504 Plan Information
The Santa Rita Union School District Board of Trustees Education has a policy to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to each qualified disabled student within its jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Consequently, it is the intent of the District to ensure that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 are identified, evaluated and provided with free appropriate public educational services. The due process rights of disabled students and their parents under Section 504 will be enforced. This handbook provides information for the implementation of the procedural provisions for services to students identified under §504.
Federal law requires that any school district receiving federal monies must develop and implement policies and procedures concerning Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 was enacted in 1973 and implemented in 1977. Components of this Act prohibit discrimination against disabled persons by school districts receiving federal financial assistance. This includes all programs and activities of the school District receiving federal funds, regardless of whether the specific program or activity involved is a direct recipient of federal funds. Compliance with Section 504 requirements is conducted by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Each district's obligation under Section 504 is to ensure, as a result of civil rights legislation, that any student with a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity will be afforded reasonable accommodations and will be assured a free appropriate public education. Districts may not discriminate against a student with a disability and shall provide the necessary accommodations to avoid discrimination. To be eligible under §504, a student must be "qualified" and "handicapped." Under 324 C.F.R. §104.3G) (1) of the regulations, "handicapped" (a term which has been replaced with "disabled") is defined as follows: Any person who:
1. has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (such as: caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working)
2. has a record of such impairment, or
3. is regarded as having such an impairment.
The first prong of the definition focuses on current identified disabilities. To be protected by Section 504, one must have an impairment and the impairment must be of a certain level of severity in terms of its impact on the individual. The second and third prongs cover persons with a history of a disability or persons who are perceived as having a disability. The second and third prongs create a very different type of §504 eligibility. While a "record of' an impairment or being "regarded as having" an impairment gives rise to anti-discrimination protection under §504, these two prongs do not trigger a school's obligation to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). These two prongs are meant to reach situations where individuals either were or are "considered" to be disabled, and are currently being treated by others as if they were (OCR Senior Staff Memo, 19 IDELR 894, 1992). Consequently, the only duty as to these students is to not discriminate against them on the basis of the history or perception of impairment.
504 Plan Handbook
Director of Student Services
831-443-7200 x 1210
Coordinator of Special Education
831-443-7200 x 1213
Amy López (Galván)
Bilingual Administrative Assistant
831.443.7200 x 1209