504 and High School

get of jail free

This post is different from most because it relates to high school.  Ruthfulness has a primary focus on early intervention for parents and students but as a high school teacher, I get to see how teens and their parents handle or fail to handle their/(child’s) special needs.

Teachers, students, parents, and the community:

A 504 is not a get of of jail free card!

This is a serious legal document with information related to people with disabilities and it is not to be utilized as an excuse.  Many, many students have 504’s to enable them the accommodations they may need in order to complete work or standardized tests in a timely manner.

A 504 is not to get out of having the homework done on time at the moment that the teacher is at your desk collected it from 2 days prior!  A 504 is not a chance for you to see all the test questions, act like you are not finished, ask for more time after the fact and then return days later to complete the blank questions and then change the questions that you answered incorrectly.

A 504 is a legal document that entitles a student to additional time as needed with specific, individualized plans.  A 504 is to be communicated to the teacher during the assignment that a student is working but not able to finish on the due date.  A 504 provides time accommodations during standardize testing.  A 504 can make accommodations for physically disabled students to leave class early in order to be on time to the next class.  A 504 can be medical, stating when a student may need medication.

Please, if you have a 504 use it.  However, don’t abuse it!

Know your rights, know how to advocate, earn B’s and focus on your core GPA.

As a high school teacher and a parent of a child with special needs, I get to sit on both sides of the table on all different types of meetings relating to students IEP/504 needs.  I wanted to share what gets me upset when dealing with 504 students at the high school level as a teacher.  As a parent,  I am also a huge promoter of advocating.  As a community of parents we have to learn to advocate then teach our child how to self-advocate as they grow older.  Our children need to know what their needs are and how to request their accommodations from their teacher(s).

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