Frequently Asked Questions for Parents
How do I initiate the 504 process after my child has been diagnosed?
Contact your child's school principal to initiate the process through a written request. It is important to identify the 504 Coordinator for your child's school who may be the school principal, guidance counselor, teacher or other school staff member.
What is the process for determining my child's 504 or IDEA eligibility once I have notified the school of the need for a 504 Plan or IEP?
The process for evaluating the student and determining how the needs of a student with diabetes will be met involves input about the student's diabetes from the parent/guardian, treating diabetes provider, school nurse and other school officials. Once eligibility has been determined, the "team" should work together to develop a written Section 504 Plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP) to meet the individual needs of the student.
What is the difference between a Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP) (diabetes.org/DMMP) and Section 504 Plan (diabetes.org/504plan) and are both needed?
The DMMP is an individualized diabetes medical plan developed by the student's treating provider that lays out the prescribed diabetes regimen for the school setting. The Section 504 Plan sets forth the accommodations, education aides and services needed for the student with diabetes. Together these two plans work together to provide the school and parents/guardians with a comprehensive plan to meet the health care needs of the students. It is recommended that these plans be kept separate to make it clear that it is the responsibility of the treating physician and parents/guardians, rather than the school to determine the individualized treatment regimen for the child.
Do students with diabetes always require a written Section 504 or accommodations plan?
No. School officials often make accommodations for students without a written plan. However, a written plan is desirable as it formally identifies the students as having a disability and assures that everyone involved understand their role.
What kind of modifications are usually provided by the school for the student with diabetes?
Some accommodations include, but are not limited to, allowing alternate times to take academic tests if blood glucose levels are significantly out of range; student access to supplies, equipment, medication, food, water, bathroom; opportunity to make up missed instruction and tests without penalty; assigned school staff to provide care on field trips and at all school-sponsored activities.
Must a school provide a trained school staff member while students participate in field trips and extracurricular activities?
Yes. Failure to provide this care would exclude students from these activities for safety reasons. Schools are required to provide needed care to ensure a student's full and safe participation in our school-sponsored activities.
Who is responsible for training school staff? What resources are available to train school staff?
The school is responsible for providing appropriate training to school staff. Many times a school nurse may collaborate with a diabetes educator to develop and facilitate training for school staff. Parents can provide information about their individual child’s needs. If a school nurse asks for assistance from a diabetes educator or another diabetes health care professional, many times the student’s own diabetes provider can provide help and resources. Additional assistance might be available at local pediatric diabetes centers and health departments, or at a local affiliate of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.
In addition, training resources for the school nurse or diabetes health care professional may be accessed here. Parents are encouraged to share these resources with their child’s school nurse or school health care provider.