3.43 POLICY STATEMENT FOR SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973
It is the policy of the Merrillville Community School Corporation to provide a free and appropriate public education to each handicapped student within its jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the handicap.
It is the intent of the school corporation to ensure that students who are handicapped within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are identified, evaluated and provided with appropriate educational services. Students may be handicapped under this policy even though they do not require services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Due process rights of the handicapped students and their parents under Section 504 will be enforced. The Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Personnel is the coordinator of Section 504 activities.
For this policy, a student who may need special services or programs within the intent of Section 504 is one who:
·Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, including learning; or
·Has a record of such impairment; or
·Is regarded as having such impairment.
1. Compliance Plan for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
The Compliance Plan serves students, parents, employees, applicants for employment and programs within the Merrillville Community School Corporation.
1. Merrillville Community School Corporation assures students, parents, applicants for employment, and employees that it will not discriminate against any individual.
2. The Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Personnel is the Section 504 compliance coordinator.
3. Parents are provided procedural safeguards which are included in theNotice of Parental Rights.
4. An impartial hearing and appeal are provided upon request. Procedures are detailed in theNotice of Parental Rights.
5. Notice to students, parents, employees, and general public of nondiscrimination assurances and parent/student rights and identification, evaluation and placement will be disseminated annually in the following manner:
a. Public Service announcement in local newspapers;
b. Announcement in local school system; and
c. Posted notice in each public school building
Additionally, the notice will be included in the Merrillville Community School Corporation professional handbook and disseminated to each principal. Notice of non-discrimination assurances in accordance with Section 504 shall be included in student/parent handbooks.
6. Merrillville Community School Corporation will conduct an extensive annual “child find” campaign with the goal to locate and identify all Section 504 qualified handicapped individuals (ages 0 to 21) who reside within the participating school districts.
7. Merrillville Community School Corporation will inform all handicapped persons and their parents or guardian of the district’s responsibilities and procedural safeguards under Section 504, as well as those under Indiana Special Education Regulations (Article 7) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
2. Grievance Procedure for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Merrillville Community School Corporation has established the following local grievance procedure to resolve complaints of discrimination arising under Section 504:
1. An alleged grievance under Section 504 must be filed in writing setting out the circumstances giving rise to such grievance.
2. Such claims must be made in writing and filed with the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Personnel.
Merrillville Community School Corporation
3. A hearing will be conducted according to the procedures outlined in the regulations based upon the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and due process rights that are afforded to the student and family who filed the grievance.
4. The coordinator will appoint a hearing officer who will conduct the hearing within a reasonable time after the request was received.
5. The coordinator shall give the parent, student, or employee reasonable advance notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
6. The hearing must be conducted by any impartial individual who is knowledgeable about Section 504 and who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.
7. Merrillville Community School Corporation shall give the parent, student or employee full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised. The parent, student, or employee may, at their own expense, be assisted or represented by individuals of their choice, including an attorney.
8. The impartial individual shall make his/her decision in writing within fifteen (15) days after the hearing.
9. The decision must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and shall include a summary of the evidence and reasons for the decision.
Revised and Presented: 1/15/13
NOTICE OF PARENTAL RIGHTS
REHABLITATION ACT OF 1973
The following rights are those afforded to the parent/guardian of a student who is believed to be disabled under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:
1. Your child will be evaluated before any decision is made regarding the initial placement or a subsequent significant change in placement in a regular or special education program. You have the right to an independent evaluation at your expense.
2. Any placement decision will be made by a group of persons who are knowledgeable about your child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options within the school corporation.
3. In addition to any evaluation data, the group will consider such other information as aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior when making any placement decision.
4. Any placement of the student will be with persons who are not disabled to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of your student.
5. You have the right to examine your child’s education records and to exercise all other rights granted to you in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Your child will not be suspended or expelled for more than ten (10) days unless a group of persons knowledgeable about your child and meaning of evaluation data meet to determine that the behavior is not a manifestation of your child’s disability.
6. You have the right to request a hearing regarding any decision made by the school corporation with respect to the identified disability, evaluation, or educational placement of your child.
7. Upon receipt of a request for a hearing, the school corporation will appoint an impartial hearing officer (one who is knowledgeable about Section 504 and who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing). The hearing officer will advise you within a reasonable period of time of the date, time, and place for the hearing. You have the right to be represented by legal counsel or any other representative at this hearing.
A copy of the Section 504 regulations will be given to you along with this notice. Any questions regarding your rights should be directed to the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Personnel of this school corporation:
Merrillville Community School Corporation
SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973
Before a Section 504 placement can be considered, the school corporation must evaluate the student. A full evaluation is not required when neither the school corporation nor the parents believe that the child is in need of special education or related services.
In interpreting evaluation data and making placement decisions, the school corporation must draw upon information from a variety of sources; assure that all information is documented and considered; ensure that the placement decision is made by a group of persons including those who are knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data and placement options; ensure that the student is educated with his/her non-handicapped peers to the maximum extent appropriate.
SECTION 504 REFERRAL PROCEDURES
1. General education interventions should be the first alternative for students suspected of having academic or behavioral difficulties. A referral should be made to the Teacher Assistance Team and the General Education Intervention Plan followed. If general education interventions are not effective, the team will determine whether additional evaluations should be pursued.
2. An evaluation referral is to be completed and submitted to the building principal. The principal will ensure that an evaluation is completed and if necessary involve the Northwest Indiana Special Education Cooperative diagnostic team.
3. The parent will sign permission for an evaluation. The parent’s rights will be explained at that time.
4. A team or persons who have knowledge of the child’s physical and/or mental condition will participate in the evaluation of the student. The team will determine the extent of testing that needs to be completed in order to establish eligibility for services.
5. After completing the evaluation, the team will establish:
a. Whether the physical or mental impairment substantially limits one of the major life activities, such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, caring for one’s self, or performing manual tasks; or
b. If there is a history of such an impairment, such as a student who is in the recovery stages of cancer; or
c. If the child is regarded as having such an impairment, such as a student who has tested positive for the HIV virus but has no physical effects from it.
6. The parents will be notified and a Section 504 committee conference will be held to review the evaluation results and discuss possible programming options.
a. If the child qualifies for special education services under Indiana Article 7, a placement in special education will be discussed and procedures for placement in special education programs will be followed.
b. If the child does not qualify for special education services, the conference committee will determine if the child qualifies for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
7. Each case for students eligible for services under Section 504 should be reviewed annually to ensure implementation and needs for alternation. Students should be re-evaluated every three (3) years or if there is any significant change in placement (i.e. suspension for more than 10 days or expulsion).
8. Students reentering school after having been temporarily placed in a private setting (medical facility, rehabilitation center, clinic) will have a referral initiated for Section 504 eligibility.
MERRILLVILLE COMMUNITY SCHOOL CORPORATION
SECTION 504 NOTICE OF CONFERENCE
_____ Initial Conference _____ Annual Review _____ Casual Relationship
This is to confirm the 504 Conference Committee meeting. The meeting was mutually agreed by the school and parents to be held on:
A. The purpose of this meeting:
_____ Discuss results of evaluation _____ Misconduct/infraction of school rules as it
_____ Instructional progress relates to handicap
_____ Review of placement _____ Other (specify)
B. The following people will be included in the meeting:
1. School Principal
2. Guidance Counselor
3. Evaluation Specialist(s)
4. Other Specialist(s)
5. General Education Teacher(s)
6. School Nurse
Please complete this page and return in the enclosed envelope by:
1. _____ I will attend the 504 Conference Committee meeting.
_____ I willnot attend the 504 Conference Committee meeting.
2. _____ I would like my child to attend the 504 Conference Committee meeting.
_____ I donot want my child to attend the 504 Conference Committee meeting.
3. Please indicate if there are additional school personnel you would like to attend the 504 Conference Committee meeting.
4. You may also bring any additional persons to the 504 Conference Committee meeting.
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504 CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORT
Student’s Name Birth Date
Sex Grade Home School
Home School Corporation
Parent Name Parent Address
Parent City State Zip
Phone: Home Work Emergency
504 Conference was convened for above mentioned student on
Initial Conference Case Reviews Retest Conference
The following data was presented
Were options accepted? If no, describe reasons options were rejected
Alternative educational opportunities available on a temporary or permanent basis
Other factors relevant to options/decisions
On the basis of the data presented, the following decision was made:
_____ Student is “handicapped” and qualifies for services (refer to regular education
_____ Student is not handicapped.
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Date of Implementation Termination
_____ 1. I have been given the opportunity to participate in the development of the
“regular” education intervention plan.
_____ 2. I understand the contents and reasons for the program recommended and have
received in writing an explanation.
_____ 3. I have been informed verbally of my rights under Section 504 options by:
_____ 4. Permission for the program to begin is: granted_____ denied _____
B. Other Participants
Building Principal Guidance Counselor
Regular Class Teacher Other
Regular Class Teacher Other
MERRILLVILLE COMMUNITY SCHOOL CORPORATION
INTERVENTION STRATEGY SHEET – SECTION 504
Dates of Implementation:
Statement of Student’s Difficulties: