Parent and Student Rights Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities that receive federal funds. In accordance with Section 504, Spring Lake Park Schools (“District”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in its programs and activities. The policy of this District is that no otherwise qualified individual with a disability may, on the basis of that disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any program or activity that is provided or sponsored by the District.
Under Section 504, the School District is required to identify, evaluate and, if the student is determined to be eligible under Section 504, provide accommodations and services that afford equal access to educational opportunities in the District’s programs and activities.
Section 504 defines an individual with a disability as: a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (as compared to the average student), a person who has a record of such an impairment or a person who is regarded as having such an impairment. If your child is an individual with a disability, under Section 504 you have the right to:
1. Receive notice of your rights under Section 504.
2. Receive all information in your native language or primary mode of communication.
3. Have your child take part in and receive benefits from public education programs without discrimination because of your child’s disabling condition.
4. Receive notice with respect to the identification, evaluation, program, or placement of your child under Section 504, including any significant change to the placement. Parental consent must be obtained before conducting an initial evaluation and placement.
5. Have your child receive a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”). This includes the right to be educated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate. It also includes the right to have the District make reasonable accommodations that give your child an equal opportunity to participate in school and school-related activities.
6. Have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided to nondisabled students.
7. Have your child receive special education and related services if your child is found to be eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
8. Have evaluation, educational, and placement decisions be based upon a variety of information sources, and by persons who are knowledgeable about your child, the evaluation data and placement options.
9. Have transportation provided to and from any alternative placement setting at no greater cost to you than would be incurred if the student were placed in a program operated by the District.
10. Have your child be given an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities offered by the District.
11. Examine all relevant records relating to the District’s decisions about the identification, evaluation, educational program and placement of your child under Section 504.
12. Obtain copies of educational records at a reasonable cost, unless the cost would effectively deny you access to the records.
13. Ask the District to explain and interpret your child's records.
14. Ask the District to amend your child's educational records on the ground that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of your child. You may request a hearing if the District denies such a request.
15. Ask for an impartial hearing if you disagree with the District’s decisions or actions relating to your child’s identification, evaluation, educational program or placement. You and the student may participate in the hearing and have an attorney represent you. Hearing requests must be submitted in writing to the District’s Director of Student Services. The District will select the impartial hearing officer.
16. Appeal from an adverse decision by the impartial hearing officer.
17. File a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights; and
18. File a complaint, or grievance, with the District regarding an alleged violation of Section 504 and receive a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint. Complaints must be submitted in writing to the Section 504 Coordinator for the building, unless the complaint relates to the Section 504 Coordinator, in which case the complaint should be submitted to the District’s Director of Student Services. Upon filing a complaint with the District, you will be asked to provide a brief description of the alleged discriminatory action, the date of the alleged action and the name of the person(s) responsible for the alleged action. The District will then conduct an investigation, unless the matter can be resolved informally. The Section 504 coordinator will maintain the files and the records relating to the complaint.
If you have any questions regarding Section 504, you are encouraged to contact your student’s principal, dean. Contact information can be found on the District website or by calling the District Office at 763-600-5000. You may also contact the District’s Office of Student Services at 763-600-5081.
Spring Lake Park Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs and activities.