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504 Plan for Education (Sickle Cell)

504 plan

A 504 plan can provide accommodations that help your child in the classroom.

Your child qualifies for an education plan called a Section 504 plan because of sickle cell disease. 

What is a 504 plan? 

A 504 plan is part of a federal law that helps children with medical concerns learn better. The 504 plan will modify your child’s education program in the classroom.  

Examples of 504 plan accommodations include: 

  • Changes for your child’s medical needs 
  • Frequent restroom and water breaks 
  • Breaks during physical activity 
  • Access to the school nurse or office staff for medical needs 
  • More time on class work, homework, or state tests 
  • Seating in a different area of the classroom 
  • The chance to make up missed class work or homework 
student talking with teacher

A 504 plan can provide accommodations that help your child in the classroom.

How to set up a 504 plan meeting

  • Contact your child’s school and ask for a 504 plan. The school counselor can tell you who the school’s 504 plan coordinator is. 
  • Tell the counselor that you would like to set up a meeting to discuss your child’s medical condition and create or update a 504 plan.  
  • Tell the counselor that you would like the school nurse and all your child’s teachers to attend. This includes teachers for physical education, music, art, and other activities. 
  • As soon as the meeting is scheduled, call a St. Jude Success through Academics, Resources, and Research (STARR) coordinator at 901-595-5775 or 901-595-5695. Give that person the date and time of the meeting.  
  • Before the meeting, make a list of concerns you want to discuss. 

Your STARR coordinator can help 

STARR coordinators are here to help you and your child. A STARR coordinator might be able to go to the 504 plan meeting to help you speak about your child’s needs. It depends on your need, the coordinator’s schedule, and where the meeting is. A STARR coordinator can also send the school any documents they need. 

A STARR coordinator can talk to you before the meeting to answer questions and give guidance. You can also talk to a coordinator during your child’s regular clinic visit. 

STARR coordinators hold parent workshops on how to speak up for your child during school meetings. If you would like to go to a workshop, ask your child’s STARR coordinator. 

For more information 

If you have questions about 504 plans, speak with: 

  • Your child’s STARR coordinator (call 901-595-5775 or 901-595-5695
  • Another member of your child’s health care team, such as a doctor, social worker, psychologist, or child life specialist 

For more information about 504 plans versus IEP, please see Classroom Accommodations for Children and Teens with Illnesses

Key Points

  • A 504 plan can help children with sickle cell disease learn better in the classroom. 
  • The 504 plan will modify your child’s education program. 
  • A St. Jude STARR coordinator is here to help your child succeed in school. 
  • The STARR coordinator can answer questions about the 504 plan. 


Reviewed: August 2022