What is Section 504?Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with a medical condition who participate in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the US Department of Education. Section 504 regulations require a school division to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to each qualified student. The student must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
SEC ReferralA referral for Section 504 starts with a request for a Student Education Committee (SEC) meeting. Requests for assistance from the school SEC team may be initiated by any individual who has concerns about a specific child. Typical referring sources are parents, teachers or other school personnel such as principals, school counselors or specialists. Requests may be verbal or in writing.
The Components Meeting is the next step where the team reviews the student’s records, listens to parent input, and reviews any teacher notes to determine if the team proceeds to 504 eligibility. If the team determines an evaluation is necessary, they will also determine what components will be used to evaluate the student.
The Eligibility Team must convene within 65 business days of the referral to review and discuss the results of the evaluations. The team will complete the 504 Eligibility criteria and determine if the student’s disability substantially limits a major life activity.
If the student is found eligible for a 504 Plan, the team has 30 calendar days to meet again to develop a 504 plan.
Stafford County Public Schools prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all aspects of its programs and services. Persons who believe that the school division has discriminated against them in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act ("Section 504") or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") can file a written grievance with the school division's Chief Student Support Services Officer or their designee. Once a written grievance is received, the school division will investigate the allegations contained in the written grievance in an effort to reach a prompt and equitable resolution.