SHEEPSCOT VALLEY RSU #12
504 TEAM PROCESS
504 Team Meeting and Decision Making Overview
All decisions regarding a student’s 504 eligibility, placement and the provision of any necessary accommodations and/or related aids or services will be made by the 504 Team, and must be based on information from a variety of sources, with information from all sources being carefully considered and documented.
Members of the 504 Team should include the building 504 Case Manager or approved designee, the school nurse when appropriate, and any other appropriate school staff who are knowledgeable about the student, the evaluation data and the placement options. The student’s parent/guardian will be invited to participate in the 504 Team meeting and have the opportunity to examine all relevant records. The school and the parent/guardian may invite other individuals with knowledge about the child to the 504 meeting.
An invitation to the meeting will be given to the parent/guardian prior to the meeting, notifying them of the time, place and purpose of the meeting (see Invitation to the 504 Team Meeting Form). Whenever possible, the notice should be provided at least seven days before the meeting.
The building 504 Case Manager or approved designee will chair the meeting and assign a member of the 504 Team the duty of taking minutes at the meeting (see 504 Team Meeting Minutes Form). A copy of the minutes will be sent to the parent/guardian and placed with the student’s education records folder within a reasonable time after the meeting.
Team decisions will be made by consensus. It is not appropriate to make eligibility, placement, or programming decisions based on a majority “vote.” In the absence of consensus, the district 504 Coordinator, the 504 Case Manager, or approved designee at the meeting will make the final decision regarding a child’s eligibility and, if needed, the placement, accommodations and related aids and/or services that the child needs to access school programming.
The school district must provide the parent/guardian with notice of the district’s proposals or refusals, or both, regarding their child’s educational program, and that the parent/guardian has a right to seek resolution of any disagreements through the local grievance procedure or by initiating an impartial due process hearing. Evaluation and initial placement are subject to the parent/guardian’s consent.
Referral, Evaluation and Eligibility
A referral to consider Section 504 eligibility may be made by a parent/guardian, eligible adult student or school staff for a student who is believed to need accommodations or related aids and services beyond the accommodations routinely provided for all students. Teachers or other school staff must complete a 504 Referral Form (see 504 Referral Form). A parent/guardian or adult student may, but is not required to, use the Referral Form. All referrals shall be forwarded to the building 504 Case Manager or other designated person, as well as the District Coordinator.
The building 504 Coordinator, 504 Case Manager or other designated person will gather information that will assist the 504 Team in making a determination regarding the student’s eligibility and programming from appropriate sources (e.g., teachers, school nurse, parent, administrators, physician, etc.).
The 504 Coordinator, the 504 Team or the parent may decide to move the referral into the special education referral process, rather than the 504 process, if it appears that the child may be in need of individualized specialized instruction as a result of the suspected disability.
The building 504 Case manager or other designated person will convene a 504 Team meeting within a reasonable time to consider the concerns raised in the referral and any available information. The Team’s discussions and decisions will be summarized in the 504 Team meeting minutes (see 504 Team Minutes) and the parent will be provided a Notice of Parent/Student Rights (see Notice of Parent/Student Rights).
The Team must make decisions about eligibility and significant changes in programming or placement based upon an evaluation of the child’s unique needs. If that evaluation is to include specific assessment of the child, the school must obtain written consent from the parent or guardian before conducting any assessment requiring parental consent (see Consent to Conduct Evaluation Form). If a parent refuses to provide consent for an assessment to determine a student’s 504 eligibility, the district may, but is not required to, initiate a 504 hearing challenging the parent’s decision.
When determining a student’s eligibility under Section 504, the Team will complete a 504 Eligibility Form (See Short and Long Eligibility Form). A copy of the completed Eligibility Form will be sent to the parent/guardian within a reasonable time after the meeting and placed with the student’s education records.
II. Programming and Placement
If the Team determines that a student is eligible under Section 504, the Team will complete a 504 Plan for the student (see 504 Plan). If the Team determines that, despite his or her eligibility, the student does not require accommodations and/or related aids or services, the Team will specify this on the Section 504 Plan. If the Team determines that accommodations and/or related aids or services are required at this time, the Team will indicate this on the Section 504 Plan. Written consent from the parent or guardian must be obtained prior to the initial provision of any accommodations and/or related aids services through a Section 504 Plan (see Consent for Initial Placement Form). Written consent is not required before initiating any subsequent changes in the student’s 504 program, accommodations, and/or related aids or services.
The 504 Plan will be made available to all staff who work with the student and to the 504 Coordinator. A copy of the 504 Plan will also be provided to the parent/guardian and placed in the student’s records within a reasonable time after the 504 meeting. The plan should be reviewed at least annually, or sooner if requested.
All 504 students must be re-evaluated periodically, but not less than every three years, to determine their continued eligibility and, if eligible, their need for accommodations and/or related aids or services.