This week is the first week of the first round of ISTEP testing. If you aren’t familiar with ISTEP, it’s Indiana’s state-wide standardized testing.
At the beginning of the school year we met with the district nurse and the 6th grade counselor to put together Luke’s first 504 plan. I have only been on the teacher end of 504 plans, so I wasn’t really sure what all I should include for my own child. I’m fortunate enough to be a part of several Facebook groups full of other Type 1 parents, so they helped me come up with a list of possible 504 accommodations. Joel and I went through the list together and picked the ones we thought Luke should have. There aren’t many- the most important ones apply to daily life at school. He is allowed to carry a backpack for supplies. He can carry a water bottle at any time. He can eat a snack, if needed. He can use the bathroom when needed. We did add a couple of accommodations specific to testing, but only if needed. The main accommodation we thought he’d need is to give him extra time, if needed. It was decided that Luke would test his blood sugar right before testing. If he was in range (70-150), he’d test as normal. If he was outside his range, he would take steps to get it in range and then take his test.
Yesterday, around 11:30 a.m., I get a distress text from Luke.
Long story (a little) short(er), mama sprang into action. I wasn’t angry at all. But time was of the essence, so my emails had to very much be to the point. I immediately emailed (the AMAZING) school counselor and principal, as well as his teacher. I explained how Luke was mortified that he had to be tested in a separate area. He was in range- 91, I think. And that, if possible, he should stay in the general ed classroom to test. I mentioned that being embarrassed about being in a separate setting would most likely affect his test scores even more so than having crazy blood sugar. That we want Luke to feel as normal as possible. I apologized (I think? I hope!) that I misunderstood the plan, but this is how we envisioned it. This was just 45 minutes before he was supposed to start testing! And guess what? The school staff did it. They made the change and Luke was able to test in the general ed setting with the rest of the class. (Have I mentioned that Luke’s counselor is AMAZING??)
I knew today he was testing the first two hours of the day. I sent a snack for him to eat just before the test. I told him to put glucose tabs in his pocket, just in case. But he stayed in class for the test.
And he did an awesome job.