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Ready for School: School Supplies, 504s and IEPs!

Author: Jessica Woolwine
Published Date: Tuesday, September 05, 2017

In just a few short days, I’ll be the parent of two elementary school students. Jackson’s heading to fourth grade and Abby is going to be a kindergartner.

Where has time gone?

Being four years apart, this is the first time Jackson and Abby are going to be in the same school together. Abby’s beyond thrilled. Jackson is…nine.

As a bonding experience, since spending the summer getting on each other’s nerves wasn’t enough togetherness, we braved the crowds at Wal-Mart to get school supplies.

Purple composition notebook? Check.

Muscle car folder? Of course.

Hot pink pencil container and camouflage pencil box with working lock? Sounds good.

When Jackson turned to me and told me he needed hashtag 2 pencils, I had to laugh. #socialmediaproblems

We’re not just ready with supplies; my big kids need a little “extra” in place at school.

Next week I have the update meeting for Jackson’s 504 plan to ensure he continues receiving classroom accommodations necessary for overcoming his hearing deficit in an educational setting. The extra help, like an FM system his teacher wears while she teaches and preferential seating, means he can learn just like the kids beside him. His 504 plan helps him reach his full potential, which for Jackson, is a straight-A student.

Having gone through the full process with Jackson back in first grade, I knew to get started early with Abby so the school would be ready for her on the first day. An IEP is different from a 504 plan because it includes special education services as well as classroom accommodations.

I met seven times with Abby’s new school between January and April to get her testing and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in place for the first day of kindergarten. She will have access to things like a physical therapist, an aide for P.E. and recess, a chair with arms for class and the cafeteria and rest time for mental fatigue. Together with the school, we made the very best plan for Abby and even though I will always have apprehension about sending her out into the world, she is a conqueror. She’s got the tools in place so she can reach her maximum potential as well. I look forward to watching her grow!

While we might have to jump through a few extra hoops, with our pink notebook/IEP and muscle car folder/504, we’re ready for a great school year.



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About Jessica Woolwine

Jessica Woolwine is a native of Hampton Roads and lives in Hampton with her three “miracles” Jackson (9), Abby (5) and Henry (1). As a mother to a childhood cancer survivor and a micro-preemie, she began the blog Mothering Miracles in 2014 to support other families dealing with health issues. Jessica also works as Creative Director for Rubin Communications Group and enjoys mixing her talents for graphic design and creative writing with community relations. She is a past member of both the CHKD Family Advisory Council and the CHKD NICU Family Advisory Council.