What is a 504 plan? A 504 plan is an accommodation plan designed to support students who's ability to learn is substantially limited by a medically diagnosed physical or mental disability.
It is important to understand that having a diagnosed physical/mental disability is required for eligibility consideration, however it does not guarantee your student will qualify. The diagnosed disability must be significantly impacting their ability to progress in their education.
Please understand 504s are for students with high needs. The process of identifying and confirming students for 504 plans is intensive and involves collecting feedback from medical providers, teachers, parents/students, behavioral records, attendance, grades, etc.
The 504 process
1. Referral of the student to the school guidance team (GT):
- Notify your student’s school counselor of your request for 504 consideration
- Within 25 school days from the date of referral the GT will meet to consider the request
2. GT decides Whether to Refer the Student for a 504 Evaluation:
- If the GT decides not to evaluate the student, the parent will receive notice of the team’s decision, and the process is finished
- If the GT decides to evaluate the student the process continues below
3. Student is evaluated for possible 504 eligibility:
- The evaluation team must obtain parent/guardian consent to proceed with evaluation
- The GT determines the scope of each student’s Section 504
- Evaluation will be completed within 35 school days
4. Evaluation Team Determines the Student’s Eligibility under Section 504:
- The evaluation team reviews evaluation data and determines eligibility under Section 504.
- If the student is eligible under Section 504, the school counselor assumes the role of the Section 504 case manager.
- Regardless of the evaluation decision the parent/guardian receives a copy of Section 504-Procedural Safeguards.
5. Section 504 Team Develops a Section 504 Accommodation Plan for the Student:
- Section 504 Team (including parent/guardian and student if appropriate) develops a Section 504 Accommodation Plan.
- Parent/guardian consent is required before implementation of 504 plan
- School counselor monitors the Plan implementation and student
- Parent/guardian is provided a copy of the Section 504 Accommodation Plan.
6. Section 504 Team Annually Reviews the Student’s Section 504 Accommodation Plan:
- Section 504 team reviews the student’s Section 504 Accommodation Plan at least once per year.
- If the team decides to revise the Plan, the parent/guardian must receive a revised copy of the Plan and Section 504- Procedural Safeguards.