Dr. Faye Brady, Director of Student Services
Some students with disabilitieswho do not qualify for special education services may be entitled toservices and other accommodations under Section 504 of theRehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Toqualify as a disabled individual under Section 504, a student must: 1)have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one ormore major life activities; 2) have a record of such an impairment, or3) be regarded as having such an impairment. In the case ofqualification under #1, the determination of such qualification shall bemade by a team of persons knowledgeable about the disability and/or thestudent. A parent/guardian/teacher, as well as other individuals likethe student’s physician, may refer the student for an evaluation underSection 504. A complete copy of the Parent’s/Guardian’s proceduralrights under Section 504 may be obtained from the principal’s office orfrom the Student Services Office.
SECTION 504/ADA GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
The best solutions to parent/guardian concerns occur at the school level. Therefore, the first step in resolving a complaint involves the parent/guardian working with the building Principal or designee to reach a joint resolution of the issue. Should the issue not be resolved and the parent/guardian desires to file a 504 complaint, the following procedure shall be used:
- Parent/guardian completes and submits a Section 504 Complaint Form to Principal or school designee. The complaint should be filed no later than thirty (30) days after the parent/guardian first brought his/her concern to the attention of the school. The form can be obtained in the Main Office of the school. P
- Principal or designee reviews the complaint form and attempts to facilitate resolution of the complaint after meeting with the parent/guardian. The Principal shall issue a decision in writing. If the complaint is not resolved at the school level, the parent/guardian can forward the complaint to the administrator in charge of Section 504 for the district no later than twenty (20) days of the date of the principal’s decision.
- The administrator in charge of Section 504 for the district will review the complaint, meet with the parent/guardian to discuss the complaint and make a determination in writing on the complaint.
- Should the parent/guardian not be satisfied with the decision made at the district level, he parent/guardian may bring the written complaint to the superintendent or designee no later than twenty (20) days of the date of the administrator’s decision. The superintendent or his/her designee reviews the decision at the district level to determine if the District’s 504 policy, guidelines and procedures were followed. The Superintendent may meet with the parent/guardian. The Superintendent will make a written decision on the complaint.
- If the complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the parent/guardian, the parent/guardian has the option of filing a complaint with the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) or the United States Office of Civil Rights (OCR). A parent/guardian can file a complaint with the BSEA or OCR at any time, and is not required to access the above complaint/grievance procedure.
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing Section 504 compliance. While it is highly recommended that all parties begin resolution of issues as described above, parents and guardians always have the right to initiate a complaint with OCR or to involve OCR at any time during the complaint process.
Office for Civil Rights Telephone: (617) 289-0111
United States Department of Education Fax: (617) 289-0150
5 Post Office Square TDD: (617) 223-9695
8th Floor Email: OCR.Boston@ed.gov
Boston, MA 02109-3921
Bureau of Special Education Appeals Telephone: (781) 397-4750
14 Summer St., 4th Floor Fax: (781) 397-4770
Malden, MA 02148 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org