Section 504 – Students
In order to meet the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the following procedures have been established:
1. A student is considered a “qualified individual with disabilities” under Section 504 if he/she:
a. Has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (e.g., any student receiving services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), students with diabetes). The term does not cover students disadvantaged by cultural, environmental or economic factors.
b. Has a record or history of such an impairment (e.g., a student with learning disabilities who has been decertified as eligible to receive special education under IDEA, a student who had cancer, a student in recovery from chemical dependencies).
c. Is regarded as having such an impairment. A person can be found eligible under this provision if he/she:
(1) Has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit a major life activity but is treated by the district as having such a limitation.
(2) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity only as a result of the attitudes of others towards such impairment (e.g., a student who is obese).or
(3) Has no physical or mental impairment but is treated by the district as having such an impairment (e.g., a student who tests positive with the HIV virus but has no physical effects from it).
2. “Physical or mental impairment” means any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness and specific learning disabilities.
3. “Major life activities” means functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.
4. “Program or activity” includes all district programs and activities. The district will also ensure that contracts with those who provide services to the district, such as alternative programs, also provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in the program or activity.
5. “Potentially disabling conditions” under Section 504, if they substantially limit a major life activity, may include, but is not limited to:
a. Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
b. Behavior disorders
c. Chronic asthma and severe allergies
d. Physical disabilities such as spina bifida, hemophilia and conditions requiring students to use crutches.
The superintendent or his/her designee will:
1. Provide written assurance of nondiscrimination whenever the district receives federal money in accordance with application guidelines.
2. Designate an employee to coordinate the district’s compliance efforts with Section 504.
3. Provide procedures to resolve student, parent and employee complaints of discrimination.
4. Provide notice to students, parents, employees, including those with vision or hearing impairments, of the district’s policy of compliance with Section 504 prohibiting nondiscrimination in admission or access to or treatment or employment in district programs or activities. District aids, benefits and services will afford students with disabilities equal opportunity to obtain the same result, gain the same benefit or reach the same level of achievement as students without disabilities, in the most integrated setting appropriate to the student’s needs. Notice will specify the employee designated by the district to coordinate the district’s Section 504 compliance efforts.
5. Annually identify and locate Section 504 qualified students with disabilities in the district who qualify for services.
6. Annually notify students with disabilities and their parents or guardians of the district’s responsibilities under Section 504.
7. Provide parents or guardians with procedural safeguards:
a. Notice of their rights under Section 504, including the right to request an impartial hearing as provided by OAR 581-015-0109.
b. An opportunity to review relevant records.
1. If the district proposes to terminate transportation services for a student who qualifies for services under Section 504, the district will first determine the relationship between the student’s behavior and his/her disability and provide the parent with notice of his/her rights.
2. If the district places a student in a program not operated by the district, the district will ensure that adequate transportation to and from the program is provided at no additional cost to the parent or student than would be incurred if the student were placed in programs operated by the district.
1. The district will conduct an evaluation of any student who, because of a disability, needs or is believed to need accommodations or related services. Such evaluation will be completed by an evaluation team comprised of a group of persons knowledgeable about the student, the meaning of the evaluation data and placement options. The team will be appointed by the superintendent or designee. Such evaluation will be completed before any action is taken with respect to the initial placement of the student in a regular or special education program and any subsequent, significant change in placement.
2. Tests and other evaluation materials will:
a. Be validated and administered by trained personnel.
b. Tailored to assess educational need and not merely based on IQ scores.
c. Reflect aptitude or achievement. All tests must measure what they purport to measure.
1. In interpreting evaluation data and making placement decisions, the evaluation team will:
a. Draw upon information from a variety of sources.
b. Assure that all relevant information is documented and considered.
c. Ensure that the student is educated with students without disabilities to the maximum extent possible.
1. The evaluation team will periodically reevaluate all students identified as qualified to receive services under Section 504. Minimally, students will be reevaluated every three years.
2. A reevaluation will be conducted by the evaluation team whenever a significant change in placement occurs. Examples of significant changes in placement include, but are not limited to:
b. Serial suspensions which exceed 10 school days in a school year. Consideration will be given to the frequency of suspensions, the length of each and their proximity to one another.
c. Transferring or placing the student in alternative education or other such programs.
e. Significantly changing the composition of the student’s class schedule (e.g., moving the student from regular education to the resource room, etc.).
1. Before implementing a suspension or expulsion that constitutes a significant change in the placement of a student with disabilities under Section 504, the evaluation team will conduct a reevaluation of the student to determine whether the misconduct in question is caused by the student’s disability and, if so, whether the student’s current educational placement is appropriate:
a. If it is determined that the misconduct of the student is caused by the student’s disability, the evaluation team will continue the evaluation, following the requirements of Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for evaluation and placement, to determine whether the student’s current educational placement is appropriate. Due process procedures that meet the requirements of the IDEA may be used to meet the procedural safeguards of law.
b. If it is determined that the misconduct is not caused by the student’s disability, the student may be excluded from school in the same manner as are similarly situated students who do not have disabilities.
2. When the placement of a student with disabilities under Section 504 is changed for disciplinary reasons, the student and his/her parents are entitled to the procedural protections as specified above. These protections include appropriate notice to parents, an opportunity for their examination of pertinent records, an impartial hearing with the participation of the parents and an opportunity for representation by counsel and a review procedure.
3. The district may take disciplinary action against a student with disabilities under Section 504 who is engaged currently in the use of alcohol or illegal drugs to the same extent that it takes disciplinary action against students not having disabilities. As provided by law, due process procedures specified above will not apply to disciplinary actions arising from the use or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs. Regularly established district due process procedures will, however, be provided.
4. Students with disabilities under Section 504 who are also covered by IDEA will be disciplined in accordance with Board policy JGDA/JGEA - Discipline of Disabled Students and accompanying administrative regulation.
Student, parent or staff complaints of noncompliance with the provisions of Section 504 will be reported to the superintendent or designee and processed as provided in Board policy AC - Nondiscrimination and accompanying administrative regulation.