We are doing this backwards... how do we get it straight???

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 9:11am
mommatomase's picture
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Short intro: Son, Mason in Kindergarten is Peanut/nut/sesame/mustard. I notified the district in March of last year to let them know he was coming. I knew nothing about 504 eligibility. The nurse spoke to me (retiring at the end of last year) and assured me that he would be fine, that the district had permissions that I needed signed by the Doc so his meds could be in school.
WELL... half way through this year I decided we needed to prepare for full day problems... contacted the district about lunch service and was promptly told by the Caf Manager... "I won't change my menues for one child in the district". She scheduled a meeting with the Principal, the school nurses, his teacher and herself. I asked that the Special Ed director be present also. I personally invited him and he told me he would attend. Day of meeting... no Spec Ed director and I was informed that Mason did not qualify under 504 but that we would come up with a plan to keep him safe.
That meeting was to enlighten them as to what a food allergy is and how dangerous it is... not just a child not liking his
food!!!

On to the next meeting when we were supposed to write our plan for next year. LOW and BEHOLD... who shows up??? The 504 Coordinator who is also the Assistant Superintendant... and the BOSS of all those in attendance!!! Is this a conflict of interest?

She has in front of her the nice 504 Plan outline described here on this site.. She "reworked it to fit our needs"... She removed EVERY word or phrase that had the words 504 in it!

Now we have this half written document... do I say wait... I want a 504, Do I need to request a 504 evaluation and who should be involved if the 504 coordinator is the Assistant Superintendant and boss of all the other staff involved???

Please help

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 9:29am
Marizona's picture
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Joined: 01/16/2002 - 09:00

Even if she is their boss, that doesn`t exempt her from following the law. At our school the 504 coordinator is the principal, but she still has to follow the law and she knows it. Your child is entitled to a 504. There are quite a few recent threads showing all the documents that show that a child with life threatening food allergies qualifies for a 504. And I would insist on the 504, because it is legally binding. Even if they provide all these accomodations without a 504, the staff could change and this way you have a 504 in place. I would insist on a 504 because then it is very clear that these accomodations have to be followed and that your child cannot be discriminated against. There are a lot of threads on this board from people who started without a 504, later regretted it, and ended up getting one. Sure, they don`t want to do it, because it legally obligates them so much more. But of course, you are going to do what is in the best interest of your child, and not worry about what is in the best interest of the school.

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 10:32am
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Would you please post what you have given the school in writing (e.g. letter requesting 504 designation, doctor letter, etc) and any [i]written[/i] responses you have received from the school district?

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 10:33am
Momcat's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

It sounds like you want a real 504 plan. If that is the case, do not agree to their proposed plan (whatever they are calling it!) You still have time to straighten things out before next year.
You say they told you your son is not eligible for 504. Did they put this decision into writing? If not, I would request a formal evaluation for 504 eligibility. To do this, make sure you have all your documentation ready including a letter from your child's doctor. Then make a written request for the 504 evaluation. For tips, check this thread:
[url="http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002222.html"]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/Forum7/HTML/002222.html[/url]
Cathy
------------------
Mom to 6 1/2 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 10:50am
mommatomase's picture
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Joined: 02/25/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]Would you please post what you have given the school in writing (e.g. letter requesting 504 designation, doctor letter, etc) and any [i]written[/i] responses you have received from the school district? [/b]
They have two letters from the doctor. One stating his allergies and one stating that he must carry his epipen and meds with him to all classes. I have no written documents from the district except the draft of this "wonderful" plan that is not complete. We have a meeting on March 3 to do the IHP piece.
Do I need to go back to square one and request a 504 evaluation?
I want to say what a wonderful resourse this site has been. I am glad all of you are here to share your expertise for those of us who have yet to go through this process. BTW our district says they have NEVER had a child with severe food allergies in their district before.
[This message has been edited by mommatomase (edited February 25, 2006).]

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 12:39pm
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by mommatomase:
[b] They have two letters from the doctor. [/b]
I know it's laborious, but can you post these?
Momcat, her meeting is Friday. Do you think she should reschedule to get herself time to get documentation together? Our IHP is a component of our 504, so theoretically she could meet on Friday to continue to make progress on the IHP document....

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 12:44pm
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by mommatomase:
[b]Do I need to go back to square one and request a 504 evaluation?[/b]
Yes. Just wondering when the best time is to make this written request....
What was the "504 Plan outline that is here on this site" that you refer to in your original post? Is it Rhonda's 504 outline at [url="http://www.allergysupport.org?"]www.allergysupport.org?[/url]

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 12:54pm
Ohio's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2005 - 09:00

We have just begun the 504 process, so we don't have much to offer, but here are a few things that might help.
1. I would regroup and request a 504 eligibility meeting. Don't sign anything that the school offers as a plan.
2. Take a look at this document:
The Civil Rights of Students with Hidden Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
[url="http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html"]http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html[/url]
It shows that allergy is considered a hidden disability and protected under 504.
3. Also, when you request the 504 meeting, ask for the school's 504 policies/procedures and your rights under 504. The school is required to have these by law. This will put you in a position to evaluate their 504 procedures. If they have no policies (like my school), that can be discussed in the future.
4. The letter from your allergist is very important for getting 504 designation. The letters you have given the school are important, but they probably lack the wording that is best for obtaining 504 designation. There are many examples of excellent Dr. letters on this website to borrow from. Hopefully your allergist will agree to write/sign one for you.

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 2:43pm
Momcat's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] Momcat, her meeting is Friday. Do you think she should reschedule to get herself time to get documentation together? Our IHP is a component of our 504, so theoretically she could meet on Friday to continue to make progress on the IHP document....
[/b]
Hmmmm... I'm not sure--I wouldn't make the formal request for an evaluation until you are ready. I think it would be ok to go to the IHP meeting on Friday either way, but I wouldn't sign anything and wouldn't discuss eligibility. The Friday meeting could be put to good use reviewing and updating the IHP for next year.
I'm really on the fence about this, but I don't think it really matters that much in the long run. All you have to do is follow the procedure, make the request, go to the evaluation and get their decision in writing. It shouldn't matter if you review the IHP now or not. I'm assuming your child already has an IHP since he is currently attending Kindergarten there, so there's no question about whether to do an IHP or 504 first. The IHP already exists, right?
Cathy

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 9:44pm
mommatomase's picture
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Joined: 02/25/2006 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b] I know it's laborious, but can you post these?
[/b]
Here is letter dated March 8, 2005:
Mason is four years old and has a history of possible life threatening reactions to tree nuts, peanuts and other legumes, as well as seeds. He is strongly allergic by skinn tests to sesame, mustard, peanut, pecan, buchkwheat and almond and by blood test to sachew, sesame, buckwheat, green pea, peanut, soybean, almond, pecan, mustard, sunflower and walnut.
He continues on Singulair 4 MG in the evening, QVAR 80mcg, two sprays probably in the morning only, as needed. Albuterol MDI via AeroChanber with mask, two sprays, wait fifteen minutes, use another two sprays every four hours, prn, chest tightness or Albuterol Unit Dose Via Pari LC Jet Nebulizer with mask and to repeat in fifteen munuted if necessary.
And Epi-Pen Jr, benedril - two teaspoons adn Orapred - tow teaspoons should be given upon any systemic reaction to tree nutes, legumes,seeds, including peanute (including hives, difficulty breathing, cough, wheeze, shortness of breath, chest tightness, shock, etc.). With a few hives it may be possible to use Benadryl - two teaspoons and observe him carefully, but with any more ? severe reaction, the full kit should be given and he should be taken for emergency care to the nearest hospital.
Please contact me with any questions regarding Mason.
Sincerly,
Second letter dated December 5, 2005:
(this letter was written after my first official meeting with the district)
Mason has sever food allergies to sesame, pea, peanut butter, soybean, almond, pecan, cashew, walnut, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, mustard and pobbley other foods.
Upon ingestion of any of these, and EpiPen regular strength (senior), Benadryl 3 teaspoons adn Orapred 3 teaspoons should be administered and he should be transported to the emergency department. If necessarey the EpiPen should be repeated in 10-15 minutes if his symptoms are not, or have not, resolved.
I do reccommend that the EpiPens be stored in the form of an EpiPen double pack at home as well as in his classroom. The other medications should be stored there as well. Ideally the Orapred shoudlb e refrigerated if possible, but if it is not, nonrefrigeration only affects the taste, not its effectiveness.
Please contact me with any questions.
Sincerely,
And to answer another post... NO we don't have an IHP in place for this year, at least not a written one. THANK goodness he has the K teacher he has... she has been great!!! I never heard of any of this stuff and the nurse told me he would be OK...
The 504 Plan outline is from Rhonda's site... thanks for that!! The district butchered it!!!
Do I wait until after Friday to request the evaluation or do I send the letter asap? Do I send a letter requesting there 504 procedures first or do I do it all together?
(sorry for any typoes... typist I am not)
------------------
Lisa
Mom to Mason (peanut/tree nut/sesame/mustard)

Posted on: Sat, 02/25/2006 - 10:34pm
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by mommatomase:
[b]The 504 Plan outline is from Rhonda's site... thanks for that!! The district butchered it!!![/b]
I'm zeroing in on this for the moment.
Did you provide the 504-C with Rhonda's outline? Or did she find it on her own and present you with an adulterated version?

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