February 16, 2003
School and Daycare
Question from Ocean County, New Jersey, USA:
My child's school is dragging its feet on several important points in his 504 plan as we now enter the tenth week of school. (The usual pattern is silence for several weeks, then to present us with a plan that has unauthorized changes.) I know that IEPs have set time frames to either reject/negotiate or accept policy as written, but I cannot locate such guidelines for 504 plans. Is there a set negotiation time frame for 504 plans? If there is no written standard time frame to negotiate, we would like to write our own and add it to our 504 plan as policy.
Parents of children with special needs have the right to turn to the state education department for mediation and assistance. The NJ Department of Education publishes a booklet about these rights (the acronym is PRISE). In addition, the American Diabetes Association has a sample 504 Plan document that you might find helpful.
Additional comments from Crystal Jackson, ADA Government Relations Department:
OCR tells me that there are no required timelines for completion of plans and have referred me to the following url that has a wealth of information on this topic:
Frequently Asked Questions
about Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities. In the meantime, I’d recommend that this parent document everything in writing and work his or her way up the school district chain of command before filing a complaint with OCR. However, OCR complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discrimination so this parent may want to continue to try to work through the school district protocol as well as file a complaint with OCR. They should call 1-800-DIABETES for our comprehensive packet of school information.
[Editor’s comment: Also see The Law, Schools, and Your Child with Diabetes and Diabetes at School.
[Editor’s comment: We have a collection of sample 504 plans for you to use.