child has chronic medical problems. Although he wants to attend school,
he is often absent for medical treatments. A few days ago, he was
dismissed as manager of a sports team.
Although he has a 504 plan, we have had ongoing problems about grades and completing work. I was told that parents are not involved in designing 504 Plans. Since I have firsthand information about his medical problems and needs, I think it is my responsibility to provide the school with information and to have a say in what they provide.
I reported problems with his Section 504 plan to the Office for Civil Rights but my complaint was not upheld.
You have an immediate problem and an ongoing problem. We need to tackle the immediate problem about his dismissal from the sports team first, then look at the ongoing problem.
from the Team
Make sure you say the words that are necessary to communicate the situation, even if it is difficult for you to get them out. You may need to practice with a friend, and bring someone with you for support when you talk to the principal.
Section 504 Plan
let's look at the problems with Section 504 Plans - getting an appropriate
plan and ensuring that the school implements the plan.
these plans were designed for a child with diabetes, you can use them
as templates for your child's plans. Revise the plans so they reflect
your child's conditions.
Medical Management Plan outlines the student's specific medical
needs as determined by his/her health care team. Describe every
situation that has come up, or is likely to come up. Make sure you
frame the issues in terms of medical need or disability. Ask your
son's primary doctor to sign the Medical Management Plan.
I have questions about the appropriateness of a Section 504 Plan for your child. Since he has cancer and is often absent from school because of medical appointments, it sounds like he has a disability that adversely affects educational performance.
If this is the case, he is a child with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and is entitled to an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). A child with a disability and an IEP has more rights and protections than a child who has a 504 plan.
be sure you know WHAT YOU WANT
if the complaint is found in your son's favor. If you don't ask for
anything when you file your complaint, you will not get anything when
it is resolved.
You also need to look at the situation in terms of common sense. Can you answer these questions?
1. What is setting people off at school?
2. What is really behind making a kid with cancer jump through hoops?
What turned this into a power struggle between adults who forgot about
Resources: Section 504 Plans
Resources: OCR Complaints
Meet Sue Whitney
In Doing Your Homework, she
writes about reading, research based instruction, No Child Left Behind, and
strategies for using federal education standards to advocate for
and to improve public schools. Her articles have been reprinted by SchwabLearning.org, EducationNews.org, Bridges4Kids.org, The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law and Practice, the Schafer Autism Report, and have been used in CLE presentations to attorneys. Sue Whitney's bio.
Copyright © 2002-2012 by Suzanne Whitney.