504 Plan Information

American with Disabilities Act, Section 504

Section 504 is a federal statute that prohibits discrimination based upon a disability. Obligations for school districts start when federal funds are received.

Section 504 covers eligible students with disabilities for reasonable accommodations that enable them to work or learn. A team knowledgeable of the student determines if the individual meets eligibility criteria.

The school based coordinators for 504 compliance are listed below by school:

Mason Road School Lauren Dunn508-943-4312
Dudley Elementary SchoolTheresa Veilleux508-943-3351
Charlton Elementary SchoolLaura Drinon508-248-7774
Heritage SchoolHeather Brothers508-248-4884
Dudley Middle SchoolLisa Incutto508-943-2224
Charlton Middle SchoolMichael Daley508-248-1423
Erika Dragon508-248-1423
Shepherd Hill Regional High SchoolDarin Haig508-943-6700

Jennifer McGrail508-943-6700

A person may be considered disabled under the definition of section 504 if the individual:

1. Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities.

“Major life activities” include but are not limited to functions such as:

Caring for one's self

Performing manual tasks

Walking

Hearing

Seeing

Breathing

Speaking

Working

Learning

Reading

Concentrating

Thinking

Communicating


2. Has a record of such an impairment or

3. Is regarded as having such an impairment

*The second or third prongs of the definition only become a factor if discrimination has occurred because of the “record” or “history.”

The following questions are used to assist in determining eligibility for a 504 Plan:

A. Does the student have a diagnosed physical or mental impairment?

B. Does the impairment limit the student?

C. Does the impairment substantially limit the student (without consideration of

mitigating measures)?

D. Does the impairment substantially limit one or more major life activities?

E. Does the student need accommodations in order to have the same

opportunity to access the public school programming as the average non-

disabled student has?

NOTE: Accommodations – changes that do not fundamentally alter or lower the standard or expectation

Modifications - changes which fundamentally alter and or lower the standard or expectation

PROCESS FOR DETERMINING SERVICES

Initial Intervention

  • If a student experiences educational difficulties, and Instructional Support Team (IST) meets to discuss the concerns.
  • The IST suggests intervention strategies to help correct the difficulties. The primary function of the IST is to offer assistance to teachers.
  • If the strategies are unsuccessful, the team can make a referral for evaluation to Section 504, Special Education, or Title 1.

Referral

  • Referrals are accepted from parents, professional staff, students and/or community agencies.
  • The presenting problem(s) and previous remedies are considered and reviewed. The summary should include all current information and recommendations.

Notification

  • The school district notifies the parents or guardians, in writing, of the school's reason and intent to conduct an evaluation. The notice should include a description of the evaluation and of procedural safeguards.

Written Consent

  • Although Section 504 does not require written consent before the initial evaluation, it is an obligation under the Hatch Amendment. Consent should always be considered a best practice.

Evaluation

  • The school district evaluates all students with disabilities with multiple sources of evaluative information before making any significant changes.

Eligibility

  • Section 504 Team - a recommended strategy is to use the Instructional Support Team data for review of the Section 504 Team. The 504 team meets and analyzes the evaluation data to determine if the individual has a mental or physical impairment which substantially impairs a major life activity and is in need of special accommodations. These factors were considered by a group of individuals knowledgeable about the student, disability, evaluation and service options. The district will make their Section 504 determinations based upon the child's disability as it presents itself without mitigating measures.

Written Consent

  • Although Section 504 does not require written consent before the initial service, it is an obligation under the Hatch Amendment. Consent should always be considered a best practice.

Services

  • Sharing of evaluation data (IST) results
  • Section 504 eligibility determination
  • Services and/or accommodations based on the disability and eligibility determination
  • Discussion and plan of possible staff in-service where necessary

Implementation

  • The school district staff makes the necessary accommodations to allow for the student's disability. Parents should be consulted and given opportunity for input regarding the accommodations.
  • The accommodations and/or services are implemented.

Review

  • Each student's accommodations and/or services are reviewed periodically. Best Practice is that the 504 Team should review the accommodations at least annually.


Visit http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html for useful Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities.

Should a student have impairment and still be deemed not eligible for a 504 plan (a student must meet both the criteria of having an impairment, and one that significantly impacts the child's major life functions) the district will suggest a DCAP plan.

DISTRICT CURRICULUM ACCOMMODATION PLAN

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, Section 38Q1/2 require the adoption and implementation of a District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP). Such plan is intended to guide principals and teachers in ensuring that all possible efforts have been made to meet student needs in general education classrooms and to support teachers in analyzing and accommodating the wide range of student learning styles and needs that exist in any school. The statute also encourages teacher collaboration and parent involvement. Another statute, Chapter 71, Section 59C (Parent Councils), was amended to include involvement of the Parent Councils in the development, evaluation and continuing revision of the DCAP.

The link to additional DCAP information is:

Dudley-Charlton Regional School District DCAP Information

504 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

If any grievance regarding a 504 Accommodation Plan should occur, parents or guardians are requested to use the following grievance procedure:

Step 1:

Notify the Building 504 Coordinator in writing by outlining the details of the grievance. The Building 504 Coordinator will arrange a meeting within ten working days in an attempt to resolve the grievance.

Step 2:

If a solution to the grievance is not achieved at Step 1, the parents or guardians may submit a copy of the grievance to the District 504 Coordinator. The District 504 Coordinator and the Building Principal will meet with the aggrieved party in an attempt to resolve the grievance.

District 504 Coordinator:

Jeff Ferranti, Interim Director of Special Education
Dudley-Charlton Regional School District
68 Dudley-Oxford Road
Dudley, MA 01571

Step 3:

If the grievance is not resolved, the aggrieved party may submit the grievance to the Massachusetts Department of Education or to the United States Office of Civil Rights. *Parents or guardians may submit a copy of the grievance to the Massachusetts Department of Education and the United States Office of Civil Rights at any time during this grievance procedure.

Nondiscrimination Policy Statement

It is the goal of the Dudley-Charlton Regional School District to promote an environment that is free from discrimination and affirmatively provides access to employment and equal educational opportunity. Discrimination, including that based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, homelessness or sexual orientation of an individual occurring in the workplace or in other settings in which individuals may be entitled access to educational opportunity is unlawful and will not be tolerated by this organization. Further, any retaliation against an individual for cooperating with an investigation of a discrimination complaint is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated. To achieve our goal, acts of discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated and we have provided procedures by which inappropriate conduct will be addressed, if encountered by an employee, student or member of the community.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination

Mr. Jeff Ferranti, Interim Director of Special Education
Dudley-Charlton Regional School District Offices
68 Dudley-Oxford Road
Dudley, MA 01571


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