My very first 504 meeting

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    ... went very well. It was interesting and even kind of fun. (After all, "it's all about ME!" aka MY SON.)

    difficult child's social studies/history teacher represented all the teachers (the rest will be filled in later today), the assistant principal was there, two counselors, and the Special Education dir.

    difficult child accidentally on-purpose forgot his belt today (they have a lax dress code, but boys have to wear belts no matter what, to prevent the butt sag you see so often). I brought the belt to the meeting and once we were seated, there was a bit of a silence. I held up the belt and said, "Who should I give this to?" They all smiled and the counselor said she'd take it and give it to him. "And make sure he puts it on," I added. They all laughed.

    Score 1. Show and tell.

    The Special Education dir was a bit bureaucratic ... kept telling me they had to decide whether he qualified for a 504 much less an IEP, and it sounded doubtful to me, but I realized that we had never met, and she was trying to explain things to me so I put myself into Mr. Spock mode instead of Scared Mom mode and things went very well.

    Last wk, difficult child's old school mailed me a tuition refund of $65 ... and 2 pp of excused and unexcused tardies and absences. You don't have to actually read the list of dates and times. It's the sheer breadth and width of absences and tardies that makes an impact. I guessed that, along with-the psychiatrist's note, stating that difficult child is being treated for ADHD, ODD and Asperger's, would fill in any blanks the staff had (the old school and I had already provided a lot of background info in the past wk), and speak far more eloquently than I could.

    When I handed out the sheets, a murmur went around the table and the history teacher said, "Wow."

    Score 2.

    They immediately started to check off boxes and speak their lingo, and then asked me questions about what leads to what, how does he react to crowds, noise and lights, would I be comfortable with them assigning a same-age kid to help him with-assignments, and having all teachers check and initial his agenda (are you kidding?) The asst principal had a laptop and typed as we talked. Turned out he was actually typing in the components we needed and when we finished, printed it out on the spot.

    Score 3.

    Mostly, I like--love--the individual teachers' emails and websites and the ability to see every class assignment and test grade every single day. Way more advanced than the old school. No waiting for phonecalls, no listening to difficult child's lies, just b&w words on a screen, simple and straightforward.

    The new plan starts tomorrow.

    The counselors walked me over to the school nurse's ofc and introduced me. They briefed the nurse on difficult child's absences, explained his gluten allergy, and how gluten will give him a 1 degree temp. The nurse said that as long as he's not throwing up, he can come to school. She came up with-a plan: If she calls me, he's really sick and needs to go home. If he calls me, he's probably faking and just wants to yank my chain.

    Score 4.

    Fingers crossed!
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It sounds very typical Virginia middle school. That's both good and bad. LOL! They will go to great lengths to keep him off an IEP- and that starts with telling you why it's a bad idea, they don't think he needs it or will qualify, and trying to talk you out of pursuing it. But as you know, the sd keeps everything in their court ultimately without it and he/you won't have the same legal rights.

    But yes, it sounds like this meeting went very well and I also loved the online access that was not available in elementary school. Another helpful thing you might consider- an extra set of textbooks at home. This way, after he figures out that you can find out homework assignments so then the issue is that he starts forrgetting his books at school so he can't do the homework anyway, you'll have a set at home already. It works wonders. :)
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, darn! I forgot about the textbooks! Well, it won't take long b4 we get to that point ... :sad-very:

    Some of his textbooks are online, though. Heh heh. We'll get him coming and going.
  4. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member


    Glad the meeting went well.

    We have similar online access to grades & attendance. It has been a huge help. I have to caution you though, some teachers just don't keep up with inputting the grades, and some will list an assignment online as homework, then have the kids work on it in class. It's not foolproof, but it's way better than nothing. I have learned to treat it as objective data. So when it shows a zero on an assignment, instead of accusing difficult child of not doing the work, I'll say something like, "(System Name) shows a zero on your history assignment." If he says he did it, then I'll say, "Well, you need to straighten it out with your teacher. Maybe she recorded it incorrectly." It takes the emotion out of the conversation, and requires him to take responsibility for dealing with teacher errors (which really do happen). And it does act as sort of an "early warning" system so you don't have to wait for progress reports to see how things are going.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like a positive meeting!
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Fingers crossed for you.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you.
    Yes, using that terminology will help.
    difficult child already had one zero in English, and I asked him about it the other night. He was shocked and upset. That's a new one for him!
    Tonight at dinner I asked him about it and he said he asked the teacher and she just typed in a zero because an assignment was due, and she didn't have anything else to put down for him. I guess she can't type N/A.
    He will be doing one history assignment a week late, which is a good way to get into the flow of things.

    He set the table, had dinner with us, and talked normally. Yay! Of course, husband is home, too. Coincidence?
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That really does happen. My son was in Department of Juvenile Justice for the majority of last school year and when he returned (briefly) to public school, one teacher had all zeros listed for assignments for MONTHS. Appsrently if they don't put in a grade, it automatically defaults to zeros. It took until last week to get it straightened out.
  9. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    That happens in our system too. Sometimes teachers enter an assignment, but don't get around to grading it and putting the grades in for a week or so. In the meantime, all the kids have zeros. (And sometimes, difficult child just doesn't do the assignments.) :tongue:

    A nice, normal meal?! Alert the media!!
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    A nice, normal meal?! Alert the media!!


    I got an email from the teacher. The zero was, indeed, meaningless. Whew.

    Today difficult child and I both awoke with-roaring headaches. I have sinus issues and toothaches, too, which may be the same thing. It's been pouring for 3 days.
    Luckily, the school left a msg that they are opening 2 hrs late due to flooding, so difficult child can lounge.
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    sounds great so far! Naturally they can't put him on and IEP until testing is done because the law requires certain criteria be met. I wouldn't look at this in a negative light at all. Sounds like the team is a good one!

    I love on the online grade/class websites! difficult child had this in middle and has it in high school too. It's a great way to keep on top of things!

  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Me, too.
    I just printed out 55 pp of science info.

    Don't know if I should be online ... I think the power is going to go out. We're having a tropical storm. Good day to skip. difficult child is not moving. I emailed the teachers.