School districts are much more willing to write an Individualized Health Plan (IHP), asthma action plan, allergy action plan or diabetes action plan for your child or student instead of a Section 504 plan. That's because an asthma action plan, allergy action plan or an IHP is not a legally binding agreement with the district whereas a 504 plan is.
You will most likely run into problems when items aren't followed on an IHP, asthma action plan or food allergy action plan. You may end up being told like we were, that the items on "the plan" we were given by the principal were just her notes. She said that they were things that were discussed at the meeting but weren't necessarily actionable items. This was after the fact when things weren't followed that were on the plan that we were given.
That "plan" was provided to us before we knew anything about Section 504 prior to the start of the 2007-2008 school year. Nothing was mentioned about Section 504 in 2007. At the beginning of the 2018-2019, Fox was required to send out notices to everyone in the district informing them of their obligation to Section 504 and child find. The district was required to do so because of the March 2018 Resolution Agreement they signed with OCR. So, everyone in the district should now be aware of Section 504.
Below is an online post from 2005 that's still relevant today. We found the post online after things weren't being followed on the plan that we were given that was not a 504 plan.
The article on Understood.org is geared towards helping students with ADHD or dyslexia. Section 504 also applies to students with asthma, diabetes, food allergies, seizure disorders and other health impairments. Those specific items were mentioned in the District's March 2018 Resolution Agreement with ED OCR.
I have been following Fox's ongoing efforts to comply with Section 504 and Title II since 2008 when ED OCR got involved. Their efforts to comply are still a work in progress.
It's very important that you are knowledgeable about Section 504 before you attend your first 504 team meeting. Typically, school district attorneys don't attend 504 team meetings. But 12 years ago, a simple health plan was written up prior to the start of school at Lone Dell Elementary. There wasn't any referral for a Section 504 evaluation. The plan was referred to as a Health Plan. As mentioned above, school district's are obligated to perform child find and refer students for a Section 504 evaluation if needed.
Knowing the law may help you call out a district attorney like I did when he made false statements about Section 504 in order to sway the 504 team's decision about whether or not our child qualified for Section 504. This was after the district removed a Section 504 plan in September 2008 arguing that it was not needed since there weren't any reactions at school during a 30 day observation period. The proof that the 504 plan should not have been removed, is the fact that it was restored in August 2014 with the help of ED OCR.
In May 2009, after the district signed a Resolution Agreement to hold another 504 eligibility meeting, I called out the district attorney during that 504 meeting when he stated that "episodic and in remission only applies to people with cancer". I said that wasn't true and that he needed to read the law. His response to me was that we weren't there to discuss the law. He said we were there to decide whether or not the student qualified for Section 504. A decision wasn't made at the meeting anyway because Dan Baker wanted to get an independent evaluation which schools are allowed to do. It's a very good tactic for dragging out the process which is why Fox was required to make a change to their 504 Manual from the March 2018 Resolution Agreement.
Educators can't make good informed decisions when they're being misinformed. Those types of tactics certainly make you question the integrity of the individuals involved in the process and leaves you with very little respect for the people or the process.