6164.6 – Instruction – Individual Services and Diagnostic Counseling – Identification and Education under Section 504

Policy –
Regulation – x
Exhibit –

Adopted – 3/5/1998
Revised – 4/18/2013
1. Purpose

It is the intent of the District to ensure that students who are disabled within the meaning of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 50411) are identified, evaluated, and provided with the appropriate education, i.e., regular or special education and related aids and services that are designed to meet the needs of each disabled student as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students.

Under this policy, a Section 504 disabled student is one who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as learning or behavior [34 CFR section 104.3(j).]

Students who are identified as individuals with exceptional needs according to the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Education Act (“IDEA 2004”) criteria are not addressed under this policy, as the needs of such students are provided for elsewhere under state and federal law, and the Special Education Local Plan Area procedures. [34 CFR section 104.3(j).]

2. Location and Notification Procedures

a. The District shall annually undertake reasonable measures to locate each disabled student of school age residing in the District who is not receiving a public education and to notify such students and their parents of the right to free and appropriate public education under Section 504.

b. Location and notification procedures may include personal contacts, posting of notices, newspaper advertisements, press releases, communications with public and private community agencies and information home to parents.

3. Identification and Referral Procedures

a. Any student believed to qualify under this regulation may be referred by a parent, teacher, other certificated school employee, or community agency to the school site principal.

b. The school site principal, or designee, will bring the referral to the school’s Student Study Team (SST), which will be composed of persons knowledgeable about the student’s school history, the meaning of evaluation data, and placement options.

c. The SST will promptly consider the referral and, based upon a review of a student’s school records (including academic, social, health and behavioral records) and the student’s needs, will make a determination as to whether an evaluation under this procedure should be considered. Students being considered for evaluation will be referred to appropriate evaluation specialist(s), who will inform the parents and the SST in writing, whether or not they will conduct an assessment and their rationale for their decision.

d. If assessment is recommended, parent(s) will be asked to provide written consent for the proposed Section 504 evaluation. An evaluation will include consideration of any behaviors or medical issues that interfere with the regular participation of a student who otherwise meets the criteria for participation in the District’s educational program and/or activities.

Following an evaluation, parents will receive reasonable notice of and invitation to the initial Section 504 Team meeting, along with a copy of the Section 504 Procedural Safeguards (Parent and Student Rights).

4. Section 504 Team Meeting:

The Section 504 Team shall be responsible for determining whether or not the student meets the criteria for identification as a student with a disability under Section 504 and if so, what supports or services are necessary to ensure that the identified student receives a free, appropriate public education.

a. In making this determination, the Section 504 Team shall consider all available relevant information, drawing upon a variety of sources, which will include but is not limited to, assessments conducted by the District’s professional staff.

b. The parents shall be invited to participate in the Section 504 Team meeting where supports or services for a student, if any, will be determined. Parents shall, upon request, be given an opportunity to examine all relevant records in advance.

c. If the Section 504 Team determines that a pupil has a disability within the meaning of Section 504 requiring a modification of his/her program, the Section 504 Team will develop a written plan describing the disability and any supports or services needed. The plan will specify how the supports or services will be provided and by whom. A copy of the plan shall be maintained in a student’s cumulative file. The student’s teachers, aides, and other school employees who provide services to a student shall be provided with a copy of the plan.

d. The Section 504 Team may determine that a student is not eligible under the Section 504 or that no program modifications are necessary. If the Section 504 Team so determines, the record of the Section 504 Team meeting will state the basis for the decision.

e. In all cases, a disabled student shall be placed in the regular educational environment of the District, unless the District demonstrates that such placement cannot be achieved satisfactorily with the use of supplemental aids and services. A disabled student shall be educated with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate to the individual needs of the student.

f. The parents will be asked to sign the record/plan whether or not modifications are necessary. The parents shall be notified, in writing, of the final decision concerning supports or services to be provided, if any, and of the Section 504 procedural safeguards, including the right to an impartial hearing.

5. Review of Student Progress

a. The Section 504 Team will monitor the progress of disabled students and the effectiveness of a student’s plan, as needed, to determine whether the plan is appropriate and necessary.

b. Prior to any subsequent, significant change in placement, a reevaluation of the student’s needs will be conducted. Parents will receive reasonable, prior written notice of and invitation to any meeting convened to propose a significant change in placement.

6. Disciplinary Action for Students Who Are Disabled Only Under Section 504

The District must conduct a review prior to expulsion or a suspension beyond 10 days in one school year of a student who qualifies for services under Section 504 standards. This section does not apply to a student who is disabled under IDEA 2004 and Section 504 standards. The Section 504 review will determine whether the student’s misconduct was a manifestation of his/her disability or was the result of an inappropriate placement. This decision will be made by a Section 504 Team at a meeting the parent/guardian shall be invited to attend. If the Section 504 Team determines that the misconduct was not caused by the student’s disability or by an inappropriate placement, the District may proceed with the expulsion or suspension beyond 10 days. If the Section 504 Team determines that the student’s misconduct was caused by the disability or was a direct result of an inappropriate placement, the student may not be expelled or suspended for more than 10 days in one school year.

The student’s parent/guardian shall be informed of the Section 504 Team’s decision, in writing, and the right to request an impartial hearing on the issue. The parent/guardian’s disagreement with the Team’s determination or their request for an impartial hearing shall not preclude the District from proceeding with disciplinary action.

If, following an impartial hearing and the exhaustion of any judicial proceedings reviewing that decision, it is determined that the misconduct was caused by the student’s disability or by an inappropriate placement, then the District shall reinstate the student to his/her prior educational program and shall promptly hold a Section 504 Team meeting to re-examine the student’s current educational needs.

Indications of a possible disability that significantly interferes with learning include, but are not limited to:

1. Medical conditions such as severe asthma or heart disease

2. Temporary medical condition due to illness or accident

3. Poor or failing grades over a lengthy period of time

***Note: According to the OCR, individuals with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may be eligible for special education or adaptions in their regular program under Section 504 even if they are not eligible for services under IDEA.***

Referral and Identification Procedures

1. Any student may be referred by a parent/guardian, teacher, other certificated school employee or community agency for consideration of eligibility as a disabled student under Section 504. This referral should be made to the school site principal.

2. The school site committee shall promptly consider the referral and determine whether an evaluation under this procedure is appropriate. This determination shall be based on a review of the student’s school records (including academic, social and behavioral records) and the student’s needs. Students requiring evaluation shall be referred to appropriate evaluation specialists.

3. If a request for evaluation is denied, the school site committee shall inform the parents/guardians of this decision and of their procedural rights as described below.

Accommodation Plan

1. When a student is identified as disabled within the meaning of Section 504, the school site committee shall determine what services are necessary to ensure that the student’s individual education needs are met as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students.

2. In making this determination, the school site committee shall consider all significant factors relating to the learning process for the student, including his/her adaptive behavior and cultural and language background. The evaluation may include, but is not limited to, classroom and playground observation, performanced-based testing, academic assessment information, and data offered by the parent/guardian.

3. The school site committee shall develop a written plan describing the disability and specifying the services needed by the student. A copy of this plan shall be kept in the student’s cumulative file. The student’s teacher and any other staff who provide services to the student shall be informed of the services necessary for the student, to the extent that they need to be informed in order to provide for the student in the school setting.

4. If the school site committee determines that no services are necessary for the student, the record of the committee’s meeting shall reflect the identification of the student as a disabled person under Section 504 and shall state the basis for the decision that no special services are presently needed.

5. The disabled student shall be placed in the regular educational environment unless the district demonstrates that a more restrictive placement is required in order to meet the student’s needs. The disabled student shall be educated with those who are not disabled to the maximum extent appropriate to his/her individual needs.

6. The parents/guardians shall be notified in writing of the final decision concerning services to be provided, if any, and of the Section 504 procedural safeguards, including the right to an impartial hearing to challenge the decision.

7. The district shall complete the identification, evaluation and placement process within a reasonable time frame.

8. The student’s plan shall include a schedule for periodic review of the student’s needs and indicate that this review may occur sooner at the request of the parent/guardian or school staff.

Review of the Student’s Progress

1. The school site committee shall monitor the progress of the disabled student and the effectiveness of the student’s plan. The committee shall periodically determine whether the services are appropriate and necessary and whether the disabled student’s needs are being met as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students.

2. A reevaluation of the student’s needs will be conducted before any subsequent significant change in placement.

Procedural Safeguards

Parents/guardians shall be notified in writing of all district decisions regarding the identification, evaluation or educational placement of students with disabilities or suspected disabilities. Notifications shall include a statement of their rights to: (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34, Part 104.36)

1. Examine relevant records

2. Have an impartial hearing with an opportunity for participation by the parents/guardians and their counsel

3. Have a review procedure

Notifications shall also set forth the procedures for requesting a hearing, the name, address and telephone number of the person with whom the request should be made, and the fact that reimbursement for attorney’s fees is available only as authorized by law.

The Superintendent or designee shall maintain a list of impartial hearing officers who are qualified and willing to conduct Section 504 hearings. To ensure impartiality, such officers shall not be employed by or under contract with the district in any capacity other than that of hearing officer and shall not have any professional or personal involvement that would affect their impartiality or objectivity in the matter.

***Note: Timelines suggested in the following procedures may be revised to reflect district practice.***

If a parent/guardian disagrees with the identification, evaluation or educational placement of a student with disabilities under Section 504, he/she may initiate the following procedures:

1. Within 30 days of receiving the student’s accommodation plan, set forth in writing his/her disagreement and request that the school principal and school site committee review the plan in an attempt to resolve the disagreement. This review shall be held within 14 days of receiving the parent/guardian’s request, and the parent/ guardian shall be invited to attend the meeting at which the review is conducted.

2. If disagreement continues, request in writing that the Superintendent or designee review the plan. This review shall be held within 14 days of receiving the parent/guardian’s request, and the parent/guardian shall be invited to meet with the Superintendent or designee to discuss the review.

3. If disagreement continues, request in writing a Section 504 due process hearing. The request shall include:

a. The specific nature of the decision with which the parent/guardian disagrees
b. The specific relief the parent/guardian seeks
c. Any other information the parent/guardian believes pertinent

Within 20 days of receiving the parent/guardian’s request, the Superintendent or designee shall select an impartial hearing officer. This 20 days may be extended for good cause or by mutual agreement of the parties.

Within 45 days of the selection of the hearing officer, the Section 504 due process hearing shall be conducted and a written decision mailed to all parties. This 45 days may be extended for good cause or by mutual agreement of the parties. The Superintendent or designee shall represent the district at this hearing.

Any party to the hearing shall be afforded the right to:

1. Be accompanied and advised by counsel and by individuals with special knowledge or training related to the problems of students who are qualified as disabled under Section 504

2. Present written and oral evidence

3. Question and cross-examine witnesses

4. Receive written findings by the hearing officer

If desired, either party may seek a review of the hearing officer’s decision by a federal court of competent jurisdiction.

See BP 6164.6
CSBA Date –

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