What is a 504?

  • What is Section 504?

    Guidelines for Parents and Guardians

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal anti-discrimination law that protects the rights of students with qualifying disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.

    Section 504 requires that the school provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE) to a student with a qualified disability. As a general matter, providing FAPE under Section 504 means the provision of an individualized and systematic plan of accommodation for students with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity in a way that impacts their functioning in the school setting. The school provides accommodations that are identified as necessary for the student to access the curricular and extracurricular activities in a manner consistent with nondisabled peers. Such accommodations do not alter the content of the student's curriculum or level of expectation for the student's performance.

    It is the role of the school’s 504 Committee to use a variety of data points and sources to facilitate the process of determining individualized accommodations for eligible students.

    Evaluation Process

    A parent or guardian, teacher, I&RS Team, nurse, counselor, or other school staff member, can initiate a 504 referral. Upon receipt of a referral, the 504 Committee will conduct an eligibility meeting. The 504 Coordinator will use information from a variety of sources, including but not limited to testing results, teacher input, grades, attendance reports, physical, medical, or psychological condition, physician recommendations, nurse or counselor logs, and adaptive behavior, to help the 504 Committee determine eligibility.