Often, a school will put a 504 plan in place for a child, but that child’s parents do not know how to make sure that it is actually being followed. If that is the scenario you find yourself in, continue reading for tips on how to make sure that the school delivers what it has promised.
Learn Who Is Responsible For the 504 Plan
Most 504 plans list the staff members that you can contact if you have any questions and concerns. Also, make sure you have the name and contact number of the school district’s 504 coordinator, as it may come in handy.
Talk To Your Child About the Plan
This is perhaps the best way to ensure that the plan is being followed. Talk about the 504 plan with your child. Make sure they understand what is in it so that they know what to expect. This will help the child know if something is not being provided and will encourage them to speak up.
You understand your child and their maturity levels better than anyone. Assess their maturity and teach them about the plan based on that. This could be as simple as them knowing that all their tests will be taken in a “quiet room” or that they will need an assistive technology tool.
Don’t Forget To Ask Your Child Questions About How Things Are Going
Building upon that last point, you will know better if direct questions or subtle prompting works better to help your child open up.
You may ask them direct questions, such as, “Did you receive the assistive technology during this assignment?” Alternatively, you could use more subtle prompts, such as, “You started a new book in class. How is that going?”
Observe Your Child and Review Their Tests
In some situations, the things that kids don’t say tell us the most. Your child may not express that something is bothering them, so be observant and pick up on cues. Notice if your child seems discouraged and unmotivated or if they dislike going to school, and then write down these concerns.
Keep an eye on your child’s homework, tests, and assignments. If your child is supposed to be using accommodations in the plan, are these helping your child make progress? Observe their growth through their tests and assignments.
Talk To Your Child’s Teacher About the 504 Plan
A typical parent-teacher meeting is too short to have an in-depth discussion. You may approach the teacher about having a separate meeting where you can discuss the concerns you may have.
A good relationship between the parent and teacher has a positive influence on the child, as well. The teacher and parents can work together to support the child and make sure that the 504 plan is working effectively.
We have discussed a few steps that you can take to ensure that the school delivers what is promised in your child’s 504 plan. Hopefully, these steps will help you and your child get the assistance they deserve.