Principal only wants health plan!!

Posted on: Sun, 04/02/2006 - 12:52pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

Hey all
Well I have been reading about 504 plans for about 6 months on here to make sure I totally understood, and knew I was going to have a fight.
DD will be entering kindergarten this fall. We did the certified letter to the school, with allergist letter attached. He had bolded life threatening/severe allergy to peanuts causing anaphylaxis. Well I got the phone call friday from the principal on friday that she has set up a meeting on april 11th with herself, the special ed coordinator, school nurse and cafeteria person. I asked what the meeting was for and she said for DD's health plan. I stated that we are requesting a 504 evaluation, and she stated that she does not qualify due to just her peanut allergy/asthma. She stated that if she had diabetes she would, as her blood sugar could go down during the day. I tried to explain that her anaphylactic reaction wuold affect her ability to breathe, as well as past contact reactions affecting her skin, but of course got shot down. So I just left it that we would discuss this further at the meeting.
She is very matter of fact and feels that she is right. From what I have read here I need to just take the documentation that I have (from the post about why not obtaining a 504 plan is a disservice to your child) and make them prove me wrong.
But I sort of feel helpless. Like I am going to say the wrong thing and not convince them. She is adamant that a health plan is the only way they will go.
So any input about the exact wording we need to take into the meeting about why we want a 504 plan versus the health plan? She has had an anaphylactic reaction, 2 contact reactions, and has asthma.
Thanks for your help!!!

Posted on: Sun, 04/02/2006 - 1:25pm
qdebbie1's picture
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Joined: 02/10/2005 - 09:00

"and she stated that she does not qualify due to just her peanut allergy/asthma."
Great, can you please put that in writing for me so I can have time to review your decision with my husband.
She does qualify. You do need a healthcare plan. My child has the IHP plan with a 504 designation.
Dont worry just yet. Sometimes you need to educate the educators. If you do this gently and slowly they will get it(or else). They have probably never heard of anything like this before. The old "we have never done it that way"
I would attend their first meeting with the intention of just getting a feel for what they have in mind and what they are thinking. Do not say much at this point. I would let them know you are bringing a tape recorder so you can review what was said and be able to think it all over.
If you look too smart or too educated from the get go they could just clam up and have you dealing with an attorney only. That is a pain and can drag things out.
I would have the allergist letter and a copy of this document [url="http://www.ed.gov/print/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html"]http://www.ed.gov/print/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html[/url]
to leave them with at the end of the meeting. Do not overload them with docs and I would not give away pa.com as your source. Then you can follow up on all the things you were told at the meeting that are false.
Now its time to get all your ducks in a row.

Posted on: Sun, 04/02/2006 - 10:02pm
anonymous's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

So since their point of this meeting is to do a health plan, do I let them do that? I guess I am confused because if they ask what things we would like to add to it do we talk? The whole part about having the 504 designation BEFORE going over what you want in a 504 plan..... I don't want them to deny us because we are asking for too much (which we don't plan on, just the same basics that you all seem to be asking for).
Another thought I had (probably dumb, but not sleeping because of this makes you think), is her comparison to a child with diabetes. Well if my child does have even a contact reaction and has to be given 1-2 teaspoons of benadryl every day for a week, would not that be a cause of a problem in her education (versus just a health problem), and she has cough variant asthma, which is the kind that makes her cough for weeks after a cold. So would not they find that disruptive? Would they try and send her home because of that? Even though her pulmonologist says she is not sick or contagious, just has weak lungs?
It is sooooo frustrating when you are just so afraid that you are going to say the right thing. My DH feels like it is going to come down to her ego (the principal) versus our child's safety. Thank God he is coming to the meeting with me!!!
Just to clarify for my own sanity. A health plan is run by the nurse and only covers health issues, not things like her personal rights not to be excluded, right?? Does it cover after school activities (school related)? Or is that the part you need the 504 plan for? Thanks!!!

Posted on: Sun, 04/02/2006 - 11:42pm
Greenlady's picture
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Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

I think you can go ahead with a health plan and still simultaneously pursue a 504 designation. When you finally get the 504 designation, the IHP can be part of the 504 plan. In our school, the standard IHP form has a simple check mark at the top on whether it is a part of a 504.
I agree that it would probably be best to start off slow and low-key - you can always escalate if needed, but it is hard to go the other way.
Good luck!

Posted on: Mon, 04/03/2006 - 3:49am
Momcat's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

In order to prove to them that your child is eligible, you need to prove that one or more "major life activities" are "substantially limited" by her health conditions (anaphylactic food allergy, asthma). Your principal may be under the common misconception that "learning" must be affected for a child to qualify for 504. Learning is only one of the major life activities. You may have a hard sell with breathing (although she does have asthma), but you can certainly point out that your daughter's "ability to care for herself" is substantially limited as compared to other children without PA. This is because a young child does not have the skills or judgement necessary to protect herself from exposure to a potentially deadly food which is present in the school environment. She would also need assistance in the event of a reaction to administer medication, etc. Having a 504 guarantees her "safe access" to school. Your child has a right to an expectation of safety at school equal to that enjoyed by her peers.
------------------
Mom to 6 1/2 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 3 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Mon, 04/03/2006 - 9:03am
cathlina's picture
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Joined: 06/29/2001 - 09:00

A peanut allergy is a disability as defined by the Department of Civil Rights, Federal Department of Education.
Section 504 is a federal law!
Schools across the nation, both public and private, write 504's for children with a peanut allergy.
Simply, tell her that you want a 504 with specific accommodations and if she fails to comply..first, go above her head...each school district is required to have a 504 coordinator...find out who it is. If that doesn't work, file a complaint with the regional Civil Rights Office of the federal department of Education.
Don't mess around being nice. This is your child's life and that child has rights.
The schools can not mess around with 504 rights or they can lose federal funding.
(If your child was black and the child was being denied something simply because they were black, what would you do?)

Posted on: Mon, 04/03/2006 - 4:06pm
Ohio's picture
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Joined: 05/23/2005 - 09:00

This whole process can be very frustrating. Much of your time may be spent educating the district, but it should be worth it in the long run. I think you should take a non-confrontational approach at first. Don't be demanding, but be firm and make them realize you are not going to fade away.
I would request in writing that the 504 Coordinator attend the meeting, so you fully understand the basis for the school's decision that your child is not eligible for a 504 plan. The principal may be making this decision without consulting anyone else in the district. You could "cc" the 504 coordinator on your correspondence. If you don't know who the 504 coordinator is, call the Central Office and ask who the district 504 coordinator is.
If you need to escalate this...
Ask how your child can be disqualified by the Principal without a 504 eligibility meeting?
504 law states that procedures are in place to "...ensure that the placement decision is made by a group of persons, including persons knowledgeable about the child..."
This clearly is not happening.
You can also request copies of the District's 504 policies or procedures. Either the procedures are not appropriate or complete, the principal is not following correct procedures, or the procedures don't exist at all. Any of these situations should help your cause and expose the district's shortcomings pertaining to 504 law - Just begin to document everything - you might need it later.

Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2006 - 11:48pm
bandbmom's picture
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Joined: 12/14/2005 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Ohio:
[b]Just begin to document everything - you might need it later.[/b]
This is great advice Ohio - DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT!! Take good notes during the meeting on April 11 (or your DH) and follow up w/an email or letter with what was said in the meeting as clarification, especially if the princ. continues to say your child does not qualify for 504. Start your paper trail!!
Best Wishes,
Tracy

Posted on: Sun, 04/02/2006 - 1:25pm
qdebbie1's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/10/2005 - 09:00

"and she stated that she does not qualify due to just her peanut allergy/asthma."
Great, can you please put that in writing for me so I can have time to review your decision with my husband.
She does qualify. You do need a healthcare plan. My child has the IHP plan with a 504 designation.
Dont worry just yet. Sometimes you need to educate the educators. If you do this gently and slowly they will get it(or else). They have probably never heard of anything like this before. The old "we have never done it that way"
I would attend their first meeting with the intention of just getting a feel for what they have in mind and what they are thinking. Do not say much at this point. I would let them know you are bringing a tape recorder so you can review what was said and be able to think it all over.
If you look too smart or too educated from the get go they could just clam up and have you dealing with an attorney only. That is a pain and can drag things out.
I would have the allergist letter and a copy of this document [url="http://www.ed.gov/print/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html"]http://www.ed.gov/print/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq5269.html[/url]
to leave them with at the end of the meeting. Do not overload them with docs and I would not give away pa.com as your source. Then you can follow up on all the things you were told at the meeting that are false.
Now its time to get all your ducks in a row.

Posted on: Sun, 04/02/2006 - 10:02pm
anonymous's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

So since their point of this meeting is to do a health plan, do I let them do that? I guess I am confused because if they ask what things we would like to add to it do we talk? The whole part about having the 504 designation BEFORE going over what you want in a 504 plan..... I don't want them to deny us because we are asking for too much (which we don't plan on, just the same basics that you all seem to be asking for).
Another thought I had (probably dumb, but not sleeping because of this makes you think), is her comparison to a child with diabetes. Well if my child does have even a contact reaction and has to be given 1-2 teaspoons of benadryl every day for a week, would not that be a cause of a problem in her education (versus just a health problem), and she has cough variant asthma, which is the kind that makes her cough for weeks after a cold. So would not they find that disruptive? Would they try and send her home because of that? Even though her pulmonologist says she is not sick or contagious, just has weak lungs?
It is sooooo frustrating when you are just so afraid that you are going to say the right thing. My DH feels like it is going to come down to her ego (the principal) versus our child's safety. Thank God he is coming to the meeting with me!!!
Just to clarify for my own sanity. A health plan is run by the nurse and only covers health issues, not things like her personal rights not to be excluded, right?? Does it cover after school activities (school related)? Or is that the part you need the 504 plan for? Thanks!!!

Posted on: Sun, 04/02/2006 - 11:42pm
Greenlady's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/30/2004 - 09:00

I think you can go ahead with a health plan and still simultaneously pursue a 504 designation. When you finally get the 504 designation, the IHP can be part of the 504 plan. In our school, the standard IHP form has a simple check mark at the top on whether it is a part of a 504.
I agree that it would probably be best to start off slow and low-key - you can always escalate if needed, but it is hard to go the other way.
Good luck!

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