It’s possible to have both, but it would be very unusual for your child to need both.
Here’s why: Everything that’s in a 504 plan can be included in an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP can also provide services and supports that would be not available in a 504 plan. So if your child qualifies for an IEP, typically there is no reason to also have a 504 plan.
Does my child’s 504 plan have to be revisited at the beginning of each school year? Is there a legal requirement to review it annually?
No, unlike with IEPs, there’s no legal requirement to review a 504 plan each year. But it’s a good idea to have an annual 504 plan review meeting anyway. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a situation where you wouldn’t want to revisit the plan at the start of the year.
The new school year brings a lot of changes for your child—such as new teachers, curriculum and classes. If your child is starting middle or high school, she may be in an unfamiliar setting for the first time. There are also possible changes in medication, as well as new extracurricular activities, like sports and clubs. A 504 plan should adjust for these changes.
May a report card identify special education being provided for that student or otherwise indicate that the student has a disability? For instance, may the report card refer to an IEP or a plan for providing services under Section 504?
Report cards indicate a child’s progress or level of achievement in specific classes, course content, or curriculum. Consistent with this purpose, it would be permissible under Section 504 and Title II for a report card to indicate that a student is receiving special education or related services as long as the report card informs parents about their child’s progress or level of achievement in specific classes, course content, or curriculum. For instance, a report card for a student with a disability may refer to an IEP or may refer to a plan for providing services under Section 504.
Your child’s 504 plan has been set in motion. Is the school delivering what it promised? Use these tips from Understood.org to monitor the situation throughout the year.
Know who’s providing your child’s services.
The 504 plan should state not only what special services your child will receive but also the name of the person is responsible for it. Try casually asking your child, “Have you worked with Mr. Jones this week?” Your child’s answer may tell you a little—or a lot—about how well the 504 plan is being followed.
On July 26, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance clarifying the obligation of schools to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
On January 25, 2013, US Office for Civil Rights issued guidance clarifying school districts’ existing legal obligations to provide equal access to extracurricular athletic activities to students with disabilities.