Students who have a disability are entitled to full access and participation in the District’s educational programs and school-related activities. These students may qualify for a “504” plan, outlining the accommodations that will be provided to help them access their education and participate in school-related activities.
A 504 may apply if the student is between the ages of 3 and 22 years of age and has a disability, which is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Major life activities include caring for one’s self, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, performing manual tasks, and learning.
The 504 process begins with a referral to the District requesting that the student be evaluated for disability. Referrals for consideration for Section 504 eligibility may be made at any time by anyone with knowledge of the student’s situation.
A referral must be made in writing and dated at the time the request is made, including the reason for the referral. Referrals may be made by individuals with knowledge of the student’s needs and/or educational programming, including teachers, other staff members, parents, etc.
The District is not required to perform an evaluation based on a referral and must notify the family in writing if a request for evaluation is denied. If the District chooses to conduct an assessment, a team consisting of persons knowledgeable about the student will conduct an individual evaluation of the student.
Parental consent will be obtained prior to the initial evaluation completed by the District. If a parent declines consent for an initial evaluation, the school district may (but is not required to) use hearing procedures to seek to override the parents’ denial of consent.
The evaluation will use procedures necessary and appropriate to determine the nature and extent of a disabling condition or a suspected disabling condition. No single procedure shall be used by the District to evaluate whether or not a student has a disability under Section 504.
The team will convene within 60 of the evaluation to determine if a 504 plan is appropriate. If so, the plan is created by a team of people who are familiar with the child and who understand the evaluation data and special services options. This might include:
- The child’s parent or caregiver
- General and special education teachers
- The school principal
Unlike an IEP, a 504 plan does not have to be a written, legal document. There is no standard 504 plan. A plan may include
- Specific accommodations, supports, or services for the child
- Names of who will provide each service
- Name of the person responsible for ensuring the plan is implemented
The 504 plan is reviewed each year and a reevaluation is done every three years or when needed.
Contact the Special Services Department to inquire about a referral.