Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended is a civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities, public and private that receive federal financial assistance. An individual may be eligible for protections under Section 504 if the person (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.
A major difference between the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA or IDEA) and Section 504 is in the difference between the terms “marked impact” and “substantially limits”. For students who are found eligible for special education services under IDEA, the protections found is Section 504 are provided as part of IDEA. However, a student may be eligible under the provision of Section 504 but not meet the criteria under IDEA. Either way, a school district must provide students with a free appropriate public education.
If, as a parent/guardian you are aware of a diagnosis or suspect that your child may have a condition that substantially limits a major life activity such as access to educational opportunities in the school, you are encouraged to request a 504 meeting. This request must be in writing. The district provides the following referral form to assist in articulating your concerns. LINK TO FORM Additionally, if staff are aware of a diagnosis or suspects a concern that would substantially limit a major life activity, they will refer the student to a 504 plan meeting.
Once a referral form is received by the school, a meeting will be scheduled. Parents/guardians are highly encouraged to attend this meeting, and the school will make every attempt to schedule this meeting at a mutually agreed to date and time. At this meeting the team will review any and all information available, and we encourage parents/guardians to bring any documentation (doctor’s notes or reports, social worker notes or reports, etc…) to assist the team in making a determination of eligibility. If deemed eligible, the team will consider if an accommodation plan is necessary and specify what this plan will include.
The 504 team will meet annually to review the student’s progress in the regular education program and to determine what accommodations remain necessary to ensure the student receives a free and appropriate public education.
If you have concerns or questions please contact the building principals. If your concerns or questions have not been addressed satisfactorily, please contact the Director of Pupil Services.
Section 504 Procedural Safeguards