with you, theres just been an experience where the Dr's words were taken UNINTENTIONALLY and twisted, so I don't want there to be any miscommunication and don't want that to happen in this situation" she was fine after that....in fact after the meeting was over, her, myself and the head nurse stayed a few minutes after so I could sign the release (which I added the clause that communication was to strictly be in written format), and another form so that she can go ahead and do her Care Plan. They asked me to let them know how I want to do the presentation to the children, later when it was just the school nurse and I, I suggested that we do it jointly. That must have made her feel good, she later asked me that if I wasn't working she would really love to have me come in and volunteer in her office throughout the year. SOooooo things look so much better.

We have to wait until his testing is finished for placement then we will do the actal plan, which should be in June/July.

I will keep you guys posted.

Lana [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 11:07am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Lana, Im so glad things went well for you. Its so nice to be pleasantly surprised! Its also funny how different people act in a professional setting with their bosses in the meeting.
So about the epi being locked in a cabinet, what was their reasoning behind that?
Also a thought that just popped in my head. What about in a fire drill? Does anyone have that covered in their 504? Do they unlock the cabinet and get it?
Again congratulations, and I hope mine goes as well!

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 11:13am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Lana , one more question, I was just reading the other threads and wondered where is he sitting at lunch? Do you have a peanut free table or what?

Posted on: Wed, 05/21/2003 - 12:17pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I agree it is so nice to be pleasantly surprised. And it was that for sure, a surprise.
The fire drill, I'm glad you brought that up, it has been mentioned here on pa.com before, but it is something that I have neglected to mention. So thank you, b/c this is a very important point. What I will do is make sure that what ever class he is in, that adult will be responsible for getting his medicine bag.
He will be sitting at a peanut free table, we have discussed two options - 1.) They can set up a table that is seperate (like they use currently for a "parent table" and have Cameron pick a couple of students from his class to sit with him and the teacher will check their lunches for pnut products. All of the tables butt up in a line like this: ------- in ones (i.e. they don't have tables butting up in fronts (does that make sense) it was also suggested that we could use an end table as the PF table with a sign on it, anyone sitting at that table would have their lunches checked prior to them sitting there. I beleive either would be fine for the school, it would be my preference, I'm leaning towards the latter.
I also suggested that it could be covered with a paper table cloth, before his class was to sit each day. This way it would eliminate the worry of whether or not the table was indeed wiped down or not.
I truly believe that their attitudes changed once they saw the other plans that I had given them a few weeks ago. It showed them that it wasn't an isolated freak case. The District 504 person was also a determining factor I believe, she has always had an understanding response to this from the very beginning, and having her in my corner was something that smoothed things along, IMO.
I will also add that I opened their eyes to a whole new world. I also made it very clear that my goal was to reduce the risks as much as possible. There were going to be things that are uncontrollable (such as library books) and that I am not expecting to send my child through these doors and think that there are never any risks. There are risks everywhere, including my own home. My intentions were to make it as safe for him as possible, so that he will be able to enjoy his education and not be in fear. Where there are risks that we can't forsee or control (again, library books, door knobs), we will have to rely on a solid emergency plan. I point blank told them that this was not being done (504) b/c of my lack of confidence in them, it's the fact that I know what can happen, and it is something that other people will never get the full grasp of until they live it.
They have even asked me to bring Cameron in during the summer and we will have a "special tour" for him, showing him where everything is, letting him get to know the nurse so that he is comfortable with her and will not be fearful of telling her when there is a problem.
It was a very educational experience for all of them including the nurses.
Keep your head up, you have already had a better experience then I had. They were very quick in a positive reponse to you, so you have that in your favor.
Good luck and please keep us posted. If you want a copy of my proposed plan, I would be glad to mail it to you. This was the best tool we had I think. I gave it to them in Feb., but prior to the meeting is the key, then we went over line by line, every detail.
Just email me your address and I'll get it in the mail to you.

Posted on: Thu, 05/22/2003 - 10:51am
momma2boys's picture
Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

Lana, hi, thanks I will email you my address. Im getting ready for the big trip to the new allergist tomorrow.
Lunch is the part that makes me so nervous. What if they dont see him having a reaction, what if they dont wipe down the table good, what if they......... Im sure you get it.
Well I ll let you know how it goes tomorrow. Thanks again.

Posted on: Wed, 05/28/2003 - 3:49am
Rhonda RS's picture
Joined: 02/24/2001 - 09:00

Hi Lana
How are you? You did it! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] I knew you would. So... what advice would you give parents who are just beginning their journey of obtaining the 504 Designation? What are some key elements for having success?

Posted on: Thu, 05/29/2003 - 1:33pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hi Rhonda,
Thanks for your cheers! I'm hopeful that things are looking up, but like I told DH, it isn't in writing yet and I know there is still alot to be done! But I am still holding my breath for the actual plan.
As for advice for others just starting with a 504. My first advice would be to read and KNOW the 504 law before you even initiate contact with the school. Knowing the law and what your rights are, are by far going to be your biggest backing. If you have already started with the school, it still is in your favor to know the law...Reasons: #1 the school probably isn't going to tell you what you can and can't do legally, due to either ignorance of the law themselves or they just don't want to go through the red tape that is involved and therefore believe that you aren't going to know the law, if you know the law, you can be a better spokesperson for your child.
My second piece of advice have a strong support system, this was very valuable in my process and still is, I couldn't have made it through this without many of the people I have that keep me strong. It's not an easy road to travel at all, and that support system is what kept me stronger to keep fighting.
The third biggest thing is to start early, I started this process in Jan. and our first real meeting was 2 weeks ago. I would've started my initial contact with the school this time last year (a whole year early) had I realized the hurdles I had to jump just to get some attention.
When you start, my suggestion is to go straight to the District 504 Coordinator, especially in smaller towns, they know a little more about the law maybe (in my case anyway), the district 504 Coord. seemed more willing to follow the law, this is just my opinion and observation. When you contact them, send them in writing your 504 request and include a letter from your allergist with the life systems involved.
Another big help was giving them my Proposed plan. I also included other plans that were in effect. Try to find out if any schools close to you (or as close as you can find) have any plans in place, if not, it doesn't matter what state it comes from because it is a federal law, but naturally having in-state schools currently doing it can make a bigger impact.
Try to be as calm as you can when faced with a derogatory response. You are handing them something that they have never dealt with before. That was a big hurdle for me as I am a very emotional and defensive person. After they seen actual plans from other schools and really had time to sink this stuff in, they calmed down too, so give them time to sink this in to their own brains.
There is so much more that can be said, like things to include, etc etc. but this thing would be pages long. Rhonda's site is the greatest tool and should be read throughly before going through the process.
I look forward to helping others that are going through this as I've been helped by so many here. Rhonda was a life saver and I sure appreciate all the help you gave me through this.
Lana [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

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