The 504 plan addresses big picture items like being allowed extra time on tests in the event of low or high blood sugar and being allowed access to water and the bathroom at any time.
At the start of the school year, though, it's the little logistical issues which require attention. The existence of the 504 plan allows us to address these without argument, but they would seem ridiculous as bullet points on the acutal document.
- Student may leave math textbook and snack in nurse's office to eliminate need to return to locker between gym and math.
- Student may store chocolate covered pretzels in nurse's office in case of unexpected birthday celebration.
- Student may check out books first during library time to allow sufficient time to check blood sugar before lunch.
We were fortunate at the elementary school to feel we really didn't need a 504 plan. It was a small school with wonderful staff who valued the individuality of each child. They would not let my daughter's diabetes come between her and a full school experience. We chose to implement the 504 in first grade not because of any concerns, but because of how well things were going. We wanted to put what was happening in writing so it would follow her through her whole school career.
It's our hope that we will feel the same at the middle school. But it's comforting to know that, should an argument arise, there's a document to back up my daughter's right to available chocolate-covered pretzels.