Frequently Asked Questions | Easy 504 FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

If a student transfers in with a 504 plan, but there is no physician documentation what should we do?
Contact the parent and schedule a re-evaluation meeting. Ask them to provide the doctor's diagnosis prior to the meeting date in order to continue 504 services. Give parents a reasonable amount of time to get information to the school. (2-3 weeks)

When a student is exited from 504, what then?
Place the red 504 folder into a manilla envelope. Seal it and write 504 inactive and the date on the outside. Keep the folder in the cum with the student's other information. Notify the At-Risk Coordinator (email is fine) that the student is no longer 504 eligible. Remove the pencil indicating the student has a 504 plan from Power School.

What should be done with the paperwork if a student is found not eligible?
All 504 related documentation should always be kept in the student's cum folder. Place inactive paperwork in a labeled manilla envelope. In this case, label 504 ineligible and date.

Do Parents have to attend every meeting?
No. The only meeting parents must attend is the initial placement meeting. But they should be invited to attend all meetings.

How often should we write new accommodation plans?
Anytime there is a change of placement. If new accommodations need to be added for the student to be successful.

What constitutes a change of placement?
Grade Level Change, Suspension lasting longer than 10 days, expulsion, transfer from one school to another, etc.

What does major life activity mean?
Any activity that defines us as human. Ex: breathing, seeing, thinking, walking, etc. Basketball does not define us as humans, therefore it is not a major life activity.

What does substantially limit mean?
A person is substantially limited if they cannot do what the average person in the general population for that age group could do.

If I am not sure about a 504 related issue, who do I ask?
First ask the 504 Building Coordinator(s), then ask the Student Access Coordinator (Chiquita Jackson).

Where should 504 documentation be kept?
The 504 documentation should be kept in a red folder inside the student's cum folder at all times. Additional copies may be kept with the building 504 coordinator and are available in Easy 504.

Why don't we have a list of disabilities that can qualify a person for 504 protection?
To prevent individuals with disabling conditions from being excluded from protection, the OCR has refused to create a list of disabilities.

Who should be referred for possible 504 status?

Any student who is failing / struggling, has an IHCP, has repeated discipline referrals, is referred by parent, teacher, or other school official.

What is the difference in a referral and an evaluation for eligibility?
A referral means the student is being looked at to see if they might need to be evaluated. An evaluation for 504 eligibility can only be conducted if the parents consent. With parent approval, data is gathered and an evaluation for eligibility meeting is held with parent(s) present.

Can we determine eligibility and write the accommodation plan in one meeting?
Yes, in fact it is recommended that these two be done in the same setting to save time.

Do all the teachers have to attend every meeting?
The OCR has advised that at least half the teachers involved with the student be present at the initial meeting. It is best if all people involved with the student can attend so that everyone has input into plan development. All personnel who interact with the student must sign the accommodation plan as they are legally bound to follow the plan once it is put in place.

Can an accommodation plan be changed without parent approval?
Yes. Once a parent has given initial consent for placement, changes can be made to the plan without parent consent. Parents should be given reasonable opportunity to participate in meetings (3 documented attempts) then the meeting can proceed without parent attendance. All changes should be sent to the parent along with their rights.

If changes are made to an IHCP, does the 504 plan have to be changed also?
It depends on how the 504 plan was written. If the 504 plan states that the IHCP will be followed, then changes to the IHCP can be made without needing to change the 504 plan. If specific IHCP related accommodations are listed within the 504 plan, then a new accommodation plan must be written to reflect changes.

What is the best way to write extended test time accommodations?

Additional time is a common accommodation allowed to students with a 504 plan. Stating a specific amount of time ties schools into using that amount of time whether it is needed or not. Using terms like, 'up to' or 'as needed' allows for more flexibility where testing is concerned. ex: The student will be given time and a half on all tests, means that the student must always be given the full amount plus half whether they need it or not. This is a waste of time and can create behavior problems due to students becoming bored. A better way to write this would be: Student will be given up to time and a half as needed on tests.

Who should be made aware of a 504 accommodation plan?
Any school personnel who will have contact with the student in a setting that would require them to follow accommodations in the plan.
Don't forget support staff and bus drivers.

Do all students who with an IHCP also need a 504 Accommodation plan?
No, but they should all be screened to see if they need a referral. See 'Who should be referred' question above.

Is it acceptable to continue writing Educational Plans for students who do not qualify for 504 or SPED?
No. Students who do not qualify for SPED or 504 can still receive interventions to help them be successful without an Ed. Plan. Additionally, students can be re-evaluated at later times if interventions are not successful. Struggling students are not always disabled, they just need extra help, but it is our responsibility to make sure their struggles are not a result of something larger.

Can 504 students use the learning lab like special ed students?
Yes, as long as there are also special ed students using it as well. Special Ed aides may not be pulled to serve only 504 students, but they can serve both groups at the same time.

Is it acceptable to indicate 504 status on report cards and/or transcripts?
No. The TN Dept of Ed.OCR has stated not to do this.

Easy 504 FAQ

  1. What do I do if I can’t see the student’s name when I look it up in Easy? Chances are the student was previously evaluated for special education and was inactivated in the system. Only school psychologists and the district 504 coordinator can reactivate a student. Email the appropriate person the student’s name and 5 digit number from power school (one by their name) so they can be reactivated in the easy system.
  2. Why can’t I edit a final document? Once a document is created as a final draft, it cannot be edited. If you are not sure that what you have is correct, use a draft document until you have it exactly like you want.
  3. Why can’t I delete extra copies of documents created that are incorrect? Documents may not be deleted from the system. Events created by mistake can be deleted, but only by the district coordinator. In those cases, email the district coordinator the details and it will be taken care of.
  4. What is the received box for? The received box is for districts to use as they see fit. It is not a compliance requirement and we are currently not using it for anything in CMCSS. We may add it to our procedures at a later date, but for the time being, just ignore it.
  5. What is the difference in the invitation to meeting and prior written notice documents in the Easy system? Parents should always be invited to a meeting. The form titled as such serves to let parents know when a meeting is being held. The prior written notice does basically the same thing only using stronger language. Start the process using the invitation to a meeting form. If after a couple of attempts you either have not heard from the parent, or they respond but do not attend, then use the prior written notice form. This can also be used if a meeting was help the parents. There is no need to send both forms, if the parents respond to the invitation to meeting letter. Remember you may not hold an initial evaluation to determine eligibility without the parent present.
  6. If a student transfers from one school in the district to another, what do we do in easy? Students who transfer within the district will automatically have their easy information transferred to the appropriate school as soon as their information is updated in power school.
  7. What do we do if a student leaves the district? Students who move out of the district need to be deactivated in the easy system. Only the district coordinator can do this. Email the name of the student to the district coordinator so this can be taken care of.
  8. What documents should be scanned into the easy system? Any related documents should be scanned into the easy system. Ex: doctor’s notes, printed emails documenting attempts at contact, etc. Anything you would keep in the red folder should be kept in the easy system as well.
  9. Since we are scanning the contents of the red folder into the easy system, do we need to continue keeping documents in the red folder? Yes, at this time the district will keep all related documents in the red folder, just as we always have. Keep printed copies of easy generated plans in the red folder.
  10. If a child needs to be exited from 504 how do I do that in easy? There is not an exit form in the system? Students are exited from 504 using the eligibility form. Item 4 gives choices that apply to scenarios for exiting. (See image)easy options.png
  11. Do all students with an IHCP need to be entered into the easy system? No, only students who have a 504 plan should be entered into the easy system. Some students will have an IHCP, and that can be noted in the easy system.