Section 504 Accommodation

"Leveling the Playing Field"

Marion County's Student Assistance Team

Quick Reference Guide Online 

FAIR ISN'T ALWAYS EQUAL

This site is a collection of training information gathered by your Student Assistance Team Liaison, Sherry Copley.  It is designed to be a summary of the training sessions that I have offered to SAT Contact Persons - a Quick Reference Guide to Student Assistance Teams in Marion County, West Virginia.  This information represents a compilation of information I have gathered during trainings, meetings and conversations with other professionals.

 

 

Marion County Schools Policy and Forms:

 
or:  From marionboe.com, click on "Student and Parents", then "By-laws and Policies"
  

504 Plans:

If a student is identified as disabled under Section 504 and accommodations are needed, the Intervention Assistance Team ("IAT") will complete a Section 504 Plan (Form 2260.01A F13) which will describe the student's disability and will specify the accommodations/modifications/ interventions necessary so that the student's needs are met as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students.  The purpose of the plan is to provide the student with equal access to school activities, to remove barriers to educational opportunity, and provide to the degree possible, a level playing field. 

The plan will be signed by team members and forwarded to the County office as soon as possible.  Copies will also be placed in the student's cumulative folder and distributed to school personnel who work with the student.  The Building Compliance Officer will request written permission from the parents to implement the Section 504 Plan.  For initial plans, parental consent is required prior to implementation by the County.  On subsequent plans, the county may implement a plan without consent from the parent, but a copy of the plan and the Notice of Section 504/ADA Procedural Information and Rights (Form 2260.01A F3) must be sent to the parent. 

Case Manager Responsibilities:

The designated 504 Case Manager is responsible for:

    A. informing staff that the 504 Plan is a legal document

    B. writing and distributing the 504 plan

    C. encouraging teachers to request a 504 review if they are concerned about or unable to
 follow the 504 plan
    D. ensuring that reviews of the Section 504 plan are held annually by October 15th and that
updated plans are sent to the County Compliance Officer.

Building Compliance Officer Responsibilities:

The Building Compliance Officer is responsible for:

    A.  Prior to the beginning of the school year:

            1. identify the students in his/her building who have had 504 plans in the past and
designate a case manager
            2. ensuring that the case manager obtains a copy of the previous year's 504 plan and
distributes them to all appropriate staff members.

    B. Within the first 2 months of the school year:

            1. 504 REVIEW (prior to October 15):

notify the students' parents that the IAT needs to meet to review the Section 504 plan and to determine whether it is still necessary for the new year.

            2. schedule an IAT meeting to review a 504 plan for the student for the new school year
 (Form 2260.01A F17).
            3. forward copies of active 504 plans to the county Compliance Officer by October 15th of
 each school year, and place a copy in the student's cumulative folder.
            4. distribute updated copies of 504 plans to all of a students' teacher after review by the
504 case manager

    C. During the school year:

            Reconvene any IAT meetings to review the 504 plan whenever concerns develop regarding the appropriateness of the plan.  This meeting can be initiated by any member of the team, including parents.

    D. Procedural safeguards:

            Provide a copy of the Notice of Section 504/ADA Procedural Information and Rights (Form 2260.01A F3) any time written results of an IAT meeting are provided to a student's parents.

 An idea for principals to prevent 504 oversights:  

...periodically pull 504 Accommodation plans and check to see if a particular accommodation is being implemented. Consider a ""case manager"" approach for monitoring implementation of accommodations.

 Accommodation Issues:

(These issues and questions have been presented to me by teachers, parents or administrators in Marion County.  The following is my best attempt at answering your questions and concerns regarding accommodations): 

  • Connecting need to the disability:

  • Accommodations in the 504 Plan must be connected to needs resulting from a child's disability.  (Students with reading disabilities should have accommodations for issues related to reading, ...) 

  • The purpose of accommodation is not to support a child in achieving optimal success but to eliminate barriers and "level the playing field" or "provide equal opportunity" to disabled persons.  

  • Transitioning to a new school:

  • When a child is transitioning to a new school, the feeder school must alert the new school that a 504 plan is in place. 

  • Accommodations Manual from the Council of Chief State School Officers

  • Avoid accommodations "upon student request"

  • Writing plans based on prediction:

  • Schools must avoid writing 504 Accommodation Plans based on fear or prediction.  Eligibility is present tense.  Plans often become more intrusive and extensive when a child is transitioning to the next school level.  Plans must be based on current data, but may include a plan to support the child's transition.  (LRP Publications. "Don't Base Service Decisions on Predictions of Student Performance", 504 Compliance Advisor. Volume 12, Issue 3: p. 6)

  • Click here to read an article describing accommodations and modifications

    Behavior:

    • When developing 504 plans, don't forget to address field trip accommodations for behaviorally challenged students (additional services or personnel)
    • Track ISS/OSS/detention days.  If a student is removed from class for multiple days, review the 504 plan.  If they are removed for more than 10 days, a manifestation determination must be held (call your liaison)

    Evaluation:

    •  An accommodation must be routinely used in the classroom if it is to be provided for state and county standardized assessments.

    Medical:

    • When developing 504 plans, don't forget to address field trip accommodations for medical issues (medication administration, additional services or personnel)
    • Click here to see sample plans for diabetics provided by the American Diabetes Association.  
    • Make sure that plans for diabetic students address the following issues (either through the 504 accommodations or through the health plan attached to the 504): emergency procedures, staff training (including bus drivers), recognition of symptoms of high/low blood sugar, field trips, snacks/water bottle access, unrestricted bathroom breaks, plan for making up work when child misses classes.  Some students will need only medical accommodation; some will need academic accommodation in addition.  LRP Publications. "Optimize Learning for Students with Chronic Health Conditions", Section 504 Compliance Advisor. Volume 12, Issue 3, May 2008: p.5. 
    • Accommodations for food allergy students should include: procedures to prevent exposure, staff designated to handle emergency response, and training provided to staff members.  Make sure the school nurse is involved in the development of the plan.
    •  Download a publication from the US Department of Education:  "Teaching Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."

     Marion County Schools Policy:

    http://www.neola.com/marion-wv/