School starts back up in less than a month. School administrators and office staff will be back in the office in a week. I have been busy updating Angelina’s 504 Plan for… MIDDLE SCHOOL!!!
Lots of changes to the actual accommodations based on issues that we had last year. I also completed re-organized the sections and down-sized some of the sections that were overly wordy. David suggested that I write a summary of the accommodations to accompany the entire actual 504 Plan, but we agreed to disagree about the effectiveness of this method. I have written a generic “letter to the teacher” that accompanies that Quick Reference Emergency Plan and outlines some of the basic day to day expectations of diabetes care. However, it is my feeling that an actual summary of the 504 Plan itself would only serve to be an easy out for anyone who doesn’t actually want to read the entire document. There is no way to paraphrase the accommodations that are in the Plan without leaving out important information. I understand that if teachers or staff do not read the whole document then we are more likely to see the plan not being followed, but my feelings are if I provide a summary that doesn’t contain all of the information it is essentially giving them permission NOT to read the whole 504 Plan and we are definitely not going to see the following all of the accommodations.
I also don’t know how to “shorten” the plan without leaving out accommodations that I feel are necessary and I know from our experience this last year that if it’s not in writing in explicit detail they will try to get around it or interpret the instructions a different way than what they are meant. Since Angelina is starting middle school she will be at a new school site this year, however we will still be dealing with the same Supervising District Nurse who is the person that gave us the most problems about wording and explicit detail last year. She is also the one who chose to only follow the parts of the doctor’s orders which she felt were necessary or were “earned” such as blatantly denying Angelina the ability to test blood sugar on her own, despite the doctor’s orders stating that Angelina could carry her meter and was capable of checking blood sugar independently. However, since the orders didn’t explicitly say “Angelina may self-carry meter and test independently in any location” the SDN decided that she could carry and test independently in the office ONLY.
We also have to consider new accommodations for her new CGM in the Cloud setup and implementing that into her care at school, hopefully also increasing her independence and time in class.
I’m not playing around this year. I’m not going to sit back and let them stomp all over the doctor’s order and the agreed upon 504 Plan without a fight. Even if they don’t initially agree to the changes I have made, her prior year’s 504 Plan will still be in effect and it was agreed upon in that plan that she would be able to carry her meter and test in any location. I will also make sure that when we see the Endo on Aug 7th that it is written explicitly in the orders that she can carry and test in any location, at any time. I have an ADA rep’s email address and phone number and this year I am not afraid to use it. I’ve already told David that if they give me a hard time I will be contacting the ADA and I will be bringing an advocate with me to the school. The only reason I didn’t this past year is because he felt that I was being overzealous and unreasonable and that if he backed me up things would get better. Except they didn’t.