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Virginia:  My daughter is an 11th grader with ADHD and has been on a 504 plan since middle school. One of her accommodations is to get extra time on tests. She has always received the extra time to include the PSAT and SAT. However, this year her 6th period math teacher has indicated that unless her 5th or 7th period teachers will allow her to miss all or part of their class in order to allow her the extra time, she can’t give it to her. She won’t allow her to work on the test the next day either. Her other teachers don’t want her missing their classes and I’m running into road blocks when I have taken the issue to the school’s 504 counselor as well as the Assistant Principal. They keep telling me to work it out with the teacher but the teacher will only allow the extra time if the other teachers allow her to miss their class and further she expects my daughter to run around negotiating with her teachers to get the time. This does not seem consistent with the law but I’m no expert. It doesn’t seem that the burden of working the logistics of the accommodation should be the responsibility of the student (or the parent) but rather the school itself. Can someone tell me if I’m off base and give me some advice. Thanks!

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Virginia, I’ve seen a couple different approaches work. 1- Student takes test during non-core classes. 2- Student misses the period prior, or the period after, or finishes after school or the next day. Email the relevant teacher and calmly (but assertively) inform them of the necessary absence, and request a before or after school appointment for catch-up/make-up (similar to absence due to illness or medical appt.). It can be helpful to add “separate location” to the plan. If necessary, keep working your way up the chain, but keep a folder with all emails, letters, and notes of conversations, in case you have to file an OCR complaint. Take heart, in college this will not be a battle.


If she has the formal diagnosis and she is already receiving accommodations, I have to believe your daughter would qualify for an IEP. That would be the best way (in my opinion) to ensure that she consistently receives the accommodations she needs. She shouldn’t be put in a position of having to negotiate something that she’s already guaranteed under section 504 and IDEA.


The new thing in high schools are certification test. I have to question regarding sped students. If a certification test that’s given by the FAA, and no modifications are available. Are we violating the law if Federal government doesn’t allow modifications and the test are given be the federal government. Secondly, if all students are required to have a drivers license to get into an extra curriculum class and the sped student does not have one are we violating the law for not letting him participate.


If you have not contacted the district 504 coordinator, I suggest you do so. There must be a procedure for taking complaints & concerns up the “chain of command”.