504 Plan Frequently Asked Questions
What is a 504 Plan?
A 504 plan is a legal document falling under the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It is NOT an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and is NOT related to special education. It is a legal document stating that a student has a disability or impairment that restricts a major life activity and accommodations need to be put into place for that student to be successful. Once the helpful accommodations are put into place, all teachers who work with that student (homeroom, Spanish, gym, library, music, art etc.) receive a copy and follow the plan. At the conclusion of each year all plans are reviewed and may or may not continue into the following year.
How is a student considered for a 504 plan?
When parents provide the school with medical documentation (doctor’s note, test results etc.) a student may be considered for a plan. The student must have a physical or emotional disability, or an impairment (i.e. Attention Deficit Disorder) that significantly impacts one or more major life activities. Examples of major life activities include caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and learning.
- Do all students who have a disability or impairment need a 504 Plan?
Absolutely not. The student would need a 504 Plan only if this disability or impairment is impacting them significantly in school. Further, a student may have a condition but may not qualify if it is found that the condition is not significantly impairing them.
- What is the process for placing a student on a 504 plan?
When parents present the school with medical documentation the child may be eligible for a 504 Plan. After the documentation is received it is reviewed by a 504 Plan committee. This committee determines whether the child qualifies for accommodations under the plan. If they do qualify, the 504 plan case manager and the student’s teacher will draft a 504 Plan. It is then sent home to the parents to review and sign if it is to their satisfaction. Once the signed copy is returned to school the plan is in effect and will be implemented by all teachers who work with the student.
- Who is involved in the process?
The school counselor/504 plan case manager, the student’s teacher, parent/legal guardian, and 504 committee (speech therapist, general education teacher, special education teacher, basic skills teachers, nurse and principal). The student’s physician or therapist may also be involved in the process.
- What accommodations might be included in the 504 plan?
Examples of accommodations might be, preferential seating (close to teacher/ instruction, away from distractions etc.), assignments or testing conditions may be adjusted (extensions of time, modification of test questions), increased response time, extra time to complete tasks, ability to take a break in between assignments or work standing up. Accommodations are tailored to each individual student’s needs.
- Once the plan is approved, what are the teacher’s responsibilities?
Teachers are expected to reasonably follow the strategies written to implement the plan and to participate in the review. Further, if the plan is not working for the student, a teacher should ask for the assistance of support staff.
**If you have any more questions or concerns regarding the 504 Plan process that were not addressed here, please feel free to contact Mrs. Wilson.**