The Section 504 Procedural Safeguards: A Guide for Parents of Students with Disabilities (GARANTIAS PROCESALES: Guía para Padres de Estudiantes con Discapacidades, Garanties de Procédure :Un Guide pour les Parents des Élèves Handicapés) explains the Section 504 referral, evaluation and plan development process. It includes a list of federally protected parent rights, tips for parents and steps for resolving concerns. Parents will receive a copy of the Procedural Safeguards every time there is a Section 504 meeting.
Parents have a right to:
- Have your child receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).
- Have your child take part in, and receive benefits from, public education without discrimination because of his/her disability.
- Have your child be given an equal opportunity to participate in school programs and extracurricular activities sponsored by the school district.
- Have the school district advise you of your rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
- Receive notice with respect to identification, evaluation, or placement of your child and be included in the decisions or actions relative to the 504 process.
- Have the Section 504 Plan reviewed at least annually, if one is developed, and have the student re-evaluated every three years or before any significant change is made in your child’s placement.
- Receive all information in your native language or another primary mode of communication.
- Examine your child’s educational records and obtain copies at a reasonable cost, unless the fee would effectively deny you access to the records.
- Request amendment of your child’s educational records if there is reason to believe that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of your child. If the school district refuses this request for amendment, it shall notify you within a reasonable time, and advise you of the right to a hearing.
- File a local grievance with the Section 504 Coordinator or request a review by the Section 504 Central Office
- Review Panel to examine your complaint and render a decision on the matters raised in your concern.
- Request mediation or an impartial due process hearing related to decisions or actions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, educational program or placement.
A parent may file a written grievance with the Section 504 Coordinator to resolve any complaint regarding the evaluation, identification or implementation of Section 504 services.
Submit a Grievance to the 504 Coordinator
If a complaint cannot be resolved to the parent's satisfaction by the Section 504 Coordinator, the parent can request an appeal through the Section 504 Central Office Review Panel. The Section 504 Central Office Review Panel is comprised of representatives from various PGCPS offices who have extensive experience working with students who have physical and/ or mental disabilities.
Request and Appeal Through the Section 504 Central Office Review Panel
Parents can also request an impartial hearing. Requests for an impartial hearing shall be submitted in writing to the Section 504 Coordinator.
The Office for Civil Rights is the governing agency for Section 504. Parents who cannot find resolution at the district level can contact the Office for Civil Rights.
PGCPS Contact Information
Keisha Butler, 504 Program Coordinator
Office for Civil Rights Contact Information
US Department of Education
The Wanamaker Building
100 Penn Square East, Suite 515
Philadelphia, PA 19107