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504 Plan Modifications vs Accommodations

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Hi, and thanks to anyone who can help!!


My child has a 504 Plan for Severe ADHD.  She is 11 years old.  She has had a 504 Plan since 1st grade (now in 6th).  However, she just changed schools.  Until now, she has had modifications in her Math classes which were simply to reduce the number of problems assigned or grade on completed problems without deducting points for incomplete problems on tests.  She would have to complete odd or even numbered problems for homework/classwork assignments. 


Suddenly, her new school is telling me that she cannot have "modifications" in her 504 Plan.  Here is the actual email:



I spoke with our Director of Counseling, XXXX, and reducing the number of problems on assignments or assessments is not an option for a 504 plan because it becomes a modification of work rather than an accommodation. This is only an option for students on IEPs. We would be able to add an accommodation for 50% extra time on math tests, which should give her enough time to finish. 
Can someone please tell me if this is accurate, and if not point me to regulatory information etc...that I can share to help my child get help.   She has had a 504 Plan all of these years vs an IEP because she was in a private school with minimal special education services.  I am in the process of a getting her a new neuropsych eval to see if an IEP would be a more appropriate path.  But until then... there is the 504 Plan.

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The school is correct. If the prior school chose to allow your daughter to modify her assignments or only grade certain portions of an exam, they were welcome to do so. This is true regardless of her disability status. Modifications and accommodations are not the same thing in the world of education. This chart gives some examples of key differences https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/the-difference-between-accommodations-and-modifications


504 plans offer accommodations, IEPs offer modifications. In your case, an accommodation might be extra time to complete the test. A modification would be a test with fewer problems to solve. Private versus public school makes no difference.


Differences between 504 and IEP



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