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Developing a Successful 504 Plan for K-12 Students

Developing - 504 PlansA 504 Plan can be an effective way to support a K-12 student in the regular classroom when the child’s learning disability (LD) or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) may not be impacting their learning in ways that qualify them for special education services, but when it still substantially limits them in performing one or more major life activity (e.g. reading, writing, thinking, concentrating, etc.) as required under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The 504 Plan is different than the Individualized Education Program (IEP); however, when written and implemented properly, the 504 Plan can be a successful way to support certain students who — with support, accommodations and modifications — can work right along with their classmates and make satisfactory progress in school.

Ideally, a good 504 Plan:

  • Lists the specific accommodations, supports or services that will be provided and who will provide them
  • Names the person responsible for ensuring the plan is implemented
  • Is distributed to all of the child’s teachers, specialists, and support staff
  • Is placed in the child’s school file.

At the beginning of each school year, it’s appropriate for parents to email or meet with all of the teachers working with the child to make sure they have a copy of the 504 Plan and understand each accommodation or support required. It’s also a good opportunity to share examples and ideas with your child’s teachers about how they can fully implement the plan and support your child’s learning needs.

Several examples of the support, accommodation or modifications to include in a 504 Plan are:


  • providing access to a computer for all writing assignments
  • having a note taker
  • assigning a study buddy
  • doing daily backpack check
  • assistive technology (screen readers, word prediction software, spellers, other)


  • having the test read aloud (typically when reading skill isn’t being tested)
  • allowing a private testing room or space
  • providing untimed or extra time for testing
  • including a different testing format such as large print or font
  • allowing answers in the test booklet rather than on the answer sheet.
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