Community High School District 155 is committed to providing a free appropriate public education to every student who qualifies under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
To qualify for accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a student must have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, including but not limited to: learning, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, communicating, concentrating, reading, breathing, working, caring for one's self, thinking, performing manual tasks, lifting, and bending. In reviewing a student’s eligibility under Section 504, the student’s physical or mental impairment must substantially limit a major life activity. As a result, a student’s diagnosis may not result in eligibility through the 504 process.
The specification of physical or mental impairment requires an individual evaluation which must be administered by trained personnel. This evaluation process may include outside evaluations and diagnoses from pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other health professionals. The District will work with families to secure updated medical information from a student’s private providers on a yearly basis. The District will reevaluate eligible students every three years to review and re-determine Section 504 eligibility.
If you feel that your student is eligible for accommodations under Section 504, you should first contact your student’s guidance counselor and submit [the District’s 504 referral form and supporting medical information from your student’s private medical providers.] Once the counselor receives the District’s 504 referral form and supporting information, the student will be placed on the agenda for the building’s available Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) team meeting. The MTSS team includes the following staff members: the student services coordinator, school counselor, dean, social worker, special education division leader, school psychologist, school nurse, and building principal.
At the MTSS meeting, the school team will review the student’s performance and current levels of functioning in the school environment, including but not limited to: the student's academic performance, attendance, disciplinary record, current teacher reports , standardized assessments and outside evaluations or medical information provided by parents/guardians). In reviewing this information, the MTSS team will determine if a Section 504 evaluation is necessary.
The MTSS Team may conclude the following:
- The student requires a Section 504 evaluation. The MTSS team will contact the parent and secure written consent to conduct an evaluation and schedule a Section 504 eligibility meeting.
- The student does not require a Section 504 evaluation. The MTSS team will provide the parent with the rationale for its determination in writing. The MTSS team may refer the student to one or more targeted interventions (including but not limited to guided study hall, homework club, or reading intervention strategies program), monitor the student’s progress, and gather more information about the student.
The Section 504 team will work with the student to complete the evaluation process and convene the 504 eligibility meeting within 60 school days of the District’s receipt of the parents’ consent. It is important that the process is conducted with fidelity and both teachers and the team have sufficient time to provide solid feedback and review all relevant information.
After the 504 evaluation is completed, the building Section 504 team will schedule the student’s eligibility meeting to review the student’s evaluation and determine eligibility for services. The District will provide parents with written notice of this meeting. If a student is found eligible under Section 504, the team, including the parents, will develop a Section 504 plan for the student. The 504 plan will include accommodations for the student during the school day. Accommodations modify the regular classroom so the student has equal access to the educational benefits of the school’s program. Modification of the essential elements of the curriculum is not required. After the team develops the plan, the Section 504 plan goes into effect immediately. The student's teachers will be notified of any accommodations the student receives, and the family will receive a copy of the plan within three days of the 504 evaluation meeting.
If the student is found ineligible under Section 504, the team will provide parents with the eligibility determination.
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