Section 504 Plan Outline for Children With Severe Food Allergies - Peanut Allergy Information

Section 504 Plan Outline for Children With Severe Food Allergies

Publish date:
Social count:

Visit [url=""][/url] for this 22 page outline for a 504 Plan or Accommodation Plan for food allergy.

Stay Safe, Rhonda

[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited November 24, 2002).]

On Jul 18, 2001

Thank-you Rhonda, a lot of hard work and great info.

------------------ Peanut/Nut-free wishes, Victoria

On Jul 18, 2001


Thank you for asking me to read your outline.

I think you have everything on the right track. Having been a teacher for many years, I absolutely agree that documentation is most crucial. (In other words, the Powers That Be do no budge to do anything extra unless someone hits them over the head.) I can only think of two principals during my teaching career who would have gladly worked out something like this for a child without being forced to do so. In fact, it seemed to take a threat of a lawsuit to get them moving. This attitude went all the way to the top and usually included the superintendent of the school district.

After my years watching parents fight and get nowhere, i started advising them to go up the stairsteps -- teacher, principal, superintendent -- and have an attorney alerted just in case.

Many teachers would have been cooperative once they realized the ramifications of the allergy, but most of the ones I knew who were cooperative were K-3 teachers. As an upper grade teacher, I just saw a lot of incompetence. It was unreal to me, but certainly explains California's fall in the educational ratings game.

I suggest a cover letter to be given to each recipient of the plan explaining quickly what anaphylaxis is and how quickly someone can die. The rest of your outline is excellent and seems to me to cover all the bases. (Of course, I have not been in the school system for some time, and they may have found some new type of incompetency that my generation did not think up. Judging from what I am seeing in my grandchildren's schhols, I am sure they are every bit as bad as they were when I was a teacher.)

Typo -- in the section re storage of classroom lunches -- #2 should be lunches, not lunch. (OK. I admit I also taught grammar to my kids. LOL)

Good luck with this. Keep up the good work and document all school discussions from a casual encounter to a telephone call.


On Jul 19, 2001

Hi Victoria, Thank you for taking the time to read through the outline, and for responding with the corrections and suggestions. I will make the changes. Stay Safe, Rhonda

On Jul 19, 2001

Hi Carol,

Thank you so much for the comments and your insights. On the money... many schools will not make A&Ms without resistance unless they know you mean business or you have some other clout.

I, too, am a teacher, and my knowledge of the "inside" was indeed my motivation to start this effort. It is interesting when reading the boards on

On Jul 24, 2001

Rhonda RS,

What a great outline! I'm currently working on a comprehensive plan to discuss with the school superintendent and elementary principal with another parent. This outline will greatly enhance the planning needed for the 2002-2003 school year. With my luck, however, I'll do all this work and my son will choose a cyberschool for his Kindergarten year. But at least it will be done for future years, and other food-allergic children.

I, too, am a former teacher. It's really amazing what people will do when everything is on paper in black and white. You can't budge when everything is spelled out for you--there's no room to say, "I didn't know..."

On Jul 24, 2001

Hi Ryan

On Jul 25, 2001

Rhonda RS,

A peanut-free classroom may need the approval of the superintendent before such a situation can go into effect. Therefore, my plan is to bring him up to speed on the severity of peanut allergies before this issue is placed before him. Unfortunately, many people think the problem is ingestion only. That is the exact perception I am trying to change. I get the impression they feel they are implementing appropriate measures according to their perception. My goal is to try to change their view and recognize many other potentially dangerous and deadly situations I have observed or have become concerned with in the past two years.

I am obtaining the backing of my allergist and pediatrician. My view is to stay open--I realize some things I ask for I will not get. But there are several issues I am not negotiable on. Many of the things I'm asking for are quite workable, but take extra planning and a little extra time. My approach will be: This is what needs to be done, let's work on how we can best accomplish this. My attitude is not: Can we do this, but let's find a way to do this. And yet, of course, I have to do this in an extremely tactful, considerate manner so as to not alienate anybody or consider myself a royal pain in the butt. I'm trying to emphasize that a better comprehensive plan will also help protect the school district, and should be open to change. Nothing is set in concrete. For example, just as severity of cerebral palsy is different with each child, no two parents will request the exact same 504 for PA (or other food-allergic) children.

Oh, there's so much psychological stuff here. I hate trying to "read" people and tiptoe over various issues to get things done. That is really the hard part and the most time consuming. It can be very stressful and physically draining. We know what we want, but the methods of getting there can be so draining. And you want to hear something ridiculous? I really dread the thought of putting on my suit, pantyhose, and heels for this meeting with the principal and superintendent. It's the middle of summer, and I'll be sweating like a pig! But the fact is I want to present a positive, businesslike image to present my "case."

Sorry for ranting...I get tired just thinking about this! Oh yeah, yes I am advocating the parent creating the 504, and yes, I am starting to create one right now with the help of much info found in this Schools section. It's really a collection (or should I say collaboration) of thoughts and ideas from this board. Thanks, everyone!

On Jul 28, 2001

Double post...ooops.

[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited July 28, 2001).]

On Jul 28, 2001

Hi Ryan

On Aug 1, 2001

Hi Thank you sooo much for posting the above information. It will be so helpful. My son starts preschool in Sept. (YIKES!) Your thread has given me a lot to think about. I am pretty comfortable with the preschool as they are experienced with someone who seems even more sensitive than my son. We do need to sit down before it starts and go over everything. I am waiting for the director to get back to me to set that up. I have a question. I feel really ignorant. Am I right that the 504 does not apply to preschool? I haven't worked on one because that is what I thought and he is only 3. Am I being stupid? The preschool is out of town. I have called our town to ask about procedures etc. when he gets there. I spoke to several people who kept passing me on until I got the right (?) one who told he didn't need a 504. Those responses convinced me we need the documentation more than ever, but I haven't done this for preschool because I thought it was not applicable. Forgive me if I've gotten off track, I just thought of this as I was responding. Thanks again Rhonda for all your hard work. I am not looking forward to the meetings with the admins. etc. I have a degree in Ed, but never taught, so I don't feel I have any insites into the inner workings of the schools.

On Aug 4, 2001

Hi RJM, I am so glad you found it helpful. -You are not being stupid. It is very confusing: ADA v. IDEA v. Section 504. -If your preschool receives federal funding, then your child w/fa is protected under Section 504, U.S. Office of Civil Rights, and you are entitled to a 504 Plan should he/she meet the qualification criteria. If your preschool *does not receive federal funds* then your child with food allergy is protected under ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), U.S. Department of Justice. Under ADA, your preschool should make accommodations and modifications for your child. Following the 504 Plan format above is appropriate for a Preschool Accommodation & Modification Plan. Just attach ADA at the end, instead of Section 504. Go to the 50+ School Articles Links topic I posted. There are a few articles about ADA. Our preschool director and I have just finalized our preschool plan, and I will post it soon. Stay Safe, Rhonda

[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited August 04, 2001).]

On Aug 8, 2001

Thank you so much for taking so much time to compile all this information. I have my PA child starting kindergarten next week and am so overwhelmed, I cant' think straight. I am so scared and upset and worried..could go on there. Anyhow, this school has never dealt with anything like this, and my daughter is always with me, so trying to figure out everything I need to cover has been a big worry. I cant' wait for my friend to print this out so I can go over it better tomorrow. I will definetly be using it. I also have the video Alexander the elephant and a book on severe food allergies, plus everything I just ordered from the Food Allergy network. Then the book No Nuts for me, to read to the class. I have several posters coming to place in the cafeteria and classroom and the color book and stickers. The school wants to have me tell them everything and is willing to do whatever I ask, but trying to figure out the things I needed to tell them has been horrible. I think this will help me out alot, maybe let me calm down a tiny bit. The hardest part is not only do I have a two year old with attitude right now, but I have a 5 week old baby, so time is not on my side right now. She starts school on Tuesday the 14th of Aug. Thank you so much for taking this time to give out information. Someone, someday, should compile all this and get the food allergy network products all in one package for parents. THANK YOU again, I can't begin to tell you how much help this is.

On Aug 10, 2001

Hi Momof4,

I am really glad you find it helpful! It sounds like you have your hands full, and that your are also truly blessed.

Yes, it would be great if more useful information was bundled together. I have some ideas too about what should be included in the bundle. Let

On Aug 26, 2001

Bump. First week oof school, 504 outline

On Aug 26, 2001

Hi Everyone, I am getting lots of feedback sent to my e-mail. It is very helpful if you could post here (e-mail is okay too though [img][/img] I check this topic just about every day. More people have posted their 504 Plans. I hope to update the Outline soon. Keep up the great work! Stay Safe, Rhonda

On Aug 26, 2001

Rhonda~~Thanks so much for allowing our support group to use this outline! It is a wonderful example of the type of questions and things we need to be thinking of when talking to our schools, whether it be Mother's Morning out programs, preschool, or any other schools! [img][/img]

On Sep 1, 2001

Hi Mary, You are welcome! Please do post any great ideas your group comes up with so that we can all learn from each other. Stay safe, Rhonda

On Oct 7, 2001

Bump for new readers to the board.

On Nov 26, 2001

Re-raising this once again!!!

On Dec 30, 2001

Hi Everyone, I just made quite a few more additions to the 504 Plan Outline. I also organized more information around the IHP. What do you think of the IHP subsections, the Student Self-Assessment (that I modeled after a sample diabetes 504 Plan) Background Information and the Goals Sections? -Are we missing anything? -Special thanks to Gail for all her insight into IHPs and everyone else for the great feedback and suggestions I have been getting via e-mail [img][/img] Stay Safe, Rhonda

[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited December 30, 2001).]

On Feb 18, 2002

I have updated the outline again to include more fieldtrip information and cleaned up some redundancy in parts C & D. Take Care, Rhonda

[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited February 18, 2002).]

On Nov 24, 2002

I have updated this document again. Rhonda

On Jan 9, 2003

HI everyone, I'm new to the "school" issues concerning my PA daughter. She's starting Kind. in the comming fall and I'm terrified! I've had great response from her pre-school. They had me come in during a staff meeting to teach a class on PA, and practice with the Epi-pen trainers. I really don't think I'm going to have this type of response with the public school! I called to find out when enrolment started, and to ask for a meeting to be set up with the principal to discuss what (if any) type of program they have in place for PA kids. The person I spoke to said "You don't need an appointment. We just watch the kids,and substitute something else for lunch on PB&J days". My next question was,"What do you do to prevent cross contamination of the food prepaired for the PA kids?". Response.."There's no way that can happen!"

I really have a rough road ahead of me there I suspect!

As to the 504.........Thank You Rhonda for the outline!!!! I am reading it (but to me it could be French). Any advise on how to manage preparing a 504 plan for Lindsey? Are there any samples of finished 504's I could look at to know if I am on the right track?

Thanks Everyone Lori


On Jan 10, 2003

Rhonda RS

Hi thanks for all the work you have done.

I need your help.

Under the thread This is it Iam scared to dealth for little v is were I have been posting about her school.

I have twins it is almost 6:30 here.I might have to cut short to get them to bed so has to contuin my research for her school.

The ? is , I was told by the school ese team that the IEP over rules the 504,then the sayed it was better. What is true?

Iam going to try to post more on the thread tonight.

They sent a letter home to the parents asking to not send in peanuts and p products.

I was told by the teacher that after the letter went home there was more peanuts and products sence the letter went home.

I will get the whole story out tonight.

I look forward to chatting to night.

Love this site Synthia

On Jan 11, 2003

Hi Lori, Hope you are well. Check out this thread by Gail W: [url=""][/url] . A few plans are listed there. I think there are about 6+ completed plans on this site in the Schools forum. You just need to sift through the posts to find them. On my 504 Outline, I changed statements into questions. So, any question that I asked on the 504 Outline was addressed in one or more actual 504 Plans that I collected. Stay Safe, Rhonda

On Jan 11, 2003

Hi Synthia, Hope you are well. If your child is protected under IDEA, then your child is automatically protected under Section 504. But if your child is protected under 504 only, then your child is not automatically protected under IDEA (though one may be depending of whether or not the 504 disability designation meets the IDEA requirements.) Visit this site for a nice graphic of this point in yellow, blue and red.


I have not been following your threads, though I have read the titles of your posts. My feeling is that either disability designation would be a victory: A Section 504 designation with a 504 Plan or an IDEA designation under Other Health Impaired with an Individualized Education Plan.

The thing to remember is that there are some administrative differences between the two. I don’t know if you read my article 504 v. IDEA. But check out the Section, “What are the administrative differences between Section 504 and IDEA:


Additionally, districts get federal money for IDEA programs but not for Section 504 programs. This fact should be irrelevant to you as a parent, since the district needs to provide what your child needs so that he may have the “same opportunities as his non-disabled peers.” The government says districts have to fund these programs (a 504 Plan), and districts have to come up with the funds. The district may want an IDEA designation because they get funds from the federal government for IDEA programs. All I would care about is whether or not my child is getting the accommodations and modifications in writing to the learning environment that my doctor and I think he needs to keep him safe, and that I can hold the district accountable (legally if necessary) because I have an accommodation plan in writing. If the district does not hold up its end of the IEP or 504 Plan, this action could be interpreted legally as discrimination.

Your IEP for food allergy should be as comprehensive and detailed as any 504 Plan. And in fact, I would follow the exact same format as I have stated in my 504 Outline. Just have the school write IEP at the top. I doubt (again I have not followed your threads) the district has ever written a comprehensive IEP for severe food allergy before. So you must guide them in the process.

What do you have from the district saying your child is protected under IDEA? Do you have a written IEP in place, and what does it look like? What does your Emergency Response Protocol look like? How long are they, who has them, how detailed are they? What kind of training has school personnel received? Is the classroom a peanut / tree nut free environment? How old is your child?

Lastly, with regard to the letter that went home: I don’t know what it said, or what your IEP states. Have you posted that your IEP, ERP and letter home to parents anywhere on the boards?

Take care, Rhonda

[This message has been edited by Rhonda RS (edited January 11, 2003).]

On Jan 12, 2003


Yes in the thread She is 3 1/2 yo. Iam going to get her a advocate to go to the meetings with me.

Love this site Synthia

On Jan 12, 2003

Hi Synthia, I read the thread. Is this program housed in a public school building and run by the district in your town? What do you have in writing? I'm still not clear on what you have in writing regarding the accommodations and modifications for food allergy issues in addition to the speech / language needs (and developmental needs…OT?). Rhonda

On Jan 12, 2003


Yes it is in a public school

Thats just it we just started this. We have had meeting # 2 School nurse x2 was there.

2 ESE staff

Her teacher,and asst teacher

My self,and Little v.

What is it you need to know about the IEP,I have the paper work.

Nothing eles has been put in to place.

I have a wonderful mother-inlaw with some legal back ground tring to help me out

As it stands now I am not going to send her that is Littlev into school on the 16 of this month.

Iam going to call Child find on mon.

Thanks for all your help .

Love this site Synthia

On Jan 12, 2003


Wow. You appear to be helping Synthia out AND being compassionate, considerate, and concerned. (Loud Applause and Cheering)

Thank you.


I hope all goes well for you and little v. You will be in my prayers.


On Jan 13, 2003

Hi Synthia,

I brought this point out in your original thread, "I am scared to...," but I thought it is important to mention it in this thread.

I am not clear that they have offered you an Other Health Impaired designation for food allergy under IDEA. If the school is unwilling to put OHI due to food allergy on the IEP as one of the qualifying disabilities, then I would seek out a stand alone 504 Plan for food allergy. You need to get OHI eligibility in writing. If they do not give you the OHI designation for food allergy, then food allergy issues cannot be part of the IDEA IEP! Remember, if it’s not in writing, then it does not exist.

IHPs are fine for handling food allergy issues as long as the administrator in charge (principal) backs the nurse in the necessity and intricacies of an IHP. But there seem to be fewer guarantees with an IHP that does not specifically list OHI as the qualifying disability that the accommodations and modifications will be carried out to the letter. If you don’t have the OHI designation for food allergy, a new principal could come in and say, I don’t agree with theses accommodations and modifications. And there is not too much you can do about it (except sue of course, and who wants to go down that road if it can be avoided – for example you could make a case in court that if a child needs an IHP then he must have some type of disability which requires some type of disability protection – but this gets very messy.) Once a child has an OHI designation under IDEA or a 504 designation under 504, it’s very difficult to take away. But if you just have an IHP as a subcomponent of your IEP with no OHI food allergy designation, you are leaving yourself wide open for problems later on. The school is not going to tell you this.

So, I leave you with my original thought which is go for protection under IDEA with an IEP with OHI food allergy designation OR a 504 Plan with protection under Section 504. But an IHP with no qualifying OHI designation would leave you vulnerable and the stick with an IHP with no OHI is not very big.

Take care, Rhonda

On Sep 25, 2003

re-raising for Holly

On Oct 18, 2003

raising for anobstinateone and jodi2boys

On Oct 22, 2003

Thank you so much for posting this! You are extremely thorough and I am exhausted just reading it! This allergy is so overwhelming. My son goes to kindergarten next year. This gives me a guide of where to begin. Thanks again!!

On Dec 8, 2003

reraising for a new member in Fla Love this site Synthia

On Jan 16, 2004

reraising to compliment other discussions.

On Jun 25, 2004

Bump for AnnieM