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Posted on: Sun, 02/22/2004 - 10:59am
e-mom's picture
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Should I get a 504? If so, why?
What advantages are there to having a 504?
Anyone?

Posted on: Sun, 02/22/2004 - 1:17pm
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

e-mom, basically what I compare the 504 to is a contract stating everything they have agreed to do for your child. It gives you recourse if they dont do it. If they dont follow the 504 they can lose federal funding.
In your case it sounds like you will have no problems because it existed before your child even started school there. However, what would happen if your principal had to leave the school for whatever reason, personal or professional, and you get a new principal. And that new principal thinks that peanut allergy is nothing but a bunch of hysterical mothers over-reacting. He thinks none of the accommodations are necessary. You have no recourse, nothing. If you have a 504, then he has to abide by it like it or not.
At my last 504 meeting, the person in charge of 504s' made them add even the most minute details into the plan, and she looked at me and said, "thats just in case you move to a different school, or something happens , then it is in the plan." So I took that to mean that if we moved, a new school may be more apt to do things if a previous school felt it was necessary and doable.
It sounds like you have a great school, and should have no problems and it is entirely up to you to decide, just wanted to share my reasoning. Actually for us it was vital to me because ds was the first pa student they have ever had in the school district so it was new to everyone. I think it being made official in a federal document made them all take it a little more seriously. It also gives the principal something to fall back on as far as someone not complying. All she has to say is "Sorry, its in a 504 and we HAVE to comply".
If you need any more info, I will be glad to help [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Sun, 02/22/2004 - 3:38pm
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Well said, momma2boys. Since Mariah started school there have been 3 different school nurses. In fact, 4 of the 5 staff members on the "IHP team" were new at the start of the first 3 school years (K, 1, 2).
I guess it all depends on whether or not the district has adopted specific policy regarding the management of food allergic students. If they have, then you're already "covered". If not.... ???
I didn't pursue a 504 plan for several reasons. The biggist reason was that there wasn't much precedent in 1999 and it would have involved a long, arguous process. But that was over 5 years ago, and we were our school's "first". To a large extent, I regret this decision. (I know it's never too late for me to re-address it.)
Like e-mom, we also had an amazingly cooperative and competent staff, headed by a committed principal. I, too, was doing a happy dance. In fact, my husband and I moved precisely because we had hand-selected this specific school (due to our personal requirements and extensive research of area schools). I felt we had a "best case scenario".
Kindergarten was heaven-sent, for the most part. But then we had an "independent", non-compliant first grade teacher. And Mariah started having reactions... several. We had nothing in place to support the goodwill and wonderful relationship that we'd worked so hard to establish with the school.
It was scary. Very scary. We then realized the importance of formalizing our understandings [i]in writing [/i].
You are embarking on a 13 year relationship with your school district and all of it's families. Thirteen years is a long time... do you think there is any advantage for you to clarify your understandings in some sort of document? What do you think might be the odds of having at least [i]one[/i] non-complaint staff (or parent) in thirteen years? (I don't mean one mistake made; I mean a staff member who disregards the verbal agreement you have with the school.)
But you already know all this. Right e-mom? What are you thinking? Seriously. Does the district already have policy in place? I'm really curious. Please share!
Gail
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited February 23, 2004).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/23/2004 - 2:35am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

So, is the difference between an IHP and a 504 an issue of increased [i]monitorability[/i] (ie: "504 compliance officer") and increased [i]enforceability[/i](ie: "federal funds--*or not*")? I don't know. Just asking.

Posted on: Mon, 02/23/2004 - 5:30am
e-mom's picture
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Thank you for your explanations. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] I am trying to understand all the facts. I haven't entirely ruled out a 504 or an IHP. I just need to understand the difference. So I have a few questions to ask.
Quote:Originally posted by momma2boys:
[b]e-mom, basically what I compare the 504 to is a contract stating everything they have agreed to do for your child. It gives you recourse if they dont do it. If they dont follow the 504 they can lose federal funding.[/b]
So this statement leads me to believe that if I have a 504 and something happens to Ethan while under the care of the school and it is [b]PROVEN[/b] that the school didn't follow the 504 exactly--then I can sue AND they lose federal funding?
What is the difference if I do not have a 504 and something happens to him at school regarding his peanut allergy--If I wanted, I would still be able to sue, right? Why would a 504 give me leverage?
(I just wanted to point out something here--I'm only trying to find out what the difference is--I'm not sue happy!) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]
Question about federal funding: Can anyone give me an example of how much federal funding a school receives. (I'm sure that this will varying from state to state as well as attendance, etc.--but give me an idea). Are you saying that the school would lose [b]ALL[/b] their federal funding or just their federal funding for 1 child? And who decides that they would actually lose their federal funding? A court of law? Or is a mediator brought in to make a determination between the 2 parties involved?
Quote:[b]In your case it sounds like you will have no problems because it existed before your child even started school there. However, what would happen if your principal had to leave the school for whatever reason, personal or professional, and you get a new principal. And that new principal thinks that peanut allergy is nothing but a bunch of hysterical mothers over-reacting. He thinks none of the accommodations are necessary. You have no recourse, nothing. If you have a 504, then he has to abide by it like it or not.[/b]
For obvious reasons, having a 504 to cover a situation like this would be valuable and it makes perfectly good sense for me to have one for this reason.
Question though: When a 504 is established, who sets it in stone? Obviously the parents. The school AND principal? The entire school board? Who is in charge of the 504 transferring to the next school?
Quote:[b]If you need any more info, I will be glad to help [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img][/b]
I guarantee I will need more information--so many thanks!! [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]

Posted on: Mon, 02/23/2004 - 8:31am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by MommaBear:
[b]So, is the difference between an IHP and a 504 an issue of increased [i]monitorability[/i] (ie: "504 compliance officer") and increased [i]enforceability[/i](ie: "federal funds--*or not*")? I don't know. Just asking.[/b]
Complicated question. I'll take a stab at it and hope that others will correct me and/or add in~
Both the IHP and 504 plan have "monitoribility" and "enforceability", IMO. The 504 plan is perhaps a more [i]powerful motivator[/i]perhaps because it 1.) has a very structured and legally binding process the school must follow and 2.) because there exists a large [i]penalty[/i] attached to non-compliance.
I think about it this way:
An [b]IHP [/b]is a variation of the nursing care plan. Our IHP has a "team" that includes the principal, teacher, school counselor, and school nurse. At our school, it is the responsibility of school nurse to administer the IHP process~ she develops the IHP, administers it (keeps track of documentation, med releases, makes sure staff receive information on a "need to know basis", etc), implements it (including developing/documenting staff training), she [i]monitors[/i] it, and enforces it. She acts as the IHP "compliance officer". She is accountable to state laws and standards of nursing practices. She is required to obtain continuing education.
I don't know how/if an IHP would really work without a school nurse. Does anyone out there have an IHP without a school nurse?
A [b]504 plan[/b] can offer the exact same accommodations as an IHP. And the "504 team" may be comprised of the exactly same staff members.
The 504 plan is administered differently and has a different "accountability" to [i]laws [/i](i.e. the ADA) protecting your child against discrimination due to their disability. Fundamental to this protection is the child's right to *"reasonable accommodation"*.
A school staff member (generally [i]not[/i] the school nurse) serves as the school's 504 officer who makes certain that the school affords your child the legal protection under ADA. Typically it is the principal; at our school it is the school counselor who is the 504 officer. There is also a district 504 compliance officer (an Assist Superintendent in our case) who oversees and assists in the overall process.
The 504 process very much like the IEP process for anyone who has gone through that. It is usually activated when a parent requests "504 status". The school is required to respond to this written request within 10 days (I think) and arrange an eligbility meeting with the parents. It has only been the past few years that FAs have actually 'qualified' under the language of 504.
Then there are specific steps/meetings that the school is [i]legally bound to follow and within a specific time frame [/i]to then create the accommodation plan. Parents have specifically stated rights in this process. And if a parent believes that their child's 504 plan is not being followed, there exists a clear grievence process that must be implemented, again all within specific deadlines. Because the 504 process is directly tied to federal law, one of the greatest consequences of a school not following the 504 plan is the loss of federal funding. Cha-ching.
Does that make sense?

Posted on: Mon, 02/23/2004 - 8:56am
momma2boys's picture
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Joined: 03/14/2003 - 09:00

e-mom, as far as who sets a 504 in stone...in our school district the special ed. dept. is in charge of all 504s'. The school psychologist is [i]the[/i] person in charge.
For all meetings she is in attendance, as well as a parent rep., another person from special ed., his teacher, the principal, the school nurse, his aide, and myself.
I really dont know much about the funding, or anything about IHPs. But I think Rhondas site does a comparison... [url="http://www.allergysupport.org"]www.allergysupport.org[/url] . There is a lot of good info there.

Posted on: Mon, 02/23/2004 - 9:22am
MommaBear's picture
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Joined: 09/23/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
Complicated question. I'll take a stab at it and hope that others will correct me and/or add in~
Both the IHP and 504 plan have "monitoribility" and "enforceability", IMO. The 504 plan is perhaps a more [i]powerful motivator[/i]perhaps because it 1.) has a very structured and legally binding process the school must follow and 2.) because there exists a large [i]penalty[/i] attached to non-compliance.
I think about it this way:
An [b]IHP [/b]is a variation of the nursing care plan. Our IHP has a "team" that includes the principal, teacher, school counselor, and school nurse. At our school, it is the responsibility of school nurse to administer the IHP process~ she develops the IHP, administers it (keeps track of documentation, med releases, makes sure staff receive information on a "need to know basis", etc), implements it (including developing/documenting staff training), she [i]monitors[/i] it, and enforces it. She acts as the IHP "compliance officer". She is accountable to state laws and standards of nursing practices. She is required to obtain continuing education.
I don't know how/if an IHP would really work without a school nurse. Does anyone out there have an IHP without a school nurse?
A [b]504 plan[/b] can offer the exact same accommodations as an IHP. And the "504 team" may be comprised of the exactly same staff members.
The 504 plan is administered differently and has a different "accountability" to [i]laws [/i](i.e. the ADA) protecting your child against discrimination due to their disability. Fundamental to this protection is the child's right to *"reasonable accommodation"*.
A school staff member (generally [i]not[/i] the school nurse) serves as the school's 504 officer who makes certain that the school affords your child the legal protection under ADA. Typically it is the principal; at our school it is the school counselor who is the 504 officer. There is also a district 504 compliance officer (an Assist Superintendent in our case) who oversees and assists in the overall process.
The 504 process very much like the IEP process for anyone who has gone through that. It is usually activated when a parent requests "504 status". The school is required to respond to this written request within 10 days (I think) and arrange an eligbility meeting with the parents. It has only been the past few years that FAs have actually 'qualified' under the language of 504.
Then there are specific steps/meetings that the school is [i]legally bound to follow and within a specific time frame [/i]to then create the accommodation plan. Parents have specifically stated rights in this process. And if a parent believes that their child's 504 plan is not being followed, there exists a clear grievence process that must be implemented, again all within specific deadlines. Because the 504 process is directly tied to federal law, one of the greatest consequences of a school not following the 504 plan is the loss of federal funding. Cha-ching.
Does that make sense?
To *me*? perfect sense. Thank you. Just have to ask, tho, it seems to *me* that a nurse would still be held to the same *standard of practice* under either a 504 or IHP. Don't see how that would *change*.(pardon the pun.) [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/tongue.gif[/img]
[i]Morally, Ethically, Reasonably, Legally, Educationally[/i] Maybe it's just me.
Just off the top of my head. And only as a guess/"seems to me" type of deal.
PS.........."variation of the nursing care plan" ? [i]Say it Isn't So.....[/i] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img] We are quite the "Model of Care"? [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img] Why reinvent the wheel, eh?
Disclaimer: I am not offering advice in any manner or form.
[This message has been edited by MommaBear (edited February 23, 2004).]

Posted on: Mon, 02/23/2004 - 11:39am
e-mom's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]I guess it all depends on whether or not the district has adopted specific policy regarding the management of food allergic students. If they have, then you're already "covered". If not.... ???
[/b]
Although it seemed like they, in fact, DID have a specific policy, I didn't ask if this was set in writing. I spoke with the Principal, one of the nurses and one of the Kindergarten teachers (in fact, the one that had the little girl in her class last year that was anaphy. to peanuts). All three had similar reassurances and didn't even flinch when peanut allergy was mentioned--almost as if it was a way of life (best that I can describe it).
Quote:[b]Kindergarten was heaven-sent, for the most part. But then we had an "independent", non-compliant first grade teacher. And Mariah started having reactions... several. We had nothing in place to support the goodwill and wonderful relationship that we'd worked so hard to establish with the school. [/b]
This one particular statement is what would bother me. I would be upset if I had to start all over with a particular teacher because she "didn't get it".
Quote:[b]It was scary. Very scary. We then realized the importance of formalizing our understandings [i]in writing [/i].[/b]
Although I didn't discuss having a 504 with her, I did send a thank you via EMAIL paying particular attention to the couple of items that were most important to me. (btw, I sent the thank you via email because, initially that is how I contacted her (the Principal) AND I also wanted a copy for my files as well as a confirmation receipt that she actually got the email.) So, I guess, in a way I have already started the ball rolling, so to speak.
Quote:[b]You are embarking on a 13 year relationship with your school district and all of it's families. Thirteen years is a long time... do you think there is any advantage for you to clarify your understandings in some sort of document? What do you think might be the odds of having at least [i]one[/i] non-complaint staff (or parent) in thirteen years? (I don't mean one mistake made; I mean a staff member who disregards the verbal agreement you have with the school.)[/b]
I think that chances are VERY great that a teacher will be non-compliant. I have no doubt that I will come across this at some point in time.

Posted on: Mon, 02/23/2004 - 11:54am
e-mom's picture
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Joined: 04/23/2000 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by momma2boys:
[b]e-mom, as far as who sets a 504 in stone...in our school district the special ed. dept. is in charge of all 504s'. The school psychologist is [i]the[/i] person in charge.
For all meetings she is in attendance, as well as a parent rep., another person from special ed., his teacher, the principal, the school nurse, his aide, and myself.
I really dont know much about the funding, or anything about IHPs. But I think Rhondas site does a comparison... [url="http://www.allergysupport.org"]www.allergysupport.org[/url] . There is a lot of good info there.[/b]
Thank you momma2boys and Gail. Your input is much appreciated. I know that this has been discussed numerous times and I thank you for taking the time to once again discuss it--with me. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/biggrin.gif[/img]
I will check out Rhonda's site. Thanks.
[This message has been edited by e-mom (edited February 23, 2004).]

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