I know we homeschool but I wanted to create a post that had all the information I could find on creating a perfect 504 plan for you and your children. If you have other examples or links that you found helpful in writing yours please leave them in the comments and I will add them to this post. Starting school is already stressful on any parent, with the added stress of medicine, and sick days it can be overwhelming.
What is a 504 Plan? It is plan for how a child will have access to learning at school. Schools are required by law to follow the agreed upon plan. It is strongly recommended that all CF public school children have one in place, to be safe. CF is such an unpredictable disease, you don’t want to be caught off guard.
There is a wonderful breakdown of the basics on this website. I am going to focus my links in this post towards CF specific 504 plans but for all other uses, that website is a great starting point.
The next place to visit is the CFF website, here they have basics on how you should work to develop the 504 Plan with your school. It’s important to start building a relationship with your childs Teachers, Principals and Nurses from day one. They are going to be key players in your childs education and health so the better they understand your childs needs the better equipped they will be help. Don’t be surprised if they have never heard of CF, it’s always best to go into the meeting as if everyone is learning about it for the first time. We deal with this disease daily so it’s easy to forget that many will have never heard of it. There is also a lot of miss information about CF out there, so the better prepared you are to answer any questions that might come up the smoother the meeting will hopefully go.
Before your child starts Kindergarten, it will be good to bring up the 504 plan with your Clinic and then prepare to set up a meeting with your school. Often it seems like something one should put off until it is actually needed but it is advised to just go ahead and set it up. If you start off on the right foot from day one you won’t have to worry about scrambling to set it up after it’s needed.
When you request a 504 plan your school is legally required to set up a meeting within 30 days. You want to come prepared, here is a list of things to consider. Again this is a large list to think about, don’t feel the need to include all the items but look at it as an idea generator. Don’t let the school dictate how they see your childs needs, you are your childs best advocate don’t hesitate on getting more people involved to get your childs needs met.
- Bring your childs medical history
- nutritional needs
- excessive absence plan, for sick days and hospital stays
- Medication needed (include a plan for extra treatments)
- Water bottle use
- extra bathroom use
- Field trip plan
- Extra books for at home
- Contact with other people with CF
- If someone in the class is sick
- Cleaning procedures of the room the child is in
- Recess / PE needs
- Cystic Fibrosis in the Classroom
- More than one with CF in the same School
- When the school isn’t helping.
If you are ever in doubt or feel like the school isn’t listening to you, please talk to your clinic. They are there to assist you in areas such as this and can point you in the right direction to get the plan in place.
Another idea I wanted to mention is to set up a time with the teacher at the beginning of each year so the you can come into the classroom and discuss CF to the class, and how it affect the child and to talk about germs. A good lesson in germs is always helpful to all.
I hope that this post was helpful, it will be updated as I come across new information. <3