Section 504, Titles VII and IX Complaint Procedure  (amended 9/1/05, 10/6/11)

In the event any student or parent believes that he/she has been discriminated against because of handicap or in the event he/she believes that discrimination against a handicapped person(s) exists in the administrative policy and/or practice of any educational program supervised or operated by the district, he/she shall immediately notify Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Section 504 Compliance Officer, 850 Ladd Road, Bldg. D, Walled Lake, Michigan 48390, 248-956-2023, for the purpose of scheduling a meeting to discuss the complaint.

In the event any employee or applicant for employment believes that he/she has been discriminated against because of handicap or in the event he/she believes that discrimination against a handicapped person(s) exists in the administrative policy and/or practice of any employment relationship supervised or operated by the district, he/she shall immediately notify Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, District Compliance Officer, 850 Ladd Road, Bldg. D, Walled Lake Michigan 48390, 248-956-2023, for the purpose of scheduling a meeting to discuss the complaint.

Inquiries concerning equal opportunity on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin or ancestry, sex, age, height, weight, marital status, or political belief should be directed to Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Titles VII and IX Compliance Officer, 850 Ladd Road, Bldg. D, Walled Lake, Michigan 48390, 248-956-2023, for the purpose of scheduling a meeting to discuss the complaint.

The meeting shall be held within five working days unless a later date is mutually agreed upon or good cause requires a later date.

The complainant shall set forth, in writing and with sufficient detail, the necessary information (including names, dates, subject matter) in order to investigate and process the complaint. Necessary persons or witnesses may also be included at the meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to initiate the fact-finding investigation necessary to resolve the matter.

Within one week from the meeting, the compliance officer shall undertake a complete investigation, which shall include the opportunity to interview all necessary persons or witnesses and review all necessary papers and documentation. Within one month from the date of the initial meeting, unless extended by mutual agreement or good cause, the compliance officer shall provide a  written answer to the complainant.

The written answer shall set forth a summary of the complaint, his/her findings, conclusions and recommendations. Either the compliance officer or the complainant may bring the complaint/written answer to the board at its next regular meeting. The board shall review the complaint and the written answer and issue its determination.

Upon completion of, or at any point in, the grievance process, the complainant has the right to file his/her written complaint (with all written answers and determinations) with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education Washington, D.C. 20201. The complaint should first be directed to the following address:

  • Office for Civil Right, 600 Superior Avenue, Suite 750, Cleveland, OH  44114
  • Phone:  216-522-4970  and  Fax:  216-522-2573

7/1/93, Rev. 9/1/05, 5/7/09, 10/6/11

Procedures for Providing Educational Services to Students

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

To ensure that no qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives or benefits from any federal financial assistance, the following standards and procedures for providing educational services to students under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 shall be followed.

Definitions Under Section 504

  • A.  A “handicapped person” is any person who:
  1.  has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more life activity;
  2. has a record of such an impairment;
  3.  is regarded as having such an impairment.
  • B. “Physical or mental impairment” is:
  1. any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement or anatomical loss  affecting one or more of the following body systems:  neurological; musculoskeletal;  special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin and endocrine, or
  2. any mental or psychological disorder such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
  • C. “Major life activity” includes functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working and learning.
  • D. “Having a record of such an impairment” means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.
  • E. “Is regarded as having such an impairment” means:
  1. has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities, but that is treated by a recipient as constituting such a limitation;
  2. has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or
  3. has none of the impairments listed under the definition of “physical or mental impairment,” but is treated by a recipient as having such an impairment.
  • F. “Qualified handicapped person” is a handicapped person who is:
  1. of an age during which non-handicapped persons are provided public preschool,
  2.  elementary, secondary or adult education services; of an age during which it is mandatory under Michigan law to provide such services to handicapped persons; or
  3.  entitled to a free, appropriate public education from the State of Michigan under  Section 612 of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
  • G. “Handicap” means any condition or characteristic that renders a person a “handicapped person” as defined above.
  • H. “Free, appropriate public education” is the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that are designed to meet the individual educational needs of handicapped persons as adequately as the needs of non-handicapped persons are met.

Identification and Referral Procedures

A. Students who are in need or who are believed to be in need of services under Section  504 may be referred by a parent, teacher, other certified school employee, or community agency to the Building Team Staffing Committee at the elementary level, the At-Risk Kids Building Committee at the secondary level, or the director of special services for  students who are of pre-school or post-school age.

The superintendent shall supervise the establishment of the building committees to assure proper educational planning and placement for all children referred for special services.

Each school building in the district shall have an established committee whose express purpose is identification and collection of data for possible alternative educational services to children.  Representatives from the following departments shall comprise these committees:  administration, general and special education teachers, and special services support staff such as psychologists, school social workers, teacher consultants, etc.

B. The appropriate recipient will consider the referral and, based upon a review of the student’s existing records including academic, social, testing and behavioral records, determine whether an evaluation under this procedure is appropriate.

 Any student who, because of a handicap as described in “Definitions A-1,” needs or is  believed to need special education or related services will be evaluated by appropriate  school personnel.  If a request for evaluation is denied, the recipient or a representative  of the recipient will inform the parent or guardian of this decision and of procedural rights  as described in the “Procedural Safeguards” section. 

Evaluation

The evaluation shall (1) determine eligibility for services as a “handicapped person” and (2) establish the services needed by the student.

A. The evaluation procedures to be followed may, but need not be, all those evaluation procedures which are or were followed for evaluating handicapped students who are  suspected as handicapped under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  However, for students who may be handicapped under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation  Act of 1973, but are not handicapped under IDEA, the evaluation procedures must  ensure that:

  1. tests and other evaluation materials have been validated for the specific purpose for which they are used and are administered by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by their producer;
  1. tests and the evaluation materials include those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those which are designed to provide a single, general intelligence quotient; and
  1. tests are selected and administered so as best to ensure that, when a test is administered to a student with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills, the test results will accurately reflect the student’s aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factor the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the student’s impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills (except where those skills are the factors which the tests purport to measure).

B. No final determination of whether the student is a handicapped individual within the meaning of Section 504 will be made by the recipient without informing the parent or guardian of the student concerning such determination.  Procedural safeguards as defined below will be given to the parent or guardian.

C. With regard to a student who is determined to be “handicapped” under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, but who is not determined to be “handicapped” under IDEA, the recipient shall conduct a re-evaluation of the student:

  1. prior to any significant change in placement;
  2. more frequently, if conditions warrant; or
  3. if the student’s parent or guardian or teacher(s) reasonably request an evaluation.

Placement

For a student who has been identified as handicapped within the meaning of Section 504 and in need of special education or related aids or services, the recipient shall determine what special services are needed to ensure that the student receives a free, appropriate education.

A. In interpreting the evaluation data in making placement decisions, the recipient shall:

  1. draw upon information from a variety of sources including aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social or cultural background, and adaptive behavior;
  2. ensure that all the evaluation data is documented and carefully considered;
  3. ensure that the placement decision is made by a group of persons, including persons knowledgeable about the student, the meaning of the evaluation data and the placement options; and
  4. ensure that the student is placed with non-handicapped students to the maximum extent appropriate to meet the student’s needs.

B. If the recipient determines that the student is eligible for special education and related services under both the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, those services shall be delivered pursuant to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) developed pursuant to the procedures of the IDEA.

C. If the recipient determines that the student is “handicapped” under Section 504, but does not also meet the definition of “handicapped” under the IDEA, the recipient will determine whether the student requires services or modifications to his or her regular education program to allow the student’s educational needs to be met as adequately as the educational needs of non-handicapped students are met.  The services or modifications recommended should be listed in writing in a Section 504 Educational Program Plan, but not in an IEP.

D. The recipient may also determine that no special education or related services are appropriate.  If so, the record of the recipient’s proceedings will reflect the identification of the student as handicapped under Section 504 and state the basis for the decision that no special services are presently needed.  For example, this may occur when parents wish to consult with their doctor for possible management of ADD using medication rather than special education support.  Certain conditions such as AIDS or asthma may have periods of remission during which times services are not necessary.  In all such cases, a review schedule should be included in the Section 504 Educational Program Plan. 

Procedural Safeguards

With respect to actions regarding the identification, evaluation or educational placement of a student who, because of handicap, needs or is believed to need special instruction or related services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the following procedural safeguards shall be afforded:

  • A. Notice (written or oral) will be provided the parent or guardian of any decision regarding the identification, evaluation or educational placement of the student.
  • B. The parent or guardian of the student will have an opportunity to examine relevant educational records.
  • C. If the parent or guardian has a complaint or concern regarding the identification, evaluation or educational placement of the student, he or she may request an impartial hearing with the district’s Section 504 coordinator with the opportunity for participation by the student’s parent or guardian and representation by counsel.
  • D. The decision of the Section 504 coordinator will be provided to the parent or guardian in writing and will include notice of the right to file an appeal of the decision to the Michigan           Department of Education.
  • E. Request for a Section 504 hearing with a Michigan Department of Education Hearing Officer must be made in writing to the district’s Section 504 coordinator within 10 calendar days after receipt of the notice of the right to file.  In each case for which such a hearing has been requested, the district will designate a hearing officer from the Michigan Department of Education Hearing Officer listing who is willing to conduct Section 504 hearings.
  • F. The Michigan Department of Education Section 504 Hearing Officer shall render a a decision in writing to the district and the parent or guardian.

         7/1/93, 9/1/05, 5/7/09, 10/6/11