WHAT IS SECTION 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It applies to any school which receives federal funds. The intent of this law is to provide students with disabilities equal access to educational programs, services, and activities. Students with disabilities may not be denied participation in school programs and activities solely on the basis of disability.
It is the policy of the Wishram School District to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to each student with a disability in its jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the student's disability.
WHAT IS A FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION UNDER SECTION 504?
A free appropriate public education is an education that is designed to meet a disabled student’s individual educational needs and is based upon procedures that satisfy Section 504’s identification, evaluation, placement, and due process requirements. An appropriate education can consist of education in regular classes, education in regular classes with related aids or services, special education, or a combination of such services. The definition of related aids and services under Section 504 is broad and includes any service that a student needs to participate in and benefit from a district’s education program. Related aids and services include but are not limited to the following: school health services; counseling; environmental, instructional and behavioral accommodations; and transportation.
WHAT DOES "APPROPRIATE" MEAN?
“Appropriate” means designed to meet the individual educational needs of a disabled student as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met. It does not mean that a district must maximize a disabled student’s potential or provide “the best” education program that it can design for a disabled student. It means that a district must provide sufficient individualized services to enable a disabled student to receive educational benefit (i.e., not maximum benefit, not minimal benefit, some benefit).
CAN I REFER MY CHILD FOR A SECTION 504 EVALUATION?
Any person can refer a student for evaluation under Section 504. If you think your child needs an evaluation for a 504 accommodation, please contact your school building office or complete the Referral and Recommendations Form in the link below and turn it into the Wishram School Office. The building principal will be in touch with you to complete the 504 evaluation process.
WHAT IF I FEEL MY CHILD MIGHT QUALIFY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES INSTEAD OF 504 ACCOMMODATIONS?
Special Education provides for "specially designed instruction" for students with disabilities. Section 504 provides for select accommodations for students with disabilities. Section 504 students do not need "specially designed instruction". If you feel your child might need Special Education services, you may contact the district Special Education Director, Jary Snodgrass, to make a referral at 360-952-3654.
Mr. Chris Schumaker