Awareness & advocacy · School

It’s 504 time…

The end of July is always a busy time for us. It marks the end of summer. One day after the calendar flips to August, I’m off to school and Luke follows two days later. So that means we have to make all of the appropriate preparations…

Stopping at Target a few times to pick up school supplies- new notebooks, pencils, erasers, markers, post-it notes and Kleenexes. I always make several trips because there are always such great deals! I keep a little school supply stock at home, too. Who am I kidding?  I just love school supplies. I think it’s a pre-req for a teacher.

pencils

Back to school shopping to replace the holey jeans, the too-small tennis shoes, and the faded t-shirts. Luke’s request this year is Van’s Zelda shoes. At $65 for a pair of shoes he’ll outgrow in a year, I’m thinking he may need to save his own money for them.

25 02 shopping trip
The aftermath of our 2015 Back to School shopping trip that Grandma treats us to each year.

Planning super easy meals for those first few weeks back to school. Like this or this or this. Or maybe even making some ahead of time to just pop in the oven. Like this or this or this.

15 01 groceries

Last year we had another back-to-school item to add to our list- meeting with Luke’s team at school and setting up his very first 504 Plan.

What’s a 504 Plan? The following excerpt is from the American Diabetes Association, however, children with many different disabilities and medical conditions have 504 plans.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 9.02.39 PM

Basically, it’s a list of things a child with a medical condition can do in class in order to keep them safe and give them every opportunity to reach academic success.

I’ve sat through a good share of 504 meetings, so I kind of knew what to expect. But it’s still weird when it’s for your own kid. To be sure I covered everything, I went to my T1 Facebook friends to see what they include in their child’s 504 plan. I found that some families choose not to have a 504 and others’ 504 is pages long. Joel and I sat down together to come up with a list of what we would want in Luke’s plan.

Here is a list of what we included in Luke’s 504 plan…

He is allowed to leave class for assistance with his diabetes.

If needed, he will be provided a modified testing format for high stakes tests.

If needed, he will be provided extra time for high stakes tests.

If needed, parents will be contacted regarding high stakes testing, depending on blood sugar levels.

He is allowed to leave class early to go to the nurse to do lunch preparations.

He is allowed to carry a water bottle.

He has unlimited use of the bathroom without restrictions.

He is allowed to carry a small backpack with medical supplies.

And that’s it! Many families opt to add homework modifications if the T1 child has had complications with highs and/or lows. However, Luke attends an amazing school in an amazing school district who would allow that in a heartbeat. So, we didn’t feel it was necessary to add those type of modifications in his 504 plan.

We are wanting to reword the high stakes testing modifications. Last year he was put in a modified space for testing and he was MORT-I-FIED. He texted me, panicking, because his blood sugar levels were fine. So at the very last minute, after I emailed her, his AMAZING school counselor un-modified his testing space and sent him back to his homeroom for testing. As long as he can have water, juice and/or candy with him while he takes his tests next year, he should be fine. So we’ll ask how we can reword it at our 2016-17 meeting in a few weeks.

I honestly don’t think we would have to have a 504 at his school. He has an amazing bunch of teachers, principals and counselors… so accommodating and understanding. However, it’s my understanding that in order to have a 504 (or something similar) in college, there must be one in place in elementary and/or secondary school. (Please someone correct me if I’m wrong!) We feel very blessed to have a school that has no issues with making sure Luke is getting the best education he can!

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