Section 504

What Is Section 504?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly called "Section 504," is a federal law that protects students from discrimination based on disability. Section 504 assures that students with disabilities have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to students without disabilities. To be eligible, a student must have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.

Your Rights Under Section 504 Royal School District

You have the right to be informed by the school district of your rights under Section 504. This is a notice of you and your child's rights under Section 504 and the rights you have if you disagree with the school district's decision. 

Your Child's Education

Your child has the right to:

  • Receive a free and appropriate public education.
  • Participate in and benefit from the district's educational programs without discrimination.
  • Be provided an equal opportunity to participate in the district's nonacademic and extracurricular activities.
  • Be educated with students who do not have disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate.
  • Be educated in facilities and receive services that are comparable to those provided to students without disabilities.
  • Receive accommodations and/or related aids and services to allow your child an equal opportunity to participate in school activities.
  • Receive educational and related aids and services without cost, except for those fees imposed on the parents of children without disabilities.
  • Receive special education services if needed.

Your Child's Educational Records

You have the right to:

  • Review your child's educational records and to receive copies at a reasonable cost. You will not be charged if the cost would keep you from reviewing the records.
  • Ask the district to change your child's education records if you believe that they are wrong, misleading, or are otherwise in violation of your child's privacy rights. If the district refuses this request, you have the right to challenge the refusal by requesting an impartial hearing.
  • A response to your reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of your child's education records.

Your child has the right to an evaluation before the school determines if he or she is eligible under Section 504. You have the right to:

  • Receive notice before the district takes any action regarding the identification, evaluation, and placement of your child.
  • Have evaluation and placement decisions made by a group of persons, often called a "504 team", including persons who know your child, the meaning of the evaluation information, and the placement options available.
  • Have evaluation decisions based on a variety of sources, such as aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical conditions, medical records, and parental observations.
  • Refuse consent for the initial evaluation and initial placement of your child.

If your child is eligible under Section 504, your child has a right to periodic re-evaluations, including re-evaluations before any significant change is made in your child's placement.

If you disagree with the district's decision

If you disagree with the district's decisions regarding your child's identification, evaluation, educational program, or placement under Section 504, you may request mediation or an impartial due process hearing. You and your child have the right to take part in the hearing and have an attorney represent you. Hearing requests and other concerns can be made to your district's Section 504 Coordinator:

Sandra Jones Arlene Delgado/ Leo Paxtian
Red Rock Elementary Royal High School/ Royal Middle School
Royal Intermediate School 509-346-2256 ext. 3920 and 3921
509-346-2206 ext. 1242

You have the right to file a complaint of discrimination with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), or to file a complaint in federal court. Generally, an OCR complaint may be filed within 180 calendar days of the act that you believe was discriminatory. The regional office is located at 915 Second Ave, Room 3310, Seattle, WA 98174-1099. Phone: 206-607-1600 TDD: 206-607-1647 Website: www.ed.gov/OCR 


Section 504 Process Flow Chart

  1. Refer the Student:
    • Complete 504 Team Referral form.
  2. Decide whether to evaluate the student
    • Does the 504 Team know or suspect that, because of disability, the student needs special education or related aids or services to participate in or benefit from school? (If yes, refer for Special Services)
    • Provide parent with notice of rights.
    • Obtain consent for initial evaluation
    • Provide parent or guardian Prior Written Notice of Action.
  3. Evaluate the Student:
    • Evaluate the specific areas of the student's educational needs.
  4. Determine the student's eligibility:
    • Review evaluation results and determine eligibility.
    • Complete the Eligibility Determination Form
    • Provide parent or guardian Prior Written Notice of Action and Notice of Rights form.
  5. Develop a Section 504 plan for the Student:
    • Develop a Section 504 Plan. May combine with eligibility meeting.
    • Assign a case manager to monitor implementation and student progress.
    • Provide parent or guardian Prior Written Notice of Action and Notice of  
    • Rights form and copy of Section 504 Plan.
    • Obtain consent for initial placement.
    • Distribute 504 Plan to necessary staff.
  6. Annually Review the Student's Section 504 Plan:
    • Review and revise the student's Section 504 Plan.
    • Provide parent or guardian Prior Written Notice of Action and Notice of Rights form.
  7. Periodically Re-Evaluate the Student:
    • At least every three years. 
    • Before any significant change in placement.
    • Provide parent or guardian Prior Written Notice of Action and Notice of Rights.


Section 504 Process

  1. Refer Student to the 504 Team
    Any person (e.g. a parent, guardian, school staff, or persons outside the school) can refer a student for evaluation under Section 504. A concerned person should refer a student for evaluation if the person knows or suspects that, due to a physical or mental impairment, the student needs special education or related aids or services to participate in or benefit from the district's education program. Referral can be made via a 504 Referral form.

  2. Decide Whether to Evaluate the Student under Section 504
    The SAT reviews the referral, the student's file, and consults with teachers, parent or guardian, the student (if appropriate), and others who have relevant information. The 504 Team decides whether to evaluate the student under Section 504.

    If the 504 Team knows or suspects that the student is eligible as a disabled student under the IDEA, is an English language learner, or has other needs, the

    504 Team refers the student for evaluation under those processes.
    If the 504 Team knows or suspects that the student is eligible as a disabled student under Section 504, the 504 Team provides the parents Prior Written Notice of Action and Notice of Rights and refers the student for evaluation. The parent or guardian must provide consent prior to an initial evaluation.

    If the referral information indicates that the student is not eligible as a disabled student under Section 504, the 504 Team provides the parents Prior Written

    Notice of Action and Notice of Rights.
  3. Evaluate the Student under Section 504
    After the parent or guardian has been notified of the decision to evaluate (and has consented if the evaluation is an initial evaluation), qualified persons evaluate the specific areas of the student's educational needs. The parent or guardian may also choose to have the student independently evaluated, at their own expense.

  4. Determine the Student's Eligibility under Section 504
    After the student has been evaluated, the student's Section 504 Team reviews the evaluation data and decides if the student is eligible as a disabled student under Section 504. At that time, the 504 Team fills out the Section 504 Eligibility Determination Form. The 504 Team must include persons knowledgeable about the student, the student's evaluation data, and placement options. In making its eligibility decision, the 504 Team must consider information from a variety of sources, including any relevant information submitted by the parent or guardian.

    The student is eligible as a disabled student under Section 504 if the student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. For a school aged student, the ability to participate in or benefit from a district's education program is a major life activity If the 504 Team determines that the student is eligible as a disabled student under Section 504, the 504 Team gives the parent or guardian Prior Written Notice of Action and Notice of Rights and the Team meets to develop a Section 504 Plan for the student.

    If the 504 Team determines that the student is not eligible as a disabled student under Section 504, the 504 Team gives the parent or guardian Prior Written Notice of Action and Notice of Rights.

  5. Develop a Section 504 Plan for the Student
    After a student is determined eligible under Section 504, the student's 504 Team meets to develop a Section 504 Plan for the student. The Section 504 Plan can be developed at the same time that eligibility is established. The Section 504 Plan describes what educational or related aids or services the student needs to receive a free appropriate public education. The 504 Team provides the parent Prior Written Notice of Action and Notice of Rights and a copy of the student's Section 504 Plan.

    The parent or guardian must provide consent prior to an initial placement. The Section 504 Plan be distributed to all personnel responsible for carrying out the accommodations.

  6. Annually Review the Student's Section 504 Plan
    A student's 504 Team meets annually to review the student's Section 504 Plan to ensure that it is meeting the student's needs. If the Section 504 Team decides that the student's Section 504 Plan needs to be revised, the Section 504 Team provides the parent or guardian Prior Written Notice of Action and Notice of Rights and a copy of the student's revised Section 504 Plan.

  7. Periodically Re-evaluate the Student
    A student's Section 504 Team periodically re-evaluates the student to determine continued eligibility and if the student's educational needs have changed. Before a re-evaluation, the Section 504 Team provides the parent or guardian Prior Written Notice of Action and Notice of Rights. Re-evaluations must occur at least every three years and before any significant change in a student's placement. Significant changes in placement include initiating or discontinuing a service, significantly increasing or decreasing the amount of a service, and certain disciplinary removals from school (e.g. long-term suspensions and expulsions). 


Section 504 Impartial Hearing Procedure

The parent requests an impartial hearing by filing a written request with District Section 504 Coordinator. The District's Section 504 Coordinators are Sandy Jones for the Intermediate and Elementary School, and Leo Paxtian and Arlene Delgado for the High school and Middle School. Use Form F-8

Step 1. Write Your Complaint

In most cases, complaints must be filed within one year from the date of the incident or conduct that is the subject of the complaint. A complaint must be in writing. Be sure to describe the conduct or incident, explain why you believe discrimination, discriminatory harassment, or sexual harassment has taken place, and describe what actions you believe the district should take to resolve the problem. Send your written complaint—by mail, fax, email, or hand delivery—to the district superintendent or civil rights compliance coordinator.

Step 2: School District Investigates Your Complaint

Once the district receives your written complaint, the coordinator will give you a copy of the complaint procedure and make sure a prompt and thorough investigation takes place. The superintendent or designee will respond to you in writing within 30 calendar days—unless you agree on a different time period. If your complaint involves exceptional circumstances that demand a lengthier investigation, the district will notify you in writing to explain why staff need a time extension and the new date for their written response.

Step 3: School District Responds to Your Complaint

In its written response, the district will include a summary of the results of the investigation, a determination of whether or not the district failed to comply with civil rights laws, notification that you can appeal this determination, and any measures necessary to bring the district into compliance with civil rights laws. Corrective measures will be put into effect within 30 calendar days after this written response—unless you agree to a different time period.


Appeal to the School District

If you disagree with the school district's decision, you may appeal to the school district's board of directors. You must file a notice of appeal in writing to the secretary of the school board within 10 calendar days after you received the school district's response to your complaint. The school board will schedule a hearing within 20 calendar days after they received your appeal, unless you agree on a different timeline. The school board will send you a written decision within 30 calendar days after the district received your notice of appeal. The school board's decision will include information about how to file a complaint with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

Reference: KSD Nondiscrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy 3210 and 3206 WAC 392-190-070


Working with Parent Concerns and Complaints under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The best solutions to parent concerns often occur at the school level. Therefore, the District encourages parents to attempt to resolve concerns by working with the building principal, building Section 504 coordinator, and other appropriate staff to reach a joint resolution of the issue. However, regardless of whether a parent attempts to resolve the issue at the building level, a parent may file a formal complaint under Section 504 through the following process.

Parent completes and submits a Section 504 Complaint Form (F-8) to the District Section 504 coordinator. The Section 504 Complaint Form is available at each school's office or online at royalsd.org.

The complaint should be as detailed as possible and describe why the parent believes that their concerns raise an issue under Section 504. In most cases, complaints must be filed within one year from the date of the incident or conduct that is the subject of the complaint. A complaint must be in writing. Describe what actions you believe the district should take to resolve the problem. Send your written complaint—by mail, fax, email, or hand delivery—to the district superintendent or District Section 504 coordinator.

Once the district receives your written complaint, the coordinator will give you a copy of the complaint procedure and make sure a prompt and thorough investigation takes place. The superintendent or designee will respond to you in writing within 30 calendar days—unless you agree on a different time period. If your complaint involves exceptional circumstances that demand a lengthier investigation, the district will notify you in writing to explain why staff need a time extension and the new date for their written response. If the District Section 504 coordinator is the subject of the complaint, the Superintendent or a Designee will appoint an impartial investigator. The parent and the District staff will have an opportunity to provide evidence, including documents and witnesses.

The District Section 504 coordinator will issue a written decision about the complaint within 30 calendar days of receipt of the complaint, and provide a copy of the decision to the parent. The written decision will contain suggested resolutions to the parents' concerns. Corrective measures will be put into effect within 30 calendar days after this written response—unless you agree to a different time period.

If you disagree with the school district's decision, you may appeal to the school district's board of directors. You must file a notice of appeal in writing to the secretary of the school board within 10 calendar days after you received the school district's response to your complaint. The school board will schedule a hearing within 20 calendar days after they received your appeal, unless you agree on a different timeline. The school board will send you a written decision within 30 calendar days after the district received your notice of appeal. The school board's decision will include information about how to file a complaint with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

If the parent is still dissatisfied after the Superintendent's, or Designee's review, or at any time during the District's complaint resolution process, the parent may file a complaint by writing to:
U.S.Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights 915 Second Avenue, Room 3310, Seattle, WA 98174-1099
or 206-607-1600 or www.ed.gov/ocr