School Board Policy Manual

Nevis Public Schools

Independent School District 308

 
 

Table of Contents

School Board Policy 521

521 STUDENT DISABILITY NONDISCRIMINATION

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to protect disabled students from discrimination on the basis of disability and to identify and evaluate learners who, within the intent of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, need special services, accommodations, or programs in order that such learners may receive a free appropriate public education.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

          A. Disabled students are protected from discrimination on the basis of a disability.

B. It is the responsibility of the school district to identify and evaluate learners who, within the intent of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, need special services, accommodations, or programs in order that such learners may receive a free appropriate public education.

C. For this policy, a learner who is protected under Section 504 is one who:

                1.  has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including learning; or

                2.  has a record of such impairment; or

                3.  is regarded as having such impairment.

D. Learners may be protected from disability discrimination and be eligible for services, accommodations, or programs under the provisions of Section 504 even though they are not eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

III. COORDINATOR

Persons who have questions, comments, or complaints should contact:
           
            Elizabeth Stone
            Nevis Public School
            (218) 652-3500

or the superintendent regarding grievances or hearing requests regarding disability issues.  This person is the school district’s ADA/504 Coordinator.

IV. FORMAL COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 504

In adopting this policy, the Nevis Public Schools states its commitment to nondiscrimination on the basis of a disability. Specific actions in implementing the policy shall include:

1. Public notice of the policy,

2. Notice of the policy in student, parent and personnel handbooks,
 
3. Provision of parent/student rights under the policy at all decision points or in response to any concern.

V. SECTION 504 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

            The grievance procedures for alleging violations under Section 504 are as follows:

Step 1:  The grievance must be in writing and must be signed by the person making the complaint. The grievance must be filed with the local 504 Coordinator within ten (10) school days. The 504 Coordinator will promptly attempt to resolve the matter among the affected parties. If the 504 Coordinator is unable to resolve the grievance, he/she shall further investigate the matters of grievance and reply in writing to the complainant within ten (10) days from the date of filing the grievance.

Step 2:  If the complainant wishes to appeal the decision of the local Section 504 Coordinator, he/she may submit a signed statement of appeal to the principal within ten (10) school days after receipt of the coordinator’s response. The principal shall meet with all parties involved, formulate a conclusion, and respond in writing to the complainant within ten (10) school days.

Step 3:  If the complaint remains unsatisfied, he/she may appeal through a signed written statement to the Superintendent of Schools, within ten (10) school days of his/her receipt of the response in Step 2. In an attempt to resolve the grievance, the Superintendent of Schools shall meet with the concerned parties and their representatives within forty (40) school days of the receipt of such an appeal. A copy of the superintendent’s disposition of the appeal shall be sent to each concerned party within ten (10) days of this meeting.

          Step 4:  The complainant may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights at any point during the grievance process:
                       
                        Office of Civil Rights, Chicago Office
                        U.S. Department of Education
                        Citigroup Center
                        500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475
                        Chicago, IL  60661-4544
                        (312) 730-1560
                        Facsimile:  (312) 730-1576
                        TDD:  (800) 877-8339

VI. EDUCATION SERVICES

Students with disabilities consistent with the definitions set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 will be identified, evaluated and provided with appropriate instruction and related services. People with disabilities or who are thought to have disabilities in accordance with Section 504, their parents or their guardians shall have the right to:

1. Have the student take part in, and receive benefits from public education programs without discrimination because of his/her disability

2. Have the school district advise each person of their rights under federal law;

3. Receive notice with respect to identification, evaluation or placement of the student;

4. Have the student educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided non-disabled students;

5. Have the student be given an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities offered by the district.

6. Have placement decisions made based upon a variety of information sources, and by a group of persons including persons knowledgeable about the student, the evaluation data and placement options;

7. Have the student 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 the student an equal opportunity to participate in school and school-related activities.

8. Have the student receive special education and related services if she/he is found to be eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, Public Law 101-476);

9. Have transportation provided to and from an alternative placement setting at no greater cost than would be incurred if the student were placed in a program operated by the district;

10. Examine all relevant records relating to decisions regarding the student’s identification, evaluation, education program and placement;

11. Obtain copies of education records at a reasonable cost unless the fee would effectively deny access to the records;

12. Receive a response from the school district to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the student’s records;

13. Request amendment of the student’s education records if there is a reasonable cause to believe that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of the student. If the school district refuses this request for amendment, it shall provide notification within a reasonable time and provide procedural rights relating to the resolution of the issue.

14. Request conciliation, mediation or an impartial due process hearing related to decisions or actions regarding the student’s identification, evaluation, education program or placement. Parents, guardians and the student may take part in the hearing and be represented by an attorney, at their own expense. Requests for due process hearings must be made in writing to the Superintendent. (See Section 504 Hearings below.)

15. Seek review of the results of the hearing. (See Review of Section 504 Hearings below.)

16. File a grievance under Section 504. (See Section 504 Grievance Procedures above.)

VII. SECTION 504 HEARINGS

A student, parent or guardian, or the School District may request an impartial hearing with regard to actions involving the identification, evaluation, or placement of a student pursuant to Section 504. The procedures for such a hearing are as follows:

1. Request for a Section 504 hearing must be made to the superintendent.

2. In each case for which a hearing has been requested, the superintendent (PO Box 138, Nevis, MN 56467, 218-652-3500) shall appoint an impartial individual to serve as the Hearing Officer.

3. The Hearing Officer shall determine the procedures for the hearing and set timelines for the same.

4. The parties have the right to representation, at their own expense, throughout the hearing process.

5. The Hearing Officer shall issue a written decision and submit the same to both parties.

VIII. PROCEDURE FOR REVIEW OF SECTION 504 HEARINGS

            Either party to a Section 504 hearing may seek review of the Hearing Officer’s decision.

            The procedure for such review is as follows:

1. Notice of appeal must be made within thirty (30) days following receipt of the Hearing Officer’s decision.

2. Notice must be given in writing to the other party. In the case of the School District, the written notice shall be directed to the Superintendent of Schools.

3. The School Board shall, upon recommendation of the superintendent, appoint an impartial individual or individuals to serve as the Review Officer or Review Panel.

4. The Review Officer/Review Panel shall determine the procedure for review and set timelines for the same.

5. The parties have the right to representation, at their own expense, throughout the review process.

6. The Review Officer/Review Panel shall issue a written decision and submit the same to both parties.

Legal References: 
29 U.S.C. § 794 et. seq. (§ 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973)
34 C.F.R. Part 104 (Implementing Regulations)

Cross References: 
School Board Policy 402 (Disability Nondiscrimination)

District Resources:
Title IX Coordinator                          
Gregg Parks, Superintendent             
Nevis Public School                           
PO Box 138                                       
Nevis, MN  56467                             
218-652-3500, ext. 103                      
supt308@nevis.k12.mn.us                 

Section 504 Coordinator
Elizabeth Stone
Nevis Public School
PO Box 138
Nevis, MN  56467
218-652-3500, ext. 204
504-308@nevis.k12.mn.us


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