Frequently Asked Questions
My student is changing schools. How do I ensure their plan follows them?
If your student is transferring within the Saint Paul Public School system their new school will be able to access their plan through shared data systems. It’s important to let your child’s new school know that they have a plan. If your child is transferring out of SPPS, you’ll want to ensure you that your request a copy be sent along with their official records.
I have concerns about my student’s existing plan.
If you feel your student is not benefiting from their plan as written you do have the right to request a meeting to review their plan. Contact the 504 coordinator at your child’s school to discuss your concerns.
What if my student has a plan, but it isn’t being followed?
If you feel that your student is not receiving accommodations as outlined in their plan there is a grievance procedure process. The best first step is to contact your school’s 504 coordinator to discuss your concerns. If your concerns are not addressed, please contact Beth Coleman at 651-767-8321.
Who has access to a 504 plan?
504 plans are only accessible to those individuals who need to know for accommodation purposes. Those with access may include your student’s teachers, school counselor, nurse, administration, and coaches/activity supervisors. It’s worth noting that your child’s 504 plan does not specifically name their disability. That information is only listed in your student’s initial eligibility report which is not shared with general staff.
I have a new student transferring in with an existing 504 plan- what should I do?
You may use the student’s current plan until you can update the plan for your school. When updating the plan in EdPlan you can use the student’s existing 504 plan as a evidence for their eligibility report. It is okay to wait for the student to settle into your school before you update their plan. It’s important to understand how their disability impacts major life activities. Once the 504 team has an understanding of the student and their needs, the process would proceed as with an student needing an annual review.
Do we need parental permission to evaluate a student?
YES. You do need signed parental permission prior to evaluating a student’s eligibility.The Prior Written Notice document is under the 504 documents section of EdPlan.
Are we required to have a meeting?
A meeting must be held before any significant changes in placement, per student or family request, or when there is evidence that the plan is not supporting the student. There is no requirement that the meeting must be held in person. Depending on the situation a phone conference might be appropriate.
Who should be on the 504 team?
It’s important to include individuals that have an understanding of the student’s disability and will potentially be making accommodations. Teachers, the school nurse, school counselor, and other school staff are all potential team members. Parents and the student (as age allows) are also important team members.
How often do we need to review a service plan?
SPPS considers a yearly review as best practice. However, if it is to the student’s best interest to review the plan sooner or later it is acceptable to adjust the review timeline. If a student continues to be unsuccessful at the level of their peers it would be appropriate to review their plan sooner. If the student is adjusting to a new schedule or setting it would be appropriate to wait, if the team feels that it does not have an accurate understanding of how that student’s disability impacts a major life activity. It is important to note that if a plan has not been reviewed in a year ( or is out of compliance) the student’s 504 flag with disappear from Campus. The student will still have an active 504 plan, but it will not be readily apparent in Campus.
Who is eligible for a 504 plan?
Any student who is known to or suspected of having a disability that impacts a major life activity is eligible for a 504 plan. Potential candidates may include:
- students who previously had an IEP or who were found ineligible for an IEP
- students who have been identified as having ADHD, ASD, or any other chronic mental, emotional, behavioral, medical or physical condition that limits one or more life activities
- students participating in or leaving a treatment program
- students who are being considered for retention
- students who are facing suspension or expulsion
- students who are identified as “at risk” for whatever reason
Does the student have to have a diagnosis to have a 504 plan?
A student does not need a formal diagnosis to be regarded as having a disability. Section 504 defines a student with a disability as a student who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity or a has a record of such impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment. While a formal diagnosis can contribute to the understanding of a student’s disability it is not required.
Where should I store documents?
There are a couple of options on where to store documents, some of which will be determined by your individual school’s policies. Remember any documents created in EdPlan will automatically be available under the the 504 documents section. You can also upload each student’s 504 plan under the 504 plan and emergency plan tab in Campus. Any individual who has access to student information in Campus will be able to access a copy of their plan. Documents that should not be available to everyone such as information provided during the eligibility process can be scanned and upload under the mental health documents tab in Campus. This will limit the access to only those individuals that have access to the mental health record storage tab. Once those documents are upload paper copies can either be returned to the parent or confidentially recycled.