Section 504: 504 DISCONTINUED BECAUSE OF GRADES

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Gina: We live in Pennsylvania. After a year of having a 504 plan for my daughter in place, I went to the meeting today. The Director of Special Education for the school district told me that she no longer qualified because she was an “A” student and has not used the accommodations yet this year. The teacher present did confirm that but then stated that as a class, they have not yet addressed the issues that would require her to use her specific accommodations. Her class is mostly verbal, which my daughter excels at. They didn’t even have the math teacher present or his written input, and that was the class she struggles with the most. I added that she did use the accommodations last school year (specifically in math) and asked that they contact the previous teachers. She said they could only look forward. I asked if we would put the 504 Plan back in place after she gets B’s and C’s. Her response verbatim was “Well B’s and C’s aren’t failing grades either.” Am I to assume that my daughter has to FAIL a class before they will reinstate the 504 plan? Her accommodations are so basic ( able to verbally give answer instead of hand writing, type instead of hand writing essays and responses, go to nurse for headaches, copy of class notes prior to class, graph paper for math). I was shocked that they wouldn’t offer these accommodations. I was willing to take a few off that she does not need. But to get rid of it completely, I was not excepting. I told them that I didn’t agree. We are convening again in a few weeks. I want to make sure I have my information ready. Any help or suggestions?

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Amy

504 plans should not be put in place in order to inoculate a student against average grades. Looking at grades as the only way to decide whether is student needs accommodations can really muddy the waters, and ignores the reason why 504 plans are provided in the first place.

You did not mention your daughter’s disability. Evaluation teams must determine that a student’s disability “substantially limits one or more major life functions” before considering a 504 plan. 504 plans are put in place to make sure that a student has access to the same learning opportunities as nondisabled peers. If your daughter is getting average grades or above, the evaluation team probably decided that her disability was not “significantly” impacting her ability to learn the same things as her peers.