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Back to Index | Relevant Policy - 9.12 Special Instructional Programs and Accommodations for Disabled Students
9.12.P.1 Special Instructional Programs and Accommodations for Disabled Students
PROCEDURE PROCEDURE
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Each qualified student within the District who is eligible to receive regular or special education or related aids or services, regardless of the nature or severity of the condition necessitating such programs or services, shall receive free appropriate education in the District. 

Identification and referral procedures: 
 
  • Any student who needs or is believed to need special education or related services not available through existing programs in order to receive a free appropriate public education may be referred by a parent, teacher, or other professional school employee for identification and evaluation of the student's individual education needs. 
     
  • The identification and evaluation will be completed by persons knowledgeable about the student, the student's school history, the student's individual needs, the meaning of evaluation data, and the placement options. The Superintendent will monitor the identification and evaluation to ensure that qualified personnel participate.
     
  • The District will consider the referral and, based upon a review of the student's existing records, including academic, social, and behavioral records, make a decision as to whether an evaluation under this procedure is appropriate. If a request for evaluation is denied, the District will inform the parents or guardian of this decision and of their procedural rights. 

Evaluation. Evaluation of the student and formulation of a plan of services will be carried out by the District according to the following procedures: 
 
  • The District will evaluate the nature of the student's disability and the impact of the disability upon the student's education. This evaluation will include consideration of any behaviors that interfere with regular participation of a student who otherwise meets the criteria (such as age) for participation in the educational program and/or activities. 
     
  • No final determination of whether the student will or will not be identified as a student with a disability within the meaning of Section 504 will be made by the District without first inviting the parent or guardian of the student to participate in a meeting concerning such determination. 
     
  • A final decision will be made by the District in writing, and the parents or guardian of the student shall be notified of the Section 504 procedural safeguards available to them, including the right to an impartial hearing and review. 

Plan for services: 
 
  • For a student who has been identified as having a disability within the meaning of Section 504 and in need of special education or related aids and services, the District shall be responsible for determining what special services are needed. 
     
  • In making such determination, the District shall consider all available relevant information, drawing upon a variety of sources, including, but not limited to, comprehensive assessments conducted by the District's professional staff. 
     
  • The parents or guardian shall be invited to participate in District meetings where services for the student will be determined, and shall be given an opportunity to examine all relevant records. 
     
    • The District will develop a written plan describing the disability and the special education or related services needed. The plan will specify how the regular or special education and related aids and services will be provided, and by whom. 
       
    • The District may also determine that no special education or related services are appropriate. If so, the record of the District proceedings will reflect the identification of the student as a person with a disability and will state the basis for the decision that no special services are presently needed. 
       
    • A student with a disability shall be placed in the regular educational environment of the District, with the use of the supplementary aids and services, unless the District demonstrates that such placement cannot be achieved satisfactorily. The student with a disability shall be educated with those who are not disabled to the maximum extent appropriate to the individual needs of the student. 
       
  • The District shall notify the parents or guardian in writing of its final decision concerning the services to be provided. 
     
    • If a plan for providing related services is developed, all school personnel who work with the student shall be informed of the plan. 
       
Review of the student's progress. The District will monitor the progress of the student with a disability and the effectiveness of the student's education plan annually to determine whether special education or related services are appropriate and necessary, and that the student's needs are being met as adequately as the needs of a nondisabled student. Prior to any subsequent significant change in placement, a comprehensive reevaluation of the student's needs will be conducted. 

When interpreting evaluation data and making placement decisions for students with disabilities, the District will draw upon information from a variety of sources, will ensure that the receipt of information for such sources is documented and carefully considered, and will require that educational placement decisions are made by a group of persons with knowledge of the student, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the educational placement options. 
 
  • The parents or guardian shall be notified in writing of all District decisions concerning the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of students made under this policy. 
     
  • The parents or guardian shall be notified that they may examine relevant records. 
     
  • The parents or guardian shall have the right to file a complaint or a request for a hearing to assert a violation of a right or privilege secured by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Civil Rights Act.  Should the parents or guardian choose to do so, the District shall not intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against the individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by Section 504 or Title II.  The District will not retaliate against an individual who has made a complaint, testified, assisted or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding or hearing under Section 504 or Title II.
     
  • As to such decisions by the District, the parents or guardian shall have the right to an impartial hearing ("Section 504 due process hearing"), with opportunity for participation by the parents or guardian and their counsel. In the notification of any District decision concerning identification, evaluation, or placement, the parents or guardian will be advised that: 
     
    • A request for a Section 504 due process hearing should be made within thirty-five (35) days of notice of right to file (but not less than thirty [30] days). 
       
    • The request shall be made to:
       
      • Name:   Superintendent 
      • Dysart Unified School District No. 89 
      • Address:    15802 N Parkview Pl 
      • Surprise, AZ 85374 
      • Phone:        (623) 876-7000 
         
    • The hearing will be held in accord with procedure Policy Section 9.12. The decision may be appealed only to a federal court of competent jurisdiction. 
       
    • Attorneys' fees are available only as authorized by law. 
       
If a state due process hearing has been or will be held under the IDEA concerning issues relevant to the Section 504 proceeding, a hearing officer qualified as to IDEA and Section 504 proceedings may preside in a joint hearing. The issues for either IDEA or Section 504 determination shall be clearly defined at the outset, and determinations by the hearing officer will be separate and distinct.
 
If both the parents or guardian and the District agree that the student is not eligible for special education under the IDEA, neither party is required to exhaust administrative proceedings under the IDEA prior to the holding of a Section 504 due process hearing. 

The hearing officer shall render a decision. The parents or guardian shall be notified in writing of the decision. Either party may seek review of the decision of the Section 504 hearing officer by a federal court of competent jurisdiction. 

The parties shall abide by the decision of the Section 504 hearing officer unless the decision is appealed to a federal court of competent jurisdiction and the decision is stayed by the court. 

Section 504 Due-Process Hearing Procedures 

An impartial due process hearing will be utilized to resolve differences involving the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a Section 504 qualified student with a disability when such differences cannot be resolved by means of a less formal procedure. In this instance, due process is defined as an opportunity to present objections and reasons for the objections to the decision and/or procedures of the committee regarding application of Section 504. A Section 504 due process hearing may be called at the request of the District or a parent, guardian, or surrogate of an affected student. The proceedings will be presided over and decided by an impartial hearing officer. Impartial hearing officer means a person selected to preside at a due process hearing to assure that proper procedures are followed and to assure the protection of the rights of both parties. 

In all related hearing matters the following definitions shall apply: 
 
  • Days means calendar days. 
     
  • Placement plan means the program by which the decision concerning the educational placement of the student is decided. 
     
  • Parents means parents, guardian, or surrogate parent. 

Parents or the District may initiate a due process hearing on a matter related to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a Section 504 qualified student with a disability. 

Requests for a due process hearing must be submitted in writing to the Superintendent. Hearing notifications to the parents shall be given at least twenty (20) days prior to the date set for the hearing. The notice shall contain: 
 
  • A statement of time, place, and nature of the hearing. 
     
  • A statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is being held. 
     
  • A reference to the particular section of the statutes and rules involved. 
     
  • A statement of the availability of relevant records for examination. 
     
  • A short and plain statement of the matters asserted. 
     
  • A statement of the right to be represented by counsel. 

All written correspondence shall be provided in English and/or interpreted in the primary language. 

Hearing Procedures 

The hearing officer shall preside at the hearing and shall conduct the proceedings in an impartial manner to the end that all parties involved have an opportunity to: 
 
  • Present their evidence. 
     
  • Produce outside expert testimony and be represented by legal counsel and by individuals with knowledge or training with respect to problems of students with disabilities. 

Parents involved in the hearing will be given the right to: 
 
  • Have the student present at the hearing. 
     
  • Open the hearing to the public. 

In cases where there are language differences, an interpreter shall be provided. 

The hearing officer shall review all relevant facts concerning the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the Section 504 student. 
 
  • The hearing officer shall render a decision, subject to judicial review, which is binding on all parties, except that in all cases any action taken must comply with current Arizona Revised Statutes and federal court decisions. 
 
  • If the parents' primary language is other than English, then the hearing officer shall appoint an interpreter. 

Decision of the Hearing Officer 

A copy of the hearing officer's decision shall be delivered to the District and the parent, guardian, or surrogate within ten (10) days following completion of the hearing, which in no event shall be later than forty-five (45) days after receipt of the request for a hearing. 
 
  • Notification will include a statement that either party may appeal the decision. 

The decision of the hearing officer is binding on all parties concerned; it is subject only to judicial review. 

Record of Hearing 

A written or electronic verbatim recording of the Section 504 due process hearing shall be on file at the District office and will be available for review upon request to the parents and/or any of the involved parties. Parents may have a copy of the proceedings, in English and in the primary language of the home.