Section 504 Process
A student, parent, teacher, counselor, or administrator has a concern that a student may need support. Strategies are developed and implemented to address the concern.
2. Referral to the Building Intervention Team (BIT)
If the strategies are not successful, the concerned individual should complete the BIT referral form. The referral form documents the original concern, the strategies implemented to address the concern and the outcome of the strategies.
3. Decision to Evaluation
The BIT reviews the referral, the student’s file, and the strategies implemented so far, and consults with teachers, parents, student, peers, or anyone who has information. The BIT decides whether it appears the student might have a disability or other need.
If the BIT believes that the student may be eligible under IDEA or may be an English language learner or have other needs, the BIT refers the student for evaluation under those processes.
If the student appears to have a disability under 504, the BIT gives the parents a Notice of Action and Rights and refers the student for evaluation. The parents must provide consent prior to this initial evaluation.
If the BIT decides the student does not appear to have a disability, the BIT suggests other strategies for resolving the concern and gives the parents a Notice of Action and Rights.
Once the parents have provided consent for evaluation, at least one expert in the area of the student’s suspected disability evaluates the student. The parents may also choose to have their own expert evaluate the student in addition to the district’s expert, at their own expense.
5. Eligibility Decision
A 504 Team is convened to review the evaluation data and decide if the student is eligible under Section 504. At that time, the 504 Team fills out the Section 504 Eligibility Determination Form. The 504 Team must include persons knowledgeable about the student, the evaluation data, and placement options. In making its eligibility decision, the 504 Team must consider information from a variety of sources, including any relevant information submitted by the parents. The student is eligible if the student has an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. The 504 Team can also refer the student for IDEA, ELL, or other evaluation if appropriate.
If the 504 Team determines that the student is eligible under 504, the 504 Team gives the parents a Notice of Action and Rights and the 504 Team convenes to develop a 504 Plan.
If the 504 Team decides that the student is not eligible, the 504 Team gives the parents a Notice of Action and Rights and suggests other strategies for resolving the underlying concern.
6. Develop a 504 Plan
Once a student is found eligible under Section 504, the 504 Team convenes to develop a 504 Plan. The 504 Plan can be developed at the same time that eligibility is established if the 504 Team wishes. The 504 Plan describes the student’s needs and what services or modifications will be provided to address the student’s needs. The 504 Team gives the parents a Notice of Action and Rights and a copy of the 504 Plan. The district must receive consent from the parents for initial placement.
7. Review Plan
The 504 Team will convene annually to review the 504 Plan to ensure that the 504 Plan is meeting the student’s needs. If the 504 Team decides that the 504 Plan needs to be modified, the 504 Team gives the parents a Notice of Action and Rights.
The 504 Team must periodically reevaluate the student to determine if the student is still eligible or if the student has additional needs. Before a reevaluation, the 504 Team gives the parent a Notice of Action and Rights. Reevaluations must occur at least every three years or before any significant change in placement. Changes in placement include the discontinuation of services, changes of services, and long-term suspensions and expulsions.