Tip for educators

If your student has a chronic condition suggest to a student's parent/caregiver to use some of their time with their doctor to review their plan for managing their condition. It may be useful to talk about:

  • Recent changes in symptoms.
  • Possible changes in medication and prescription renewals.
  • School nurses' roles in the management plan.
  • Emotional effects.
  • Effects on family life.
  • Effects on school performance.
  • Possible changes in the child's individual educational plan (IEP) or 504-plan. By federal law, school districts must develop IEPs for all children with disabilities, a category that includes some children with chronic illnesses.
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This website was developed by myself after I saw firsthand that living with a chronic condition presented certain limitations that were likely not understood by my teachers in the classroom when I was a child. It is presented in a workshop fashion and is geared towards elementary teachers and school administrators in hopes of educating and informing them of the effectiveness of the 504-plan for chronic kids.

This workshop is to help make the journey easier for teachers and school administrators when accommodating a chronically ill child in the classroom.  Special topics are highlighted for the child with a chronic illness, the educational perspective and legislation which assists to meeting the individual needs of students with very diverse conditions and education requirements.

The website is presented as a workshop with the objectives to enable the viewer to answer these questions:

  1. In what ways does previous legislation address the needs of students with chronic illness.
  2. How can teachers effectively educate children with chronic illnesses.
  3. What is the student perspective in regards to transitioning back into the classroom and relating to peers.

Workshop steps

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a chronic illness?
  • What are some of the most common pediatric chronic illnesses?
  • Why should a child with a chronic illness go to school?
  • How do I, as a parent, help my child return to school?
  • What is my role as an educator?
  • What is my role as the school nurse?
  • What is my role as a school administrator
  • What is the difference between an IEP and 504 Plan, and which works best?
  • What are some other factors that may impact learning?
  • Where do I go for more information?



504-plan- Section 504 is a civil rights law of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which provides certain education remedies (504 plans) for such students that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has equal access to an education.

504-only student- those students who are entitled to the protections of Section 504, but are not also eligible under the IDEA. A student may be disabled within the meaning of Section 504 and therefore entitled to the rights and protection of Section 504 and its regulations, even though the student may not be eligible for special education under the IDEA.

Educational Outcome- a judgment by testing or analysis as to what a student learns, or becomes competent in, within a specific timeframe

Chronic health issue- a health problem that (1) has lasted more than 3 months; (2) has caused hospitalization more than once; or (3) was likely to last for a while, or not go away, according to a doctor.

Individual Education Program (IEP)- A formal plan for instruction mandated by laws governing special education that sets forth the educational needs of a student, the goals and objectives that direct his or her program, the educational programming and placement, and the evaluation and measurement criteria that were developed during the IEP creation process.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)- is the law that guarantees all children with disabilities access to a free and appropriate public education.