My Child’s 504 Plan Doesn’t Seem to Be Working. Now What?
Andrew M.I. Lee, JD
Are you concerned that your child’s
isn’t working? Sometimes 504 plans need to be adjusted to better meet kids’ needs. Here are steps you can take if you think your child’s 504 plan isn’t working and needs changes.
1. Define what “not working” means to you.
The first step is to identify why you think the 504 plan isn’t working. Maybe you expected your child to improve in certain areas or have higher grades because of the
504 plan. Maybe you’re concerned that there’s a snag or mix-up with the
services and supports in the plan. You might think your child needs different
or more help than the school currently provides.
2. Consider how long the 504 plan has been in place.
5. Talk with your child’s teacher or 504 plan coordinator.
Schedule a time to
talk about your concerns with the teacher. You can also reach out to the school’s 504 plan coordinator, whose contact information should be on your child’s plan or in the school directory. (Download this
contact list form to keep all this contact information in one place. You can also keep track of contact information and other details about your child’s plan in
this sample 504 plan.)
Both the teacher and the coordinator may have information that answers your concerns. They may also suggest ways you can support the 504 plan at home. And your input can help them evaluate whether the plan is working as planned, or if it needs to be changed.
6. Ask for a meeting with the school principal or 504 plan team.
If you still have concerns, you can take them to a higher level—the school principal or the 504 plan team. Unlike with an
don’t have a legal right to call (or even attend) 504 plan meetings. But you can always ask to talk, and often the school will agree.
As you work with the school, review and talk about how well your child’s accommodations and services are working. Sometimes the accommodations in the plan don’t work as well in practice as everyone thought they would. Perhaps an accommodation is too hard for your child to use. Or maybe your child feels embarrassed about using it. Also, if your child’s 504 plan includes services, they might need to be adjusted.