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Do you have a 5th grader or an 8th grader that will be moving onto middle school or high school next year? It’s springtime and most families are not thinking about the next school year but it’s not too early to start thinking about what will happen when your child transitions to the next level whether it is middle or high school with a 504 Accommodation Plan.
It’s not uncommon for parents to become anxious or worry about the new school environment and how their child’s needs will be met. One way to alleviate some of those worries or concerns is to have your school schedule a matriculation meeting in the late spring. Your child’s 504 Accommodation Plan should be reviewed with school staff from the next school level whether it is middle or high school where your child will be attending.
Follow these tips for a smooth transition to middle school or high school:
Have your current school schedule 504 matriculation meeting in late spring.
Your child’s current school should invite 504 school staff from the middle or high school to attend the matriculation meeting. Parents should receive a Notice of Procedural Safeguards which informs them of all their rights under Section 504 and a Notice to attend the meeting. At this meeting the current 504 Accommodation Plan should be reviewed and modified if needed. Remember that accommodations should be based on current needs and what will be appropriate for the next level whether middle or high school.
Ensure proper academic placement.
Section 504 requires that qualified students with disabilities be given the same opportunities to compete for and benefit from accelerated programs the same as students without disabilities. Students that are eligible to be in advanced, honors and Advanced Placement programs must be provided all appropriate accommodations.
Be sure to include nonacademic services and extracurricular activities.
Middle school and high school are the times when students have more before and after-school activity choices available to them. Students with a disability under Section 504 have the same opportunities to participate in clubs, sports and extracurricular activities the same as non-disabled students. If additional accommodations need to be added onto 504 Accommodation Plans for students to be able to participate in these activities now is the time to do it.
Maintain open communication between school levels from elementary to middle and middle to high school.
A smooth and seamless transition can occur when school staff from both levels whether elementary to middle or middle to high work together to transition the student’s Section 504 Accommodation Plan.
First day of new school year.
Your child’s new school whether middle or high school should have disseminated your child’s Section 504 Accommodation Plan to all teachers and any other school staff members that are involved with your child. Teachers and staff must follow the 504 Accommodation Plan exactly as written and are not allowed to alter, modify, or refuse to provide the accommodations in the plan. If any changes need to be made to the Section 504 Accommodation Plan after the school year has started contact your child’s school to schedule a Section 504 meeting to adjust the Section 504 Accommodation Plan.
Have questions or need help with your child’s Section 504 Accommodation Plan? Contact
Silver & Associates Educational Consulting Solutions at https://www.504advocacy.com/or call 1.844.504.INFO (4636) your 504 experts dedicated to working collaboratively with parents and schools to ensure students’ needs are met.