Section 504 Compliance & Grievance Process
WHAT IS SECTION 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the subsequent American with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, is intended to prevent intentional or unintentional discrimination against persons with disabilities. In essence, Section 504 was enacted to “level the playing field.” This legislation protects the civil rights of people with disabilities, i.e., physical or mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities. It prohibits organizations that receive federal funds from discriminating against otherwise qualified individuals on the sole basis of a disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is enforced under guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR).
HOW DO I FILE A FORMAL GRIEVANCE UNDER SECTION 504 AND TITLE II RELATED TO ACCESSIBLITY?
504 Complaints and Grievances
The primary purpose of this procedure is to secure, at the most immediate level possible, equitable solutions to a claim of the aggrieved person. Both parties agree that these proceedings shall be kept confidential at each level of procedure.
First level: Parents with a complaint or grievance shall discuss it first with the principal.
Second level: If as a result of the discussion, the matter is not resolved, the grievant shall initiate a grievance in writing or complete a 504 Grievance Form to be submitted to the 504 Coordinator within five (5) schools days giving the full details of the grievance. The 504 Coordinator shall communicate the decision to the grievant in writing within five (5) school days following the date of submission. Unless the grievance shall be so appealed, it shall be deemed to have been settled and the grievant shall have no further right with respect to said grievance.
Third level: If the grievance is not resolved, the grievant may no later than five (5) school days after receipt of the 504 Coordinator’s decision appeal it to the Superintendent. The appeal must be made in writing and must give details as to why the decision was unsatisfactory. The Superintendent shall give the decision in writing to the grievant within ten (10) school days. Unless the grievance shall be so appealed, it shall be deemed to have been settled and the grievant shall have no further right with respect to said grievance.
Fourth level: If the grievance is not resolved, the grievant may no later than five (5) school days after receipt of the Superintendent's decision, request a review by the School Board. The request shall be made in writing through the Superintendent who shall attach all papers relating to the grievance. The grievant appearance to present his appeal before the School Board shall be scheduled in accordance with regular procedures adopted by the School Board. The grievant may appear alone at this meeting or be accompanied by counsel of his own choice. The School Board shall issue a written decision within thirty (30) days after the meeting with the grievant.
Parent and Student Rights
In Identification, Evaluation, and Placement
As defined in
SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973
The following rights are granted by federal law (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) to students with disabilities. The intent of the law is to keep you fully informed concerning decisions about your child and your right to agree or disagree with any of these decisions.
You Have the Right To:
1. Have your child take part in, and receive benefits from, public education programs without discrimination because of his/her disabling conditions.
2. Have the school district advise you of your rights under federal law.
3. Receive notice with respect to identification, evaluation, or placement.
4. Have your child receive a free appropriate public education. This includes the right to be educated with non- disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate. It also includes the right to have the school district make reasonable accommodations to allow your child an equal opportunity to participate in school and school-related activities.
5. Have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided non-disabled students.
6. Have your child receive special education and related services if he or she is found to be eligible under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (PL 101-476) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
7. Have evaluation, educational, and placement decisions made based upon a variety of information sources, and by persons who know your child, the evaluation data and placement options.
8. Have transportation provided to and from an alternative placement setting at no greater cost to you than would be incurred if your child were placed in a program operated by the school district.
9. Have your child be given an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities offered by the school district.
10. Examine all relevant records relating to decisions made regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, education program, and placement.
11 Obtain copies of educational records at a reasonable cost unless the fee would effectively deny you access to the records.
12. A response from the school district to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of your child’s records.
13. Request amendment of your child’s educational records if there is reasonable cause to believe that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of your child. If the school district refuses this request for amendment, it shall notify you within a reasonable amount of time and advise you of your right to a hearing.
14. Request mediation or an impartial due process hearing related to decisions or actions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation educational program, or placement. You/Your child may take part in the hearing and have an attorney represent you. Hearing requests must be made through the Parish 504 Coordinator.
15. Ask for a payment of reasonable attorney fees if you are successful on your claim.
16. File a local grievance.
The person in Ascension Parish School System who is responsible for assuring that the district complies with Section 504 can be reached at:
Patricia Espinoza Signorelli, Instructional Supervisor
Ascension Parish School Board
P.O. Box 189
Donaldsonville, LA 70346