Laurens County School District 55
Section 504 Compliance Policy
Statement of Nondiscrimination of the Basis of Disability
It is the policy of Laurens County School District 55 to provide a free and appropriate public education to each disabled student within its jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability.
It is the intention of the District to ensure that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are identified, evaluated, and provided with appropriate educational services.
Under this policy, a disabled student is one who (a) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including learning, (b) has a record of such impairment, or (c) is regarded as having such impairment. Students may be disabled under Section 504 even though they do not require services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Due process rights of disabled students and their parents under Section 504 will be afforded.
Each principal shall designate at least one individual to serve as the school-based Section 504 Contact Person. To coordinated the District’s educational efforts to comply with regulations of Section 504, Dr. George Ward, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services has been appointed as the District Section 504 Coordinator.
Laurens County School District 55
Parent/Student Rights in Identification, Assessment and Provisions of Services
Section 504 is a federal law, which prohibits discrimination against persons with a disability in any program receiving federal financial assistance. The Act defines a person with a disability as anyone who:
1. Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include such activities as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.
2. Has record of such impairment; or
3. Is regarded as having such impairment.
In order to fulfill its obligation under Section 504, Laurens County School District 55 recognizes a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding its students. No discrimination against any person with a disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices in the school system.
The School District has specific responsibilities under the Act, which include the responsibility to identify, evaluate, and if the student is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to appropriate educational services.
The following is a description of the rights granted by federal law to Section 504 disabled students. The intent of the law is to keep you fully informed concerning decisions about your child and to inform you of your rights if you disagree with any of these decisions.
You have the right to:
1. Receive all information in your native language and primary mode of communication.
2. Have your child take part in, and receive benefits from public education programs without discrimination because of his/her disabling condition.
3. Be advised by the school district of your rights under federal law.
4. Receive notice with respect to identification, assessment, or provision of instructional services for your child under a 504 Accommodation Plan.
5. 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.
6. Have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided non-disabled students.
7. Have your child receive special instruction and related services if h/she is found to be eligible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
8. Have assessment and educational decisions and decisions regarding services be based upon a variety of information sources, and by persons who know your child, the assessment data, and service options.
9. Have an assessment and/or periodic reassessment before any significant change in programs/services.
10. Have your child be given an equal opportunity to participate in non-academic and extracurricular activities offered by the district.
11. Examine all relevant records relating to decisions regarding your child’s identification, assessment, educational program and services.
12. Obtain copies of educational records at a reasonable cost unless the fee would effectively deny you access to the records.
13. Have reasonable accommodations made to provide equal access for you or your child to effectively participate in meetings, activities or events sponsored by the school/district or provided in district facilities.
14. File a local grievance with the District’s Section 504 Coordinator, George Ward, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services, 301 Hillcrest Drive, Laurens, South Carolina, 29360.
15. Request mediation or an impartial due process hearing related to decisions or actions regarding your child’s identification, assessment, educational program or services. You and your child may take part in the hearing and have an attorney represent you. Hearing requests must also be made to the District’s Section 504 Coordinator.
16. Appeal the impartial hearing officer’s decision.
17. Request payment or reasonable attorney fees if you are successful in your claim.