Have you checked the Community Helpline on the Wrightslaw Way Blog lately?
Lots of people are asking and answering questions. You'll find information sharing, resources, and new perspectives on creative solutions for problem solving.
Tips: How to keep things from getting confontational
JSL asks: "What do you do when the school won’t respond. I am helping a parent who wrote a letter rejecting the child’s 504 plan. The Sped director told her she could not do that because a 504 was not an IEP. The mom called back and corrected her and informed her that procedural safeguards apply to 504s as well. Now the sped director is not returning her calls and her request for a meeting. What do you do when they are being so passive aggressive. I love all your tips in From Emotions to Advocacy on how to keep things from getting confrontational but when they do something like this it is like they are begging you to get angry. Any suggestions?"
Pam responds: "You say the mother wrote a letter rejecting the 504 plan. The principal said she couldn’t reject the 504 plan because it’s different from an IEP. Your friend called the principal to correct her. She has continued to call but the principal won’t return her calls.
Does the mother have a paper trail? Did she write a letter documenting what the principal told her? Did she write a letter about her call to the principal and the response? Has she written letters to request a meeting to revise the 504 Plan? From your post, it sounds like most of these things are being communicated orally. As Pete says, “An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.” Putting concerns and incidents in writing makes it far more likely that they will be dealt with."
Chuck adds: "The procedural safeguards are different between IDEA & Section 504. Schools can, but are not required to have parents participate in determining eligibility for 504 & developing the 504 plan. The school is also not required to hold a meeting at the parent’s request. The parent can request a hearing, but the hearing officer is selected by the district, not the state.
There is a good article on Section 504 by SchwabLearning. LD Online also has a good article on the differences between Section 504 & IDEA.
You can still try to find someone who is open to your concerns & try to get them help you work through the system & the roadblocks you are dealing with. Good luck."
Other Helpline Topics:
- Chronic Health Issues
- School Policy
- IEP Team Members
- Manifestation v. Behavioral Choices
- and many more