Tips for A Successful 504 Plan Meeting

A 504 plan* documents food allergy accommodations agreed to by parents and their child’s school.

Plans are typically created during a 504 meeting attended by the child’s parents, the school’s 504 coordinator, and school personnel having knowledge of, or regular contact with the student.

Why Did You Visit This Website?
I have a peanut and/or nut allergy
100%
A family member has a peanut and/or nut allergy
0%
I might have a peanut and/or nut allergy
0%
I am just looking for information
0%
Total votes: 3

Successful 504 Meeting Tips

Parental passions can understandably run high during 504 meetings, and school personnel are trying to accommodate the needs of many students. To make your 504 session successful as possible, consider the following tips for a fruitful, relationship building negotiation.

Keep A Respectful Tone. Despite frustrations that may arise, always work to build an atmosphere of trust and cooperation with 504 team members. Thank them for their time and willingness to create plan that benefits your child.

Always Come Prepared. To be effective, you must prepare by knowing your child’s rights, and CDC guidelines for food allergy management in schools—plus the state and local policies.

Have documentation or recommendations from your allergist with you, and information supporting your child’s needs. Be ready to discuss food in the classroom, lunchroom seating, where ephinephrine will be kept, substitute teacher guidelines, and field trip protocols.

Have A 504 File. If you haven’t already, start a 504 file containing all information related to your child’s plan. If you ever need to lodge a complaint or engage in mediation, you will have documentation to support your claims.

The file should hold copies of emails, notices of parental rights, meeting notices and notes (who attended, what was said, and by whom), plus a copy of the completed 504 plan. Send a follow-up email, and file a copy of it, acknowledging any discussion of the plan outside formal meetings.

Acquire An Ally. Do your best to have a friend or family member at the meeting for support. This person does not have to participate although you might ask him or her to take notes. If they choose to participate, make sure the two of you are on the same page before the meeting begins.

Direct Questions Wisely. During a 504 meeting, direct your questions to the appropriate individual. For instance, school policy questions will go to the principal, while questions related to the classroom should be answered by a teacher. Lunch related issues are best addressed by those who monitor the lunchroom.

Stay Unstuck. Instead of allowing the meeting to bog down on one item of disagreement, it’s fine to say, “Since we disagree, let’s move on to another point and revisit this one another time.” This will relieve tension, assure the discussion of other topics, and give the school an opportunity to consider or find a way to implement what you asked for. It also gives you time to find resources or data that support your request.

Cultivate Clarity. The 504 plan, because it involves many people - teachers, bus drivers, lunch aides, classroom assistants - must be easy to understand. Too many details will make it hard to remember and carry out. For instance, the leg your child prefers to receive epinephrine in is immaterial to their safety. Clarity and simplicity should be the goal.

Creating and implementing a 504 plan is an ongoing process; be prepared for occasional misunderstandings and setbacks. By staying flexible, positive, and open you can foster a good working relationship with 504 team members to meet the safety needs of your child.

Source: Gina Mennett Lee, food allergy consultant
Photo credit: woodleywonderowlrks

* 504 plans, named for Section 504 of 1973’s Rehabilitation Act, guarantee a disabled person’s right to full participation in the benefits of federally assisted programs. Because food allergy can impair “major life activities” such as eating and breathing, it qualifies as a disability.

Community

Latest Post by latamdatelhh Thu, 09/19/2019 - 11:45pm
Comments: 0
Latest Post by blprestangen Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:06pm
Comments: 12
Latest Post by mom2two Mon, 09/16/2019 - 1:03pm
Comments: 18

More Articles

If you have a mold allergy, you’ve likely been advised to remove all sources of mold from in and around your house. But it doesn’t stop there....

You may be surprised to find that peanut butter is used to make many products. Someone who has a peanut...

What if, while attending a summertime family picnic, a food-allergic child shows signs of anaphylaxis. In a panicked instant, adults realize the...

Are the signs of nut allergies different than those of peanut allergies? Many people who have an allergic reaction after eating a peanut butter...

There is much buzz in the news about the potential health benefits of fecal transplants, and some of that benefit may extend to people with food...

More Articles

More Articles

If you or your child has a food allergy, a doctor or allergist might have talked to you about “co-factors.” Allergy co-factors are substances,...

An epinephrine auto-injector provides an emergency dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. Those who have...

Oyster sauce is used for a variety of recipes, including as an earthy dressing for noodles, vegetables, and stir-fries, or as a base for other...

The high incidence of food allergy in children, and the reason many kids eventually...

Parents of children with food allergies often share tips about safe foods, allergy-friendly restaurants, and other experiences and challenges of...

Because food allergies are so common among children today, a great idea for sharing information with other classmates is to incorporate the topic...

When a child is diagnosed with peanut allergy, the implications ripple past the parents to rattle the rest of us - older siblings, grandparents,...

Your best defense against anaphylactic shock is to know what you’re up against. Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction....

Inhalers Sometimes Contain Soy

Many people use inhalers to take the drug albuterol to help their asthma or allergies, and those with COPD...

Some people with shellfish allergy have concerns about consuming sea salt that might be contaminated with traces of shellfish. Though there are...

Nearly 25 percent of children with a peanut allergy will outgrow it. However, there is a small risk...

Many people managing food allergies understand that allergy is an immune system response to a specific food. What people may not realize is that...

Salmonella Is One of the Most Common Types of Food Poisoning

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Salmonella enterocolitis...

Heading into spring and Allergy and Asthma Awareness month, many people load up on antihistamines and get their inhaler prescriptions renewed. A...