Diabetes at School: Standardized Tests

by Leighann on March 3, 2014

Summary: The 504 Plan can address any accommodations for standardized testing that a student with type 1 diabetes might need. This includes checking blood glucose levels to make sure they are in range, having access to snack and low treatments, and receiving additional time to make up for diabetes management.

Standardized tests are coming up and I popped a note to the school nurse, classroom teacher, and assistant principal (he is also trained in her care and oversees her 504) to make sure that we were all on the same page and that the nurse and teacher, who are both new this year, know that she has accommodations in place.

Last year there were no problems and I don’t anticipate any major ones this year. But you know what they say…constant vigilance.

With testing next week we need to review Q’s 504 plan in regards to testing and form a game plan.

Her blood sugar needs checked before testing. Ideally this happens 15-20 minutes before so that lows can be treated and brought into range.

She may not begin a test or continue a test if her blood sugar is low. Glucose fuels the brain and if her blood sugar is low, she literally can’t think.

If her blood sugar is too high, it’s like slush and she may also be foggy, emotional, or frustrated.

If she misses any portion of the test for diabetes management, she is to receive an equivalent amount of time to finish.

She needs to have her regularly scheduled morning snack.

If gum is given out (it was last year), Q needs sugar free gum.* Let me know if I need to provide that.

Please text or call me with all blood sugars prior to and during testing.

Thank you,

I caught the nurse in the hallway after this note and we decided that since testing begins right after arrival that they will look at her CGM and see what it says instead of automatically doing a blood sugar check first thing. Then she’ll be checked as normal at snack time, which will be at the break between tests.

I hear many, many parents say (often too late) “We never put a 504 in place because we never had any issues. They always did what we wanted.”  The point is that you need to put it in place before something happens…while you are level headed and not upset or angry by something that has gone wrong. Before they deny your child a spot in a club or sports team. Before they say you can’t chaperone that week-long over night trip. Before your child takes an important test, like the ACT, and isn’t allowed additional time because she spent 15 minutes in a fog treating a low blood sugar.

The 504 is a fluid document and it can be changed or added to at any time, not just during an annual review. Your child’s needs may change or you may realize there is an area that you never thought of that needs addressing.

Have you put a 504 Plan in place?

*Gum is one of the few sugar free foods we buy.


Diabetes At SchoolFurther Reading…

Back to School with Diabetes: Lots of information and links!

I have an entire chapter about school in my book Kids First, Diabetes Second.

Read more posts about Diabetes at School.

Please remember that I never give medical advice. Ask your endocrinologist or pediatrician for advice about your own child. Make your own informed decisions for your own child.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Sara March 3, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Despite having had issues in high school with diabetes care in school I never had a 504 plan, my care team never told my mother what one was ether. For that matter it was not until becoming a teacher myself that I even learned it would have been a very useful option for me.
Now as a teacher (in a very special city) I have parents with educational advocates who get 504’s for their D children, but who then do not supply meters and food to back them up! Thankfully I teach in a high school so the kids do have some sense of self care. However, I keep 2 old meters and strips of my own in the room along with a box of granola bars that “belong” to two D students so that they can test and eat when needed. They are not allowed to keep them n the nurses office as they were not brought in by a parent…people frustrate me.


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