Section 504 Plan
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities. When a student has a mental or physical impairment that limits a major life activity the district is required to level the playing field for the student to prevent discrimination and provide access like typical peers. A student with a mental and/or physical impairment that is progressing in school without modifications and/ or accommodations, or with modifications and/or accommodations available to every student would be eligible for the non-discrimination protections under Section 504, but would not have a written 504 plan.
If a parent is concerned about their child’s education or access to education because of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity they should notify the elementary associate principal or secondary school counselor, who serves as the 504 coordinator for the school. The school and parent will work together to determine if the request is for a 504 evaluation and if so will complete the appropriate referral form.
The school 504 coordinator will bring the referral forward to the building Referral Management Team (RMT) for consideration. RMT members include the parent, the elementary classroom teacher or a secondary classroom teacher of the student, and may include the school psychologist, social worker, nurse, and/or others as appropriate.
At the RMT meeting the team will review all existing information, which includes documented parent and/or teacher concerns, a comprehensive student file review, and any outside or private provider information and assessment. The team will together determine:
1) If there is a documented diagnosis of a mental or physical impairment that limits a major life activity,
2) Whether there is documented evidence of concerns that there may be a mental or physical impairment that limits a major life activity and an evaluation is needed, or
3) Whether there is no documented evidence supporting the concern(s) brought forward and the team decides not to evaluate at this time.
If through the determination process a student is determined to have diagnosis of a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity the student is eligible for protection against discrimination under Section 504 but may or may not have a written 504 plan developed.
If a student is eligible under Section 504 and the team determines their physical or mental impairment impacts the student’s access to school, ability to function at school, and/or in the general curriculum the team moves forward in determining the accommodations and/or modifications necessary to level the playing field for the student and develops a written 504 plan.
If a student has a written 504 plan it will be reviewed annually to determine current need(s) and updated as appropriate. A student’s 504 eligibility is revisited at the natural transitions in the child’s education.
It is the policy of the Eden Prairie School District School Board to comply with federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability and all requirements imposed by or pursuant to regulations issued thereto. No person shall, on the grounds of disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or to be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any educational program provided and/or offered by the School District. This policy applies to all areas of education including academics, coursework, co-curricular and extracurricular activities, and other rights and privileges of enrollment.