504 (Chapter 15)
Protected Handicapped Students: Chapter 15/Section 504 - In compliance with state and federal laws, the Warwick School District will provide to each protected handicapped student – without discrimination or cost to the student or family – those related aids, services, or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s abilities. In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability which substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program. For further information on the evaluation procedures and provision of services to protected handicapped students, contact your child’s school counselor, learning facilitator or building principal.
services and protections for “protected handicapped students” are distinct from
those applicable to all eligible or exceptional students enrolled (or seeking
enrollment) in special education programs.
Anyone can refer a child for evaluation under Section 504. However, while anyone can make a referral, such as parents or a doctor, OCR stated in a staff memorandum that “the school district must also have reason to believe that the child is in need of services under Section 504 due to a disability.” ( OCR Memorandum, April 29, 1993) Therefore, a school district does not have to refer or evaluate a child under Section 504 solely upon parental demand. The key to referral is whether the school district staff suspects that the child is suffering from a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity and is in need of either regular education with supplementary services or special education and related services [ Letter to Mentink 19 IDELR 1127 (OCR) 1993]. If a parent requests a referral for evaluation, and the school district refuses, the school district must provide the parent with notice of their procedural rights under Section 504.
The 504 Committee should look at grades over the past several years, teachers’ reports, information from parents or other agencies, state assessment scores or other school administered tests, observations, discipline reports, attendance records, health records, and adaptive behavior information. Schools must consider a variety of sources. A single source of information (such as a doctor’s report) cannot be the only information considered. Schools must be able to assure that all information submitted is documented and considered.
For further information on evaluations or programming, please contact your child's building principal.