San Augustine Independent School District

Section 504

SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973

What is Section 504?

• Section 504 is a Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination against individuals with a disability in any program receiving Federal financial assistance. In order to fulfill its obligation under Section 504, the San Augustine Independent School District recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its students. No discrimination against any student solely due to his/her disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices in the school system. The school district has specific responsibilities under Section 504 which include the responsibility to identify, evaluate and (if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504) to afford access to necessary educational accommodations and services.

• Students who have IEPs and are receiving special education are covered under this law through their current IEPs.

• Other students who have a disability that substantially impacts a major life activity may also be eligible for protection, accommodations, and/or services under the law. Those students will have a separate Section 504 Accommodation Plan.

Staff Responsibilities
• If a teacher suspects that a student might be eligible under Section 504 it is the teachers’ responsibility to contact your administrator or the Section 504 Coordinator in your building.

• If a parent expresses a concern that a student might be eligible under Section 504 it is the teachers’ responsibility to contact your administrator or the Section 504 Coordinator in your building and to let the parent / guardian know who in the building to contact regarding this process.

• Teachers are responsible for participating on the team which determines 504 eligibility and helping determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations for the student.

• Teachers are responsible for knowing which students have Section 504 Accommodation Plans.

• Teachers are responsible for implementing 504 Accommodation Plans as written.

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance On Civil Rights of Students with ADHD

Dear Colleague,
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued guidance clarifying the obligation of schools to provide students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with equal educational opportunity under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Over the last five years, OCR has received more than 16,000 complaints that allege discrimination on the basis of disability in elementary and secondary education programs, and more than 10 percent involve allegations of discrimination against students with ADHD. The most common complaint concerns academic and behavioral difficulties students with ADHD experience at school when they are not timely and properly evaluated for a disability, or when they do not receive necessary special education or related aids and services. Today’s guidance provides a broad overview of Section 504 and school districts’ obligations to provide educational services to students with disabilities, including students with ADHD. The guidance: Explains that schools must evaluate a student when a student needs or is believed to need special education or related services.  Discusses the obligation to provide services based on students’ specific needs and not based on generalizations about disabilities, or ADHD, in particular. For example, the guidance makes clear that schools must not rely on the generalization that students who perform well academically cannot also be substantially limited in major life activities, such as reading, learning, writing and thinking; and that such a student can, in fact, be a person with a disability.
Clarifies that students who experience behavioral challenges, or present as unfocused or distractible, could have ADHD and may need an evaluation to determine their educational needs. Reminds schools that they must provide parents and guardians with due process and allow them to appeal decisions regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of students with disabilities, including students with ADHD.
In addition to the guidance, the Department also released a Know Your Rights document that provides a brief overview of schools’ obligations to students with ADHD.

Thank you,
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights