Section 504 is an Act that prohibits discrimination against persons with a handicap in any program receiving federal financial assistance. The Act defines a person with a handicap as anyone who:
Has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities (major life activities include activities such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working);
Has a record of such an impairment; or
Is regarded as having such an impairment
In order to fulfill their obligations under Section 504, the schools recognize a responsibility to avoid discrimination in policies and practices regarding their personnel and students. No discrimination against any person with a disability will knowingly be permitted in any of the programs and practices in the school system.
The Lenox Public Schools recognizes a responsibility to identify, evaluate, and if the child is determined to be eligible under Section 504, to afford access to appropriate educational services which allow the child to participate in the general education program.
If the parent or guardian disagrees with the determination made by the professional staff of the school district, he/she has the right to file an internal grievance with the Building 504 Coordinator, the Principal, or the Director of Student Services who is the District 504 Coordinator. You may request the grievance procedures from the Student Services Office located at Morris School. In addition, if the parent or guardian disagrees with the identification, evaluation or placement decision, he or she may request an impartial hearing before a hearing officer at the Bureau of Special Education Appeals, whether or not the party has pursued or is pursuing an internal grievance.
Parents may examine the records relevant to the District's identification, evaluation, and placement actions. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) also specifies rights related to educational records. This act gives the parent or guardian the right to:
Inspect and review his/her child's educational records;
Make copies of these records;
Receive a list of all individuals having access to those records;
Ask for an explanation of any item in the records;
Ask for an amendment to any report on the grounds that it is inaccurate, misleading, violates the child's rights; and
A hearing, before the Superintendent, on the issue if the school refuses to make the amendment.
If there are any questions, please feel free to contact the Director of Student Services at 413-637-5571.
The district's 504 Manual can be viewed here: Lenox Section 504 Guide