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Posts Tagged ‘504 Plan’

After Parent withdrew consent to provide special education and related services under IDEA, the District satisfied its 504 FAPE obligations by convening a meeting to develop a 504 plan

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Kimble ex rel. B.K. v. Douglas Cty. Sch. Dist. RE-1, 60 IDELR 221 (D. Colo. 2013)—in this case, the student had been receiving special education and related services pursuant to an IEP. In response to receiving the proposed IEP for the next school year, the parents formally revoked their consent to the District providing special education and related services to their child. The Director of Special Education informed the parents (erroneously) that by withdrawing consent for services under IDEA, the parents effectively withdrew consent for those services under a 504 plan. Nevertheless, the District convened a 504 meeting at the parents’ request and offered a 504 plan “to implement the services as identified” in the previously rejected IEP. The parent who rejected the Section 504 plan but continued to seek accommodations under Section 504 filed a due process complaint, alleging discrimination under Section 504 and Title II of the ADA. The court held that revocation of parental consent to provide IDEA services does not eliminate the District’s obligations under Section 504 and the ADA. However, here the District convened a 504 meeting and proposed a 504 plan. Thus, the parents cannot hold the District liable for discrimination by not providing accommodations that they rejected under the 504 plan.

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District has obligation to at least reevaluate a returning student if it was aware that the student received special education services before transferring to private school

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Regional Sch. Unit No. 51 v. Doe, 60 IDELR 163 (D. Me. 2012)—in this case, a student with severe ADHD had received special education services at his district’s public school during fourth grade. He attended a private school for fifth grade, and returned to the district for sixth grade after his family moved to a different town. The student did not have a current IEP when he returned to the district, and the district did not reevaluate the student to determine whether he still needed an IEP. Instead it was concluded that all accommodations could be provided through a section 504 plan. After struggling until his eighth grade year, a special education referral was formally sought and an IEP was finally developed for the student. The court reaffirmed the Hearing Officer’s findings that the District erroneously de-classified the student without providing written notice to the parents or advising the parents of their right to challenge the decision. The student maintained his IDEA eligibility, even when he transferred from private to public school with an expired IEP, until a reevaluation showed otherwise and the District denied him a FAPE by failing to recognize him as an IDEA-eligible student until halfway through his eighth grade year.

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Districts must evaluate when requested, despite parent’s alleged acceptance of RTI process.

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Cherokee (TX) Independent School District, 59 IDELR 18 (OCR 2012):  The federal Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) informed a school district that it should have evaluated a student for services and accommodations under Section 504 upon a parent’s request.  The parent requested an evaluation in November, but the district did not complete its evaluation until the following April.  The district alleged that, in that timeframe, it implemented its RTI process, and the parent acquiesced.  However, OCR faulted the district for failing to notify the parent of her procedural safeguards, including the right to appeal the district’s decision not to evaluate the student and its determination that the student did not yet require special education or related services.  Accordingly, the district agreed to convene a team to discuss what, if any, harm the student suffered as a result of the delayed evaluation as well as any compensatory services that may be necessary.

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School district may have violated Section 504 where the district did not evaluate the student or revise her 504 Plan, despite the fact that she continued to receive poor grades.

Friday, July 29th, 2011

T.H. v. Montgomery County Board of Education, 56 IDELR 268 (M.D. Ala. 2011):  The parent of a student with ADHD and health conditions (including an inability to adequately control her bladder and a mitral valve prolapse) alleged that the district failed to re-evaluate her daughter to determine if the student’s 504 Plan should be revised, including a period of eight years in which the district conducted no new tests or assessments of the student.  Similarly, despite the student’s repeatedly poor academic performance, her 504 Plans were “barely altered” while she attended high school.  However, the school district presented evidence that the student was frequently absent or tardy from school, had a poor attitude and work ethic, and did not take advantage of tutoring opportunities offered by the school district.

Following its previous decision upholding a hearing officer’s determination of ineligibility under the IDEA, a U.S. District Court denied motions for summary judgment made by both parties as to the district’s compliance with Section 504.  Since any decision would require weighing the evidence, the Court denied both motions and set the matter down for trial.

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District violated 504 and Title II of ADA upon failing to refer student to District’s 504 Team

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Palo Verde (CA) Unified School District, 56 IDELR 177 (OCR 2010): The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) determined that the school district violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it failed to refer a student with Bipolar Disorder, Organic Affective Disorder, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to the school district’s Section 504 team after finding that the student was ineligible for services through an Individual Education Program (IEP) under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  The school district erroneously limited its analysis to whether or not the student suffered from a physical or mental impairment that limited the major life activity of learning.  OCR stated that the school district should have also considered the affects of the student’s impairments on other major life activities.

OCR also stated that the school district incorrectly considered the extent to which medication mitigated the student’s impairment.  OCR pointed out that the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act (ADAA) of 2008 prohibits the consideration of “ameliorative effects of mitigating measures,” such as medication, in determining whether or not an individual is considered to be disabled under Section 504 or Title II of the ADA.

Moreover, OCR determined that when the school district’s IEP team refused to refer the student to the District’s 504 Team the school district, in effect, determined that the student was ineligible for services under Section 504.  Therefore, the school district violated Section 504 when it failed to provide the student’s parents with notice of their procedural rights under Section 504.

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School district ran afoul with its obligation under Section 504 and the ADA when it failed to evaluate student diagnosed with diabetes

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Isle of Wight County (VA) Public Schools, 56 IDELR 111 (OCR. 2010): The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) determined that the school district violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it failed to evaluate a student with Type 1 diabetes for potential eligibility.  The school district had erroneously claimed it had no obligation to evaluate student due to the fact that the student’s family and/or medical caregivers never requested an evaluation.  As OCR pointed out, it is the responsibility of a school district (not a parent) to identify and evaluate any student who is believed to be a student with a disability.  Moreover, OCR stated that the school district should have conducted a manifestation meeting in order to determine whether or not a behavior resulting in a suspension and recommendation for expulsion (a threat of violence upon a teacher) was a manifestation of the student’s disability.  Although the student did not have a 504 Plan at the time of the behavior, the school district had reason to believe that he was disabled.  There was evidence that the student’s blood sugar was high at the time of the incident, and the school district never considered whether this contributed to the student’s behavior.

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School district violated Section 504 by limiting 504 Accommodation Plans to students with learning disabilities

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Union City (MI) Community Schools, 54 IDELR 131 (OCR 2009):  The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) determined that a Michigan school district violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it failed to conduct a timely evaluation and denied an orthopedically impaired student a written 504 Plan because the student’s physical disability did not affect her ability to learn.  The school district erroneously cited the student’s good academic performance as a reason why she did not need a 504 Plan.  OCR also stated that the school district was under the mistaken impression that walking was not a major life activity.  OCR concluded that the student required a 504 Plan with respect to the student’s participation in physical education classes, recess, school field trips, and transportation to and from school.

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