504 Plans and the Teacher
This page is for informational purposes only, and is not
cover or explain
detail of the federal statutes and rules that govern
Education (504) Plans
- Q. What is a 504 plan?
A. An Adjusted Regular Education Plan or
is a legal document falling under the provisions of
Act of 1973. It is designed to plan a program of
students with special needs who are in a regular
education setting. A
504 plan is
not an Individualized Education Program (IEP) as is
students, although all students with IEPs are
already covered under
Section 504. Section 504 does not require the
maximize a child's
learning. For Section 504 purposes, the school
will compare your
child's performance to that of the average
While the law doesn't provide any new funding
for programs and
that comply, it carries the threat of withholding
federal funds from
those that don't. Since public schools receive
federal tax dollars, the
law applies to them. It doesn't apply to many
private schools because
they don't receive any money from the federal
- Q. What students are eligible?
A. Any student with a physical or
disability, or who is recovering from a
chemical dependency, or who has an impairment (i.e.
that restricts one or more major life activities.
- Q. What are examples of "major life
A. Major life activities include caring
self, performing manual tasks, walking,
seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and
- Q. How is a student placed on a 504
A. There are typically four steps in
a 504 plan.:
- Student is referred: This can be done by a
support staff, parent/legal guardian, physician,
therapist or the
- A 504 plan meeting is held.
- A plan for the student is developed.
- A review date is set.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, a
should be held within two weeks of the initial
- Q. What is the teacher(s)
role/responsibility in the 504 placement process?
A. If a teacher has a concern regarding a
performance and/or behavior, and believes it is
caused by a disabling
condition, the teacher should initiate a referral
consultation with support staff and/or building
Also, the teacher should participate in any
where a 504 plan may be developed. Additionally, the
teacher should be
ready to supply pertinent data and documentation
test scores, discipline referrals, and anecdotal
information to assist
in the writing of
- Q. What accommodations might be included
in the 504 plan?
A. A 504 plan could include items listed
This is not a exhaustive list.
A child's seat assignment accommodates a disability.
A diabetic child may be permitted to eat in the
A child may be permitted to go to the office for the
A student's assignments or testing conditions may be
time, modification of test questions).
Note: This is a team process where all
members of the
team, not just the teacher, may have
responsibilities in fulfilling the
requirements of the 504 plan.
- Q. What if I disagree with the 504 plan
or any of its components? What are my
A. If you disagree with the 504 plan you
1.Express your views at the meeting and suggest
2. Refuse to sign the plan.
3. Contact your site rep if you believe the plan
conditions of employment.
- Q. Once the plan is approved,
what are my responsibilities as a teacher?
A. You are expected to reasonably follow
strategies written to implement the plan
and to participate in the review process.
- Q. Can a 504 plan be altered?
A. Yes. Make a written request to your building
principal for a Pupil Personnel Team
meeting. Send a copy to all who attended the meeting
where the original
approved. In addition, be sure that there is a planned
review date on
504 document as well as any amended document so that
of the plan can be evaluated and
adjustments can be made, if needed, at that time.
- Q. If I sign off on a 504 plan, how am
A. You are legally
responsible to implement your
accommodation/strategies on the plan. You are advised
consistent documentation to display that you have
plan. For example: You may keep a file of student work
notations in your gradebook, or maintain personal
notes. Keep copies of
adjusted tests, assignments, behavior plans, and all
notes to and from
Again, if the plan isn't working for the student,
writing for the assistance of
support staff (counselors, nurses, psychologists,
etc.). Also, some
accountability rests with the parents/legal
guardians in following
through. Do not
accept the burden alone. Again, keep copies of all
- Q. Can I call the union office with
questions or concerns regarding individual
students, placements, and 504 plans?
A. Yes. We will advise and support.
the union office will pursue the
matter if students are not being well-served or if
contract occur. If
you have a problem, the initial contact should be
through the site rep
will follow up with the building principal and