WHAT IS A 504 PLAN?
Section 504 prohibits discrimination against disabled persons by school districts receiving federal financial assistance. Included in the U.S. Department of Education regulations is the requirement that disabled students be provided with free appropriate public education (FAPE). These regulations require identification, evaluation, provision of appropriate services, and procedural safeguards.
HOW IS THE PROCESS OF IDENTIFICATION STARTED?
Concern is raised that a student with a disability may need special accommodations to have equal access to the general education curricula. This referral for initial evaluation may be initiated by school staff, parent or community resource.
WHAT NOTIFICATION IS GIVEN TO PARENTS?
Notification of Parent/Student Rights is provided to the parents or guardian. Notice must be given to parents when the District acts or refuses to act with respect to identification, evaluation, or placement. Parental consent is not required unless the evaluation includes intelligence or personality testing.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR HAVING STUDENTS EVALUATED?
The 504 building representative convenes a group knowledgeable about the student’s condition, functioning in the school environment, and the options for accommodations in the building.
If the student is found ineligible for, or no longer meets criteria for IDEA indentification and there are concerns that the student may be 504 eligible, the special education team may choose to refer the case to the building 504 coordinator. An eligibility meeting may then be convened to include a group that is knowledgeable about the student. If the student is found eligible for IDEA, there is no need to consider 504 eligibility.
WHO DETERMINES IF A STUDENT IS ELIGIBLE?
The 504 eligibility will be determined by a team and recorded on the 504 Eligibility Determination form. If the the student is found to require reasonable accommodations, a 504 Accommodation Plan is completed by a team knowledgeable about the student, the evaluation data, and the range of options for accommodations. A case manager will be designated at this time. Copies of the plan and eligibility documentation will go to the student’s educational record, school 504 coordinator, parent/guardian and the student’s teacher(s) will receive a copy of the 504 Acccommodation Plan.
HOW OFTEN IS THE PLAN REVIEWED AND/OR EVALUATED?
The student’s Accommodation Plan will be reviewed at least annually. Parent notice of review for renewal or dismissal of 504 eligibility will be provided. Re-evaluation must be conducted periodically, but it is required before any significant change in placement.
If you have any questions, or feel your child may qualify for a 504 plan, please contact the school counselor.