How does a student qualify under Section 504?
Section 504 covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving Federal financial assistance. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to:
- Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- Have a record of such an impairment, or
- Be regarded as having such an impairment. Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
When is a Section 504 not appropriate for a student?
- A student has a disability, but is functioning well and making academic progress without accommodations, the student does not meet 504 eligibility criteria. This might include a student a parent feels could be making A’s rather than B’s; or a student who only experiences difficulty in one subject area.
- When a plan is created solely to support a request for extended time on standardized tests such as HSGQE or college board exams such as SAT’s, ACT’s. A student must also need the accommodation in their regular classroom work.
- When a student is eligible for services under IDEA but the parents prefer Section 504 services.
What’s the difference between Special Education (IDEA) and Section 504?
How are eligible students with a disability under Section 504 identified?
Services and Accommodations
Parental Rights under Section 504
- Have your child take part in, and receive benefit from, public education programs without discrimination based on disability.
- Have the school advise you of your rights under federal disability law.
- Receive notice and examine records with respect to the identification, evaluation, and placement of your child.
- Have your child receive (FAPE). This includes the right to be educated with other nondisabled children to the greatest extent possible. It also includes the right to have the school make reasonable accommodations to allow your student an equal opportunity to participate in school related activities.
- Have evaluation, educational and placement decisions made based upon a variety of information sources, and by individuals who know your child, the disability, the evaluation data and placement options.
- Request a due process hearing and/or the assistance of a mediator to help resolve issues with the school’s decisions.
- File a formal complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR).
It is the policy of the Copper River School District Board of Education not to discriminate against any otherwise qualified individual with a disability solely by reason of his/her disability, in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, any program or activity.
It is the intent of the district to ensure that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are identified, evaluated and provided with appropriate educational services. Students may be disabled under this policy even though they do not require services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Due process rights of students with disabilities and their parents under Section 504 will be enforced.