Throughout middle school and my first two years of high school, I have had a slow test-taking pace. Unfortunately this only grew worse as I encountered a personal tragedy in my freshman year. For the most part my freshman year teachers were accommodating due to the nature of the situation and the fact that everyone was still transitioning from middle school. However, in my sophomore year, it was almost as if teachers had forgotten what happened and that my slow reaction time mixed with the circumstances slowed down my testing time dramatically. I had always studied diligently and mastered the content of each exam, but I often had trouble getting through entire tests before the end of class.
After counseling, I was recommended to be categorized as someone with a 504. This would have fixed the issue if it had not been for the the slow course of action taken by my school's counseling department and the pace at which the paperwork was processed. It took about a year for my paperwork to go through and to be given the appropriate time accommodations.
I got straight A's in my freshman year(mostly honors classes) and in my junior year(all honors and AP) with the help of my necessary time accommodations. However the lack of accommodations in my sophomore year significantly decreased my GPA (Mainly honors classes with grades ranging from B- to B+ to A). My senior year course load is filled with AP classes and I have even taken AP classes online to boost my GPA, but it still remains below my ideal range.
How can I communicate to Ivy League admissions officers (notorious for their focus on GPA and test scores only) that these circumstances were beyond my control and do not represent my potential. I do not want to write my Common App essay about this topic because 1) my identity is complex and there's so much more to my character and story than my handicaps 2) I am afraid that the 504 label will make the admissions officers label me as stupid or incapable of learning at the Ivy League level (which I'm not, I've taken an undergrad class at my closest Ivy League school this summer and received an A-).
What is the best way to compensate for my lower GPA.