504 Plan Implementation Tips
504 plan implementation starts when writing the plan itself. Create a strong plan from the beginning; make sure the school is creating supports that help your child specifically. Possibly, the school has a go-to list of supports for kids with a certain disability. (This is likely not an actual list that’s written down.) Come to the table with specific circumstances and needs your child has. Then, work with the team to create accommodations for each circumstance and need one by one.
Get a Written Copy
There is no law requiring schools to write down the 504 plans, though most schools do as a best practice. Be sure to leave the meeting with a copy for yourself.
Review the Plan with All School Professionals
The 504 coordinator is to share the plan with every adult at school who interacts with your child. Sometimes, this isn’t done in the most helpful way. For example, a copy of the plan could be given to a teacher without any discussion or explanation. Take ownership over this. Meet with every teacher and support staff who works with your child.
Bring them a copy of the plan, and talk about each accommodation one by one. Check that they understand these supports are NOT optional – that your child has a right to receive them. If you want ideas for support and accommodations, get your free Supports Selector by logging in today.
Follow Up on 504 Plan Implementation with Teachers and Support Staff
Once every two to three months, check in with each person. Ask the right questions to reveal how the plan is working. Avoid yes/no questions.
For example, instead of asking, “Did Devin get extra time on his quizzes and tests?” ask, “How did Devin’s schedule change when he used extra time on quizzes and tests?” This helps the teachers show you the impact of the accommodation.
Keep the Plan Current
If anything changes with your child (new diagnosis or medical information, a change in medication), let the school know immediately. This may impact the 504 plan.
Request a Yearly Meeting
There is no legal requirement to review a 504 plan once a year. Most schools do so as a matter of best practice. That said, take charge of this and request a yearly review meeting just in case it might slip their mind.
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