I have read the scenario a hundred times. Each time I would sit there and think about how lucky I was that I didn’t have to deal with all that mess, but here I am- in my own 504 battle. I don’t understand why things have to be difficult. I am not asking for anything crazy… I am only asking for a written plan of the accommodations we already have in place.
Asking too much??? I think not!!
Let me back up to the beginning(short version, of course) because you would THINK that a child in 4th grade who was diagnosed almost two years ago would be all set with his 504 plan- right?
Yeah, I know, I am feeling like a big, suckity mama right now~ k
Insert Diabetes… lets face it, I didn’t know my brain from my ass when Justin was first diagnosed (That is just reality my friends). I didn’t give a rat’s pa-tootsie about anything but carb counts, insulin factors, BG checks and making sure Justin was safe in the beginning. Making things better… Justin’s team is wonderful and I have never been given a reason to worry about “paperwork”. But the reality is, I can not sit back and wait for something to smack me upside the head before I get this “stuff” in order. I need to have it there before anything happens.
Please continue to bear with me as I make my way to present time.
Right after school ended last year, I came in to meet with the school guidance counselor, Ms. P to review Justin’s 504 plan. I expressed my concern with her about how Justin’s 504 did not have many of accommodations needed to cover D. I gave her my “proposed” 504 and told her this is where I would like to start.
Please keep in mind that my “proposed” 504 was an example 504 printed off the JDRF website.
I removed many things that were not needed for Justin and went from there. NOTHING out of the norm, nothing crazy and I wasn’t expecting the world. Ms. P took the proposed plan and asked that she send it to her supervisor to look over. “Sure”, I said. Again, nothing crazy was on there.
I had also asked her if we could coordinate one big team meeting to discuss Justin’s care during the day(i.e. signs and symptoms, what to look for, what to do). One meeting= less time and everyone on the same page before school starts. Everything sounded good, nothing was signed but we planned to get together before the new school year begins. Not a problem except I never got a call. I ended up contacting her. Okay, school hasn’t started so let’s get this going.
It comes down to this… they want to put everything on his care plan and write “see care plan”.
A few of my concerns with this arrangement are as follows…
- Why am I going to make his care plan into a big document that none of the teachers want to read. Keep the care plan to what it is… A PLAN FOR HIS DAILY CARE. Focus on the basics that keep him safe and save the legalities for the 504.
- A 504 needs a parent signature. The parent and school agree upon it. A care plan does not even have a space for a parent signature. Though our awesome school nurse gives me the courtesy of looking it over and suggesting changes… this IS just a courtesy and what if all nurses are not as courteous?
- The 504 follows Justin each year, granted you make updates, but it is easier to keep than to add (obviously). The care plan does not follow you... it is started fresh every year.
Here was my reply to her:
I apologize for the delay in getting back with you. I am trying to figure out a way to approach Justin's 504 that we can all agree on. I was put at ease about an attached care plan to list Justin's specific daily diabetes accommodations. However, there are a few adjustments we may need to make to the 504 that has nothing to do with a specific care plan. Personally, I would rather not clog his care plan up with details that do not pertain to his daily care or testing needs. I would really like to have the care plan in place(or at least created) before we work on the 504. I will work on a rough draft care plan over the weekend and cross my fingers that it will be in place on Monday :). As soon as the care plan is in order we can focus on the 504. I hope this is okay with you.
I apologize for the inconvenience. We have been very blessed with the care provided for Justin and I hope I have not suggested otherwise. I just need to make sure Justin's plan(s) will provide him the opportunity to receive the best education possible despite the challenges he faces.
Thank you for spending the extra time to get this all worked out.
She did not reply to this email and I sent it 11 days ago. I get the feeling she has been avoiding, which is okay as it gives me planning/sorting time. Today however, I popped in her office to mention we still needed to get this done and mentioned my email stating we would need to make some changes. She said we would need to schedule a time for her supervisor to come in because she told her what to do.
Okay, supervisor it is. I did however ask point blank… “The standard 504 plan in ALL she is willing to do right? Because if she is willing to work with me; I will prepare for the meeting a lot differently than if she is only willing to have a “standard plan”.
I promptly received a phone call from her this afternoon to set a date. She is scheduling it at a time when his regular classroom teacher will be able to attend…. I asked “why”?
“Because when we have a 504 meeting, we ask that the team be in attendance” (this is a first).
It sounds as if they are going to push the “does this pertain to a fair education” strategy to try and keep a few things off the list.
Paranoid much??? Ummm~ yep!
So that’s where we are today. We have a meeting with the “team” to go over the daily care plan… a week and a half AFTER school started. I have already meet with some. BABY STEPS PEOPLE…. BABY STEPS :)
I will keep you posted on my quest for a fair 504 plan. In the meantime, as I prepare for battle, I leave you with this…
This may be a new battle I face, but know that I have faught many simmular battles before. I do not have the option to loose, I do not have the option of fear. My son's future depends on my victory and I will not let him down. I will go down as his advocate, his mom and with any luck... his hero.
You have been warned!