The school year is almost over. Summer’s coming and everyone’s looking forward to the break. But there are lingering issues with this year’s performance. Once the end of the year festivities are over and you have some time, you might want to come in and just talk about what we can do for your child in the coming year.
Many parents like you know that their child has issues in school, whether it’s an ADHD diagnosis and a school that doesn’t really respond much to parent requests for help, or discipline issues, or even an existing plan with the school that just isn’t being executed well.
This time of the school year – especially as kids head into transitions from elementary to middle school, or middle school to high school – is a great time to meet with an education law attorney and discuss what your rights are regarding education and learning disabilities, or your rights regarding your child if she or he is a special education student. Here at DuBois Cary you can contact us for a free, 10-minute call with our Education Law attorney Michelle Fontenot. Our number is (206) 547-1486.
A common concern among parents is figuring out what exactly their child needs from the school system. So a lot of parents ask us about terminology, especially as it relates to the differences between kids with special needs and kids who simply have learning disabilities. Here’s some helpful information.
What’s the difference between a Special Education Plan and a 504 Plan?
The “504” refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which says very clearly that no one with a disability can be excluded from participating in federally funded programs or activities, and that includes elementary school, high school and college.
504 Plans are put in place for your student. It’s a plan you and the school create together to make sure that your student with a “disability” that affects one major life area is able to participate in school. “Disabilities” in this context can include;
- physical impairments
- illnesses or injuries
- communicable diseases
- chronic conditions like allergies or diabetes
- learning challenges like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A 504 Plan spells out the modifications and accommodations that will be needed so that your child has the opportunity to perform at the same levels as their peers, and might include things such as wheelchair ramps, blood sugar monitoring, an extra set of textbooks, or a keyboard for taking notes.
504 Plans are not Special Education Plans. This one of the major distinctions between 504 Plans and Special Education Plans. Students with 504 Plans do not need specially designed instruction in order to access the general ed curriculum; rather they only need certain accommodations to allow them to participate fully in the school setting and activities.
Special education, on the other hand, is specially designed instruction that is individualized based on an evaluation that determines whether or not your child qualifies for Special Education. More information about those qualifications can be found here.
Please contact Michelle Fontenot to schedule a free 10-minute call at (206) 547-1486.