Preparing for a 504 Plan

by Jen Lee Reeves on August 1, 2011 · 22 comments

in 2011,Kindergarten

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I finally have a scheduled appointment tomorrow to set up Jordan’s 504 plan before she starts Kindergarten in a few weeks. A 504 is different from an Individual Education Plan or IEP – it’s less structured but it gives me some legal control in making sure Jordan gets the best educational experience possible. Last week, Jordan had a chance to visit school and take part in Kindergarten assessment. She did a pretty darn good job for a little girl who has been so active this summer, we didn’t spend a lot of time just studying words and letters. (She had a hard time between a capital “U” and “V” during the assessment.) She certainly proved she’s Kindergarten-ready. All the preschool learning has put her in a great position for school.

Setting up a 504 plan at her school is my way to make sure every teacher who works with Jordan is mindful of one and two handed activities. If there are two handed activities, I need the teacher to think ahead of time on how he or she can alter the work for Jordan. I don’t want disruption in the middle of the class where the activity is underway when the teacher and Jordan realize this may be tricky with one hand. I want the teacher to contact me 24 hours in advance to make sure we can come up with a solution if he or she cannot. Jordan will probably have a solution if I don’t!

I also wrote a little book that I hope to print and share with Jordan’s class and the other Kindergarten classrooms. We’ll bring all of Jordan’s helper arms to share with everyone and make sure it isn’t scary… it’s just a part of Jordan being Jordan.

Let me know what you think about the book and if you have any 504 Plan ideas!
Jordan Kindergarten Book

(By the way – the last line of the book is similar to a book shared to me by a mom in the Little Fins group in Minnesota. The limb difference community is so wonderful when it comes to thinking about starting new stages in life and helping our kids succeed!)

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa August 1, 2011 at 11:04 am

I love the book you created, Jen! What a wonderful idea…you’re such an amazing mama!!! <3

Jen Lee Reeves August 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

Thanks Lisa!! The book was Jordan approved!

Lauren August 1, 2011 at 11:46 am

Once again, mom of the year goes to you! Congrats on an amazing way to help Jordan have a great first year of school!

Amy Hempleman August 1, 2011 at 11:47 am

What a wonderful book and way to help her new kindergarten get to know all about Jordan!!! I hope she loves kindergarten!!

Jen Lee Reeves August 1, 2011 at 11:53 am

Thanks Lauren! I don’t need an award though!!

Jen Lee Reeves August 1, 2011 at 11:54 am

Thanks Amy! Jordan’s a little nervous – she periodically discusses her concern about being the “little kid” in a school with so many older kids. She’ll do great. I just know it.

Laura August 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I love this book Jen! What a great idea! If you have any questions about the 504 process feel free to ask, I have been on both sides of the table during those meetings. If you are worried AT ALL, you can have an advocate sit in the room with you (someone not from the school who knows something about Special Needs) to make sure that your sweet little girl is not excluded from anything, but is also protected in case of a legal problem. I have been in schools where the person writing the 504 plans was not specific enough to each situation, and I have been in schools where the teachers did not even read the 504 plans. Having a well developed plan in place can mean the difference between a healthy, happy, productive child and a child kicked out of school for problems that should have been covered under her plan (my daughter). Good luck!

Jen Lee Reeves August 1, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Thanks so much Laura! My biggest problem is I’ve never seen what a 504 plan looks like. Jordan’s OT and her county case worker (we have a family resource program that helps us with extra activities and prosthetic costs) will be there with me. My case worker is bringing all documents about Jordan’s condition and her needs. Her OT will be there to talk about what Jordan can do and what we’re still working on. I’m there to make sure Jordan’s difference isn’t something that interrupts class and learning!

Breck August 1, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Love Love Love the book!! (And even more that you can share it online!!) This is great! Good luck with the 504 meeting! Jordan has an amazing advocate in her court!!! And as good as you’ve trained her, she’s gonna work you right out of a job as she becomes her own advocate! Fabulous ideas, Jen!!!

Jen Lee Reeves August 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thanks Breck! I really think it’s awesome to have so many years in the online world of advocacy. I’ve learned so many great ideas from so many wonderful parents!

Rebecca August 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I love the book. It’s a great idea and you’re a GREAT mom! It’s perfect!

Jen Lee Reeves August 1, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Thank you so much. Your picture was perfect. I hope it’s okay we’re using it (Of course with the watermark!)

Trisha August 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I absolutely love this book. I can’t wait to share it with Ashlyn. This is a great book for kids with limb differences to read as well, to see that they aren’t so different AND to encourage them to wear their arms. As always, you girls are such an inspiration. Thank you so much!

Elisa Taylor August 9, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I love this book! I just shared it with Bella. You’ve inspired me to make one for her as well! I didn’t know Bella would need a 504. I’m so glad I read about it here. Btw, which camp no limits do you go to? We are planning to go to California (is it Big Bear?) next summer, and I thought it would be awesome if you were there too!
Elisa

Jen Lee Reeves August 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Bella doesn’t have to have a 504… I just wanted one to make sure teachers are mindful. We have a really nice school, I just like having legal backup. We attend Camp No Limits-Missouri since it’s closest to us. I’d love to attend all of them, but we can’t afford it and I have to go to work! (But wouldn’t that be awesome?)

Meg August 31, 2011 at 9:35 am

Ohhh I LOVVVE Jordan’s little book!!!!!!! :)

erin August 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Thank you thank you thank you!!! I am going to bookmark this to make in a couple years!

Jen Lee Reeves August 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm

You’re so welcome!!

chelseah cotnam August 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this. My daughter is not school age yet but confronting classmates when she goes to school is something I think about a lot. I’m so happy to have found this. It is a simple way share the story and all the amazing things that the child can still do. I will definitely be using this and really appreciate you sharing it with us.thank you Jordon. you are amazing

Ada Casas August 27, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Hi Jen,

Thank you for sharing the book idea, I made it for Stephies first day of PK two days ago

Jen Lee Reeves August 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm

That’s so great to hear, Ada!

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