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[IP] School Truancy Problems Resolved!

Some of you will recall the problems we were having with our school 
district and truancy issues.  We had received a summons from the 
magistrate for a $350 fine and a date to appear (with Noah) at 
hearing.  Michael was terrific in responding to our dilemma 
immediately with info and resources.  (Thanks again, Michael.)  In 
the end, all it took was a call to the superintendent of the school 
district.  He didn't seem happy about how the principal and truant 
officer handled the situation.  We then received a call from the 
principal that same day apologizing saying there was information in 
Noah's file that had been previously overlooked which explained his 
absences.  To be sure we had our bases covered, we had met with our 
lawyer the day before we spoke to the super and he was outraged.  He 
phoned the magistrate, who knows Noah, and he was outraged! As it 
turned out, the magistrate is a huge soccer fan and comes to school 
matches.  The coach introduced him to Noah and they got into 
discussion about his diabetes.  Our lawyer wanted us to take it 
public (local newspaper) and even mentioned grounds for a lawsuit. 
Neither of which we are planning to do.  I remember reading a post a 
while back from a mother who paid a hefty fine and spent a day or two 
in jail for her child's truancy.  These things shouldn't happen.  I 
get outraged when the system takes advantage of people who, for 
whatever reason, don't fight back.  Hope my story enlightens anyone 
out there who may face similar issues.  It gets tiring at times to 
continually educate others, fight for our rights, not to mention the 
day to day management of the disease itself - but as Noah reminds me 
from time to time - it could be a lot worse!!

We will be sure to include the truancy issue in our upcoming 504 plan 
with school.  We thought we had it all covered in last year's, but 
have discovered there were a couple of things we missed (live and 
learn).  So, to possibly help others with what to include in your 
504s, we suggest the following:

1.  Meter and supplies allowed to be with child at all times.
2.  Testing allowed when and where needed.
3.  Restroom and drinking privileges whenever needed (with no excuse required)
4.  Snacks/low blood sugar treatment allowed when and wherever needed.
5.  Extra time allotted for lunch period, if needed.
6.  Extra time allotted for make-up work (following absences)
7.  Extra time allotted for making up a test (following absences)
8.  Number of allowable absences waived

Noah is an honors student and missed seven days of school in a three 
week time period (two one week, two next, three last - one of which 
was field trip).  A lot is expected of these students.  On the first 
day of the third week back, he took an algebra test and failed it 
because he hadn't been there to learn the new math.  His teacher 
would not let him make it up.  I would have gotten involved, but Noah 
didn't want that.  The point is, if you have this issue covered in 
the 504, you can simply refer to that with the teacher.

Hope to have helped.

Cindy, mom to 13 y/o Noah, dx 6/96, pumper since 7/99

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