What is it that makesthe 504 \"accepted/binding\" ?

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Is it the signatures on the 504 plans that we as parents create and hammer out with the school. Does the school turn in this 504 plan to a government body? Is it just a paper held in the school itself? I am curious and new to the 504 process. I will be drafting mine soon and am just wondering is there any *additional* 'legal' sort of document that the 504 coordinator has (possibly the *designation*), that will be signed by both parties. Or do both parties merely sign the documents that we see here posted on this board and that makes an enforceable agreement between the school and the family? Forgive me if I seem stoooopid. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I am just wondering how it will go with my dd's private religious school which has a federally funded lunch program. I have a feeling when I ask who their 504 coordinator is, they will say..."504 what?"

thanks,

------------------ Jill DD, 5, TNA DS, 18 mo. EA, MA

On Jan 5, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: [b]Is it the signatures on the 504 plans that we as parents create and hammer out with the school. Does the school turn in this 504 plan to a government body? Is it just a paper held in the school itself? I am curious and new to the 504 process. I will be drafting mine soon and am just wondering is there any *additional* 'legal' sort of document that the 504 coordinator has (possibly the *designation*), that will be signed by both parties. Or do both parties merely sign the documents that we see here posted on this board and that makes an enforceable agreement between the school and the family? Forgive me if I seem stoooopid. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

I am just wondering how it will go with my dd's private religious school which has a federally funded lunch program. I have a feeling when I ask who their 504 coordinator is, they will say..."504 what?"

thanks,

[/b]

Jill,

It is the signatures by all parties that make an official accommodation plan. 504 plans are not turned into any governmental body, but the school does keep an official copy as part of your child's educational record. Sometimes schools will use a standardized 504 plan template to record the accommodations; others don't bother w/templates or standard forms. Regardless of format, the key, of course, is good accommodations written that clearly articulate the accommodation, and ideally, who is responsible. This helps all parties successfully implement the plan, and all parties can be held accountable to hold up their end of the bargain...

The school would need to be able to produce an official copy in a variety of circumstances, e.g. an investigation by OCR (that's US Dept. of Education Office of Civil Rights - investigate official complaints), a request by parents under FERPA (you have legal rights to inspect your child's educational record) are two that come to mind...

On Jan 6, 2006

Thank you Nutternomore, I couldn't figure out if there was more to it than that, than simply signing the plan agreed upon. Glad there doesn't seem to be!

------------------ Jill DD, 5, TNA DS, 18 mo. EA, MA

On Jan 6, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: [b]... and am just wondering is there any *additional* 'legal' sort of document that the 504 coordinator has (possibly the *designation*), that will be signed by both parties. Or do both parties merely sign the documents that we see here posted on this board and that makes an enforceable agreement between the school and the family? [/b]

Yes, I think you're correct, it is the *Designation* IMO that makes it binding.

In addition to what Nutternomore posted, it helped me to think of the process (and the accompanying paperwork) as 2 distinct processes: 1.) the "evaluation and eligibility" phase and 2.) the "accommodation plan" phase.

The reason that it helped me to separate these two mentally is because sometimes schools first want to jump immediately into the accommodations (phase 2) and find out that managing LTFAs is more complicated than what they expected... so they want to deny the designation. My School District has a very specific set of forms to determine "Section 504 Evaluation and Eligibility" which has a signature page just after the "conclusion" which states whether or not the student "is" or "is not" eligible.

Get the designation first. Get that signed "Eligibility" form completed first with all the information pertinent to your child's medical condition, and with everyone's signatures, in your hot little hands. Make sure you get that. I think this is the most important signed form that you will obtain.

Then, [i]only then[/i], would I be willing to talk about anything specific re: an accommodation plan.

Edited to add:

[i]"What is it that makes the 504 'accepted/binding'?"[/i]

I would say that it is the paperwork from the SD acknowledging that your child qualifies for the Section 504 *Designation*. But as Nutternomore points out, it is the accommodations that follow that make it worthwhile.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited January 06, 2006).]

On Jan 6, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Gail W: [b] Yes, I think you're correct, it is the *Designation* IMO that makes it binding.

In addition to what Nutternomore posted, it helped me to think of the process (and the accompanying paperwork) as 2 distinct processes: 1.) the "evaluation and eligibility" phase and 2.) the "accommodation plan" phase.

The reason that it helped me to separate these two mentally is because sometimes schools first want to jump immediately into the accommodations (phase 2) and find out that managing LTFAs is more complicated than what they expected... so they want to deny the designation. My School District has a very specific set of forms to determine "Section 504 Evaluation and Eligibility" which has a signature page just after the "conclusion" which states whether or not the student "is" or "is not" eligible.

Get the designation first. Get that signed "Eligibility" form completed first with all the information pertinent to your child's medical condition, and with everyone's signatures, in your hot little hands. Make sure you get that. I think this is the most important signed form that you will obtain.

Then, [i]only then[/i], would I be willing to talk about anything specific re: an accommodation plan.

Edited to add:

[i]"What is it that makes the 504 'accepted/binding'?"[/i]

I would say that it is the paperwork from the SD acknowledging that your child qualifies for the Section 504 *Designation*. But as Nutternomore points out, it is the accommodations that follow that make it worthwhile.

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited January 06, 2006).][/b]

Yes, I see. Those are good points to remember...namely, do things one step at a time 1. the evaluation and eligibility and 2. the accomodation. I like the idea of not letting the school get ahead of things from the get-go. Very good point.

If I could ask, the 'specific set of forms' that determines eligibility (that your SD has)....are those forms along with the signature page you mentioned, are they forms that your own SD came up with? Curious. Is there no standard for such things? I fear my dd's private school will have no idea where to start with this thing...although they'll HAVE to, because they have a federally funded lunch program. I just 'have that feeling' it is going to be an interesting road to go down with them.

thank you for your help!

------------------ Jill DD, 5, TNA DS, 18 mo. EA, MA

On Jan 7, 2006

I looked at private schools when dd was going to start kindergarten. The problem at least back then is that they all thought they were exempt because they were private. They were not exempt (and even if they were exempt from 504, they would be required by law to follow the ADA which would mean they still had to accomodate peanut allergy), but since they thought they were exempt from 504, I did not want to be the one to have to convince them. I found a public school here where dd could get a better education and they had lower student to teacher ratios, so the situation took care of itself. But I do remember that the private schools thought it was their choice whether or not to accomodate pa, even though it was not their choice.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited January 07, 2006).]

On Jan 7, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by lilpig99: [b] If I could ask, the 'specific set of forms' that determines eligibility (that your SD has)....are those forms along with the signature page you mentioned, are they forms that your own SD came up with? Curious. Is there no standard for such things? I fear my dd's private school will have no idea where to start with this thing...although they'll HAVE to, because they have a federally funded lunch program. [/b]

Yes, these are forms that my SD developed. In advance of our eligibility meeting, I requested copies of all written materials. I received the SD's [i]"Section 504 and IDEA Manual and Procedures". [/i] It's about 3/4 " thick and contains all the forms used by our SD. It was extremely useful for me to be familiar with these forms prior to our meeting.

Why not ask your school for their forms? Something like, [i]"In preparation for my child's upcoming 504 eligibility meeting, would you please kindly provide me with a copy of all the school's forms regarding the 504 process. " [/i] or something to that effect...

[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited January 07, 2006).]

On Jan 7, 2006

Quote:

Originally posted by Carefulmom: [b]I looked at private schools when dd was going to start kindergarten. The problem at least back then is that they all thought they were exempt because they were private. They were not exempt (and even if they were exempt from 504, they would be required by law to follow the ADA which would mean they still had to accomodate peanut allergy), but since they thought they were exempt from 504, I did not want to be the one to have to convince them. I found a public school here where dd could get a better education and they had lower student to teacher ratios, so the situation took care of itself. But I do remember that the private schools thought it was their choice whether or not to accomodate pa, even though it was not their choice.

[This message has been edited by Carefulmom (edited January 07, 2006).][/b]

Yes, I can see this school thinking the same things, I need to be well-prepared to teach them otherwise...thanks Carefulmom

------------------ Jill DD, 5, TNA DS, 18 mo. EA, MA

On Jan 7, 2006

Maybe I will ask about their forms, good idea. That is *IF* they HAVE any forms...should be interesting...keep in mind this is a private religious school. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]

------------------ Jill DD, 5, TNA DS, 18 mo. EA, MA

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