[IPp] Canada and 504 type plan
I have always been envious of our American friends and the protection that
their children can receive at schools with a good 504 plan. Here in Canada we
have no such protection and our kids' needs are addressed on an ad hoc,
school-by school or district-by-district basis.
Claire is 9 and has had dm since she was 2. She is in grade 4, and is now in
her 5th different school (6th if you count pre-school) including one in the UK,
two in Ontario, and two in BC. I found that every teacher, principal and school
had different approaches to dealing with her and her diabetes. The result of
this ranged from me pulling her out of school due to concerns about her safety,
worrying a lot about her often, and then to now basically not worrying too much
at all, but going to the school everyday at lunchtime to review her bg and
decide on the appropriate lunchtime bolus.
Now that we are not going to be moving again (I love my house and new city!!!)
I wanted to get a bit more of a formalized thing written out at the school,
something that would be in place from year to year at this school, and would
serve as a starting point when Claire goes to Middle School. I actually tried to
do this last year and the principal ignored me and I didn't have the time to
follow up due to other medical problems being dealt with. So this year again,
I'm trying to accomplish this.
What I did was to write out a pretty basic list of "Claire's needs" and "my
needs" to ensure her medical requirements were met. I didn't ask the school to
do anything like review bgs, or to interpret numbers etc. Rather the list
contains stuff like allowing her to have a water bottle, ingest dextrose when
and wherever required, allowing her to carry her kit and test bgs when needed,
be allowed time to finish her lunch, etc. My needs included things like being
informed our a change in school routines and being allowed to go on school field
trips if I deem it necessary. I asked the principal to sign that he agreed with
these requests and would endeavour to have any of his staff supervising Claire
to adhere to these things.
He has refused to sign this, saying that if things are going well, what is the
need for it? Of course the answer is that a different teacher or principal
coming in unexpectedly might not allow these necessary things to take place. I
then asked him who his supervisor is that I could talk to, to discuss this
issue. He backtracked from that and kept trying to get me to say that things are
fine without him signing the list, but then eventually said that he would have
to get the schoolboard's nurse to come and have a meeting and she would write
something up based on a meeting.
My question here is, have any of you in Canada had any type of thing like this
in writing? I know that many of us have verbal understandings only. Have
principals or district superintendents signed things for you? If so, what format
did they take? I'd love to have some precendents to cite, but I certainly don't
mind being the first either.
Thanks for any input.
Barbara, Mum of Claire 9, pumping 2.5 years
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