Meeting with New School Re 504

Posted on: Tue, 04/11/2006 - 10:27am
nopnutmom's picture
Joined: 04/11/2006 - 09:00

Hi guys,

I'm under a different username.

In case you don't know who I am, you guys were helping me with email communication between myself and the new school DS will be starting next year.

I wanted to post what happened at the meeting today...for the most part, it went really well, the 504 part is not great, yet not as bad as it could be.

DH and I met with what seemed like the entire school personnel, ya know how it is in the little bitty room with all those administrators. Anyway, we loved the administration and RN...very receptive and seemed very strict and attentive. The good part is they will implement the plan, we made a few changes concerning some things that needed to be expanded on. I made it very clear in the very beginning when they asked me to start the meeting, that our main objective to meeting with them was to have a 504 eligibility meeting, but it was my understanding that first we were going to go through the current IHP, which I added was fine. After we discussed the entire IHP and how it's been handled at the previous school and it was clear we were done discussing in detail all of that, the 504-C said, OK, what about the 504 and looked at the principal and myself - basically to make a really long story short, they didn't understand WHY I wanted the 504, they think it's just a form...I finally (and some here may disagree with what I did, but circumstance pretty much forced me into it), I had to tell them that because of all the violations on his IHP, I wanted accountability. Then they seem to understand my reasons behind it, they did the song and dance about how they can be different, DH spoke up and said that it was the same thing that the other school had told us....I also told them that it takes the responsibility off of me when asked to do something contradictory to the plan, I can't make that decision on my own, etc. They made a statement sometime into the conversation that the "child study team" would see if they felt he "needed" a 504. I said "needed or not, if he's eligible, he's eligible".

I explained to them that when something is violated, I have gone to the teacher, nothing is done, I have to go to the principal, which in turn creates a friction between myself and the teacher...that alone is enough for me b/c I need to be able to communicate with his teacher easily without conflict. They understood that and appreciated that.

At one point discussing past violations were the pbj sandwiches on sack lunch days and field trips and how maybe they could be ham sandwiches instead of pbj, which is something that no one else has ever suggested in the school.

It was left as the RN going through getting the things added to the plan, getting me a list of soap manufacturers and science animals (food, bedding, etc) for me to check on safe stuff. AND the good part, the principal is going to contact the school attorney to see what we need to do regarding the 504...

Anyway, I have to say all in all, I'm impressed with the administration...the 504 process for PA is new ground and may require some fight and education.

The ESE director for the school did make a comment that it's illegal to be covered under IDEA and 504, do you know where this is in print if it's not true.

I know there is alot I've left out, jumped around etc etc etc., just cause I'm pushed for time as usual and wanted to post what happened at the meeting.

I don't think they debate him being eligible, they don't understand why it's necessary when they are providing accommadations.

I'll keep posting as new events happen, my impression would be soon.

As always, thanks!!


Edited to delete confidential information.

[This message has been edited by nopnutmom (edited April 13, 2006).]

Posted on: Tue, 04/11/2006 - 9:22pm
Rhonda RS's picture
Joined: 02/24/2001 - 09:00


Posted on: Tue, 04/11/2006 - 10:25pm
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

I think many school use the "why is is necessary" argument just to avoid the 504. They KNOW why it is is necessary because in the past there was no accountability for decisions or actions at school that affected your child. If someone doesn't follow an IHP...what happens?? Nothing. You have to complain to the teacher, the principal, make sure it doesn't happen again. But there is still no accountability. A 504 streamlines the process. You have the 504-C to discuss a situation, and if you choose, you can file a formal complaint with the OCR, which could affect the school funding.
I hate the fact that the schools play this game. They are just seeing if you know yourself WHY you need a 504. In my opinion, a 504 should be offered to every child who is eligible, regardless as to whether their parent understands the elgibility or pushes for it. But of course, the schools are not going to do this because of the expense involved and the paperwork necessary.
I am in the same situation. The school is offering an extensive IHP, but no 504. I am just trying to decide what avenue I want to take. We have not tried a IHP yet, because my son is just going into kindergarten in the fall. The problem is we are moving this summer into the district (not until August) so I am trying to work on this from afar. I have also been given the line "he doesn't need a 504, we give IHP to all the allergy kids." Part of me wants to play their game and say fine we will try your way first, and then push for a 504 if a situation arises. But that worries me, because I want my son to be safe.
Good luck to you and keep me posted, I will be curious to see how all the parties involved handle the process.

Posted on: Tue, 04/11/2006 - 10:55pm
LaurensMom's picture
Joined: 05/23/2001 - 09:00

I have always looked at the 504 as an [i]agreement[/i] between the school and us so that there are no surprises on our side when it comes to her care and on their side for protection. DD doesn't take hot lunch but if she did, for example, I would put in the 504 that there are to be no peanuts nor may contains in the lunches. If I didn't do that, the onus would be on us to make sure the lunches were safe. KWIM?
In that regard, it would be in the best interest of the school to give you the 504. In my case, I feel I can't expect the school to think of things that I don't think of.
Feel free to offer opinions if you think I'm looking at this wrong.

Posted on: Wed, 04/12/2006 - 1:31am
notnutty's picture
Joined: 03/15/2004 - 09:00

The problem is that MOST schools do not view a 504 in that manner. From reading this board and talking to others, it seems that many schools view a 504 as a negitive...and it is only to be used in extreme situations. In fact, the school I am dealing with does not want my son to have a 504 and would be very happy to avoid that subject altogether.
They view the IHP as an agreement, in fact it specifically states the responsibilities of each party (student, school, and parents). On the other hand, they view the 504 very differently.
So maybe it just depends on the school and the way they decide to handle allergies. Some "get it" and some are clueless.

Posted on: Wed, 04/12/2006 - 6:56am
nopnutmom's picture
Joined: 04/11/2006 - 09:00

Thanks Rhonda - I found that on your site after I posted...thank you! [img][/img]
nonutty - I think you are right, they do play the game. Can you imagine the liability they would have after all that I have pressed for a 504 and them NOT give me one??
Also, I believe I read last night that if they provide accommadations and DON'T designate the 504, they are in non-compliance. I will go back and re-read to make sure I'm quoting something accurate. But I'm almost positive I did.
LaurensMom - I wish they viewed it the same way...but unfortunately they are scared of the 504's, because of it's legalities.
Like I told them in the meeting yesterday, I'm not looking for a suit, I'm looking for the school to be compliant with the plan, plain and simple.
I'll keep everyone posted as they develop.

Posted on: Wed, 04/12/2006 - 7:44am
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by nopnutmom:
[b] . . . They made a statement sometime into the conversation that the "child study team" would see if they felt he "needed" a 504. I said "needed or not, if he's eligible, he's eligible". [/b]
Perfect response! [img][/img]
Quote:Originally posted by nopnutmom:
. . . the principal is going to contact the school attorney to see what we need to do regarding the 504.[/B]
I'm confused. The 504-C was present, right? Why didn't she clarify the 504 process to everyone then and there? Since the 504-C didn't/couldn't, I guess it's good that the principal is circumventing her and going right to the district attorney?
(let me know if you want me to delete anything)

Posted on: Wed, 04/12/2006 - 10:29pm
nopnutmom's picture
Joined: 04/11/2006 - 09:00

Your post is perfectly fine. Thanks for asking though.
The 504-C doesn't have a clue either - and the funny thing is they KNOW the process, I spelled it out in email to the 504-C, which she stated that they do that process when it's an academic reason but not a health. I think they only do 504's for academic criteria(LD)...and IHP's for health impairments - I told them we could do an IEP if they wanted because he had asthma that did affect his learning but normally it's harder for a child to fall under that designation which is why I was asking for the 504. I wanted them to know I DID know the law, and if I remember correctly, that was one of the last discussions.
They could be playing the game, I wouldn't doubt it - but I just don't understand when a parent pushes for it, how they can't see their liability more so if they DON'T go through the process....baffles me, well more like angers me.

Posted on: Mon, 04/17/2006 - 11:20pm
Gail W's picture
Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Any news?

Posted on: Thu, 04/20/2006 - 12:24am
nopnutmom's picture
Joined: 04/11/2006 - 09:00

No response since the meeting - I sent the following email to the school 504C this a.m.:
"Hi 504C,
I hope you and your family had a nice Easter. I just wanted to touch base with you on a couple of the items that we discussed in the meeting last Tuesday.
We had discussed me supplying a list of safe food and bedding materials for animals (hamster and fish, to start). It might be easier if I just check out the type of food/bedding that they now use for any animals that are currently housed rather than getting in touch with manufacturers on certain brands, due to the fact that they are ever changing ingredients. I will do the same for the type of hand soap that XXXX school currently uses, as we discussed as soon as I get the manufacturer name and brand from the custodians. If it makes it easier for everyone involved, I can come up there, if needed.
I am working on a summary list of safe snacks/foods for teachers/parties, etc as requested

Posted on: Fri, 04/21/2006 - 4:21am
nopnutmom's picture
Joined: 04/11/2006 - 09:00

Recv'd this email from school 504c yesterday a.m.:
I'm not putting you off, but we will be having XXX XXXXXX (currently our middle school asst. principal) as the principal next year and once she starts with us we'll need to meet.
Ms. Current Principal talked with XXX XXXXX (504-C for District) and she was going to check with someone, but I haven't heard any more about that either.
Let me check on both of these and get back with you. The changes in administration here in no way affect the health plan or the training of those involved or the fact that you will meet with the staff and/or teachers on the first planning day.
My response to her above email:
If you could check on that and let me know, I just want to be sure we get this process completed prior to school beginning in the fall. I


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