Special Education/re: parochial schools and 504/IEP
I have recently transferred my child to a local parochial school because of many years of strife with the public school system. My child has juvenile diabetes and was not allowed to test her blood sugar in the public school classroom. After many years of fighting, we achieved a 504 plan for her.We decided to move her to parochial schools because she was about to start middle school and that school was not accommodating her. We didn't have the energy to start fighting all over again.
In the parochial school, my child has missed classes due to diabetes. The school would like to have her 504 plan changed to an IEP in order to offer classes to help her catch up. We would also have to work in conjunction with the same public school we were trying to avoid. Do Parochial schools receive federal funding for Special Ed programs and must they work with the school district in order to receive those funds? Are they bound by the same IEP/504 plans that public schools are? If my child is listed as "other health impaired" do they receive federal funding for her? Also, must we work with this particular school or may we work with another school within the same district? I appreciate any help with this matter.
A 504 and an IEP are quite different. A 504 is a legal protection against discrimination for people with disabilities. In a school setting, a 504 is legal protection that says that the school must provide accommodations to ensure that the student has access to the same education as the other students. That may mean allowing her to leave class to do a glucose test and helping her with anything she missed (notes, extra time to complete an assignment, etc.). It does not necessarily provide the same level of ongoing modifications and accommodations that are provided with an IEP, though sometimes it is that detailed. If the school receives federal education funding, they are required to follow the 504 or an IEP. The public middle school would have to follow the 504 even though it was created at the elementary school.
IEPs and 504s are optional for private schools that do not receive federal funding. You can request that the local district consider an evaluation, though they are not obligated to test just because testing is requested. There must be a suspicion of a disability, as defined by IDEA. OHI is defined as:
"Other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that—
(i) Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and
(ii) Adversely affects a child’s educational performance. [§300.8(c)(9)]"
Usually testing for a student at a private school is handled through the district, not the school so you may be able to avoid the people you were working with previously.
The private schools, not the federal government, make the decision about whether or not they receive federal funding so you would need to check with the school. They do not automatically receive funding because a student with a 504 or IEP attends.
Best of luck to you,