Parent & Student Rights Under Section 504
The following is a description of student and parent rights granted by federal law. The intent of the law is to keep you fully informed concerning decisions about your child and to inform you of your rights if you disagree with any of these decisions.
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
1. Have your child take part in and receive benefits from public education programs without discrimination based on a disability.
2. Have the school advise you of your rights under federal law.
3. Receive notice with respect to Section 504 identification, evaluation or placement of your child.
4. Have your child receive a free appropriate public education. This includes the right to have the school make reasonable accommodations to allow your child an equal opportunity to participate in school and school-related activities.
5. Have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided students without disabilities.
6. Have your child receive special education and related services if she/he is found to be eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (PL 101-476), or to receive reasonable accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
7. Have evaluation, educational, and placement decisions made based upon a variety of information sources, and by individuals who know the student, disability, evaluation data, and placement options. Parents of a child with a disability have a responsibility of providing the school district with access to information regarding the child with a disability.
8. Have transportation provided to a school placement setting at no greater cost to you than would be incurred if the student were placed in a program operated by the school district.
9. Give your child an equal opportunity to participate in non-academic and extracurricular activities offered by the school district.
10. Examine all relevant records relating to decisions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, educational program, and placement.
11. Request amendment of your child’s educational records if there is reasonable cause to believe they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of your child’s privacy rights.
12. The parents / guardian of a student with a disability or an eligible student and/or the District have the right to request an impartial due process hearing relating to decisions or actions relating to the student’s identification, evaluation, program or placement and the parents or guardian have the right to be represented by counsel in such hearings. The parents or guardian or eligible student and/or the District also have the right to a review procedure involving such hearings.
13. File a local grievance with your school district if you feel your child is being discriminated against because of their disability. If not satisfied with local hearing, a Notice of Appeal may be filed in accordance with the Belton School District #124 Section 504 Grievance Procedures.
14. Contact the Office of Civil Rights or other agencies.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights statute which provides that; “No otherwise qualified individual with disabilities in the United States…shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service.” (20 USC Section 794). While Section 504 requires that the disability “substantially limit a major life activity” such as walking, it need not necessarily adversely affect the students educational performance.
Many 504 referrals have included some type of medical condition such as ADHD, Bipolar, etc. it is not a requirement for the formal medical diagnosis to be present for a child to be considered for or found eligible for a 504 Accommodation Plan. However, when a student has or is reported to have a medical condition, the 504 team will request current medical information. This medical information will be fully considered but not be the sole deciding factor in eligibility determinations or plan development.
If you suspect that your child or your student needs an evaluation under Section 504, please contact your building counselor to begin the process. Each school has a Section 504 coordinator. The district coordinator is Jessica Hoots, Director of Special Education.