Are we allowed to care about grades?


I couldn't go to Odin's 504 meeting today, and nor could his father. My husband went as my representative, but X didn't send anyone. My husband is a superb stepfather and negotiator and probably did a better job overall than I could have, but he didn't do anything about how Odin will be graded in this course where he didn't turn in a major paper.

The thrust of the 504 was that Odin should get longer to do assignments than neurotypical kids and that he should get periodic coaching from the guidance counselors to cope with his ADHD symptoms. With this paper, he had the same deadline as the other kids, the guidance counselors hadn't conferred with him in weeks, and the teacher didn't say anything when Odin missed the deadline. My husband got the teacher and 504 counselor to agree to much closer monitoring on the next major paper to make sure Odin is meeting benchmarks along the way (research, outlining, first draft, etc.). And the teacher said Odin could still do the first paper. But even if Odin now writes the paper he didn't do before, the most he can get is 50% credit. That's the teacher's policy for late papers. But shouldn't the policy be different where a kid has a recognized disability and a 504 plan, and there's been a clear failure of said 504 plan?

I think Odin should either be able to do the paper now for full credit (it's not like a test where he's already heard what the questions are, after all), or else have the missing paper not counted as something he was ever supposed to do (in other words, his final grade would just be the average of the grade on all his other work). But I have a feeling that if I say this I'm going to be attacked for being in this whole process for the grades, not because I really care about Odin's education.

Well, the truth is I care about both. At this rate, even if he does well on the next paper, he's going to get a C for the course. And that does not reflect his true mastery of the subject, which is excellent. And why should his future hang on a grade that reflects his disability rather than that mastery?

My question: Is it unreasonable to ask that accommodation be extended to grading? If not, what's the best way to ask so as not to get slammed?


Well-Known Member
I would ask for an accommodation so that he can get at least close to full credit on that research paper, Rannveig.

The reasoning would be that he should have gotten a longer period of time to do it, according to his 540 plan (which hasn't been followed very well on several points).

But also, because, this research paper is important. He is not going to put forth a huge effort if the best he can get is a 50! The real reason is that he needs to know how to do this. He will be behind the other students when the next research paper comes up, because they will have had this prior experience. They will do better, he will be on square one.

So, yeah, ask for his 504 to be followed. This is important. Don't let them intimidate you.