Hamden Public Schools District Policies

5145.4 - Nondiscrimination

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability 

It is the policy of the Hamden Board of Education to provide a free and appropriate public education to each student with disabilities within its jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. 

It is the intent of the district to ensure that students who have disabilities within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilita􀁮on Act of 1973 are identified, evaluated and provided with appropriate educational services. Students may have disabilities under this policy even though they do not require services pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

Due process rights of students with disabilities and their parents under Section 504 will be enforced. 

The Director of Student Services is the Coordinator of Section 504 activities. 

Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes 

19-581 through 585 AIDS testing and medical information.

10-209 Records not to be public.

46a-60 Discriminatory employment practices prohibited. 

Section 504 and the Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 20 U.S.C. 706(7)(b).

American Disability Act of 1989. 

Chalk v. The United States District Court of Central California. 

 

Policy adopted:  June 27, 2005

Hamden Public Schools     Hamden, Connecticut


5145.4 Regulation

1.    Student Accommodation Plan Procedures

A.    At each school, the 504 Student Accommodation Team (SAT) will determine those students who are eligible for a 504 Accommodation Plan. There are three categories of students who might become eligible.

 

  1. Students who have a disability in accordance with the following definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against students and adults who have a disability. Specifically, the Act states:

    No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States shall, solely by reason of her or his handicap, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, be excluded from the participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Postal Service." (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794)

    The act defines a person with a disability as anyone who:

    a.    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);
    b.    has a record of such an impairment; or
    c.    is regarded as having such an impairment.
     
  2. Students who do not qualify for special education after an initial evaluation.

    There are times when a referred student is not found eligible under any of the IDEA categories after the completion of a multi­disciplinary assessment by the PPT. In such cases the student should be referred to the SAT to see if the student is eligible for 504 accommodations. 
     
  3. Students who, upon a re-evaluation, no longer qualify for special education.

    When a previously-identified IDEA student, upon completion of a re-evaluation, no longer qualifies for special education, the student should be referred to the SAT to see if the student is eligible for 504 accommodations. 

B.   Members of the Building Level 504 Student Accommodation Team (SAT)

The 504 Student Accommodation Team (SAT) is a regular education requirement; it is separate from the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) required within special education. Some staff members, however, may sit on both teams.

Elementary: Principal, school nurse, regular education teacher(s), school psychologist, and other support staff as appropriate. 

Secondary: Principal or Assistant Principal, school nurse, guidance counselor, regular education teacher(s), school psychologist, and other support staff as appropriate. 

C.    504 Student Accommodation Team (SAT) Procedures

  1. Certain health needs require a direct referral to the PPT, such as a student with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI is one of the IDEA categories). When a student has a health need that does not warrant a direct referral to the PPT, the school nurse should determine if an Individual Health Care Plan is sufficient ( e.g., a student with asthma, peanut allergies), or if a referral should be made to the 504 Student Accommodation Team in order to develop an appropriate accommodation plan. The school nurse will ensure that all necessary medical documentation is available. She/he, in conjunction with the building Principal, will schedule a meeting of the SAT, and will notify the parent in writing of the meeting using the attached letter. (See Attachment A)
  2. Minutes of the meeting and attendance will be recorded. (See Attachments B and C)
  3. The SAT will consider whether or not the disability substantially limits a major life activity. Factors to consider include: the nature and severity of the impairment, the duration or expected duration of the impairment, and the permanent or long term negative impact resulting from the impairment. (See Attachment D)
  4. If the student is eligible, the SAT will discuss the student's needs and determine appropriate accommodations. The attached 504 Student Accommodation Plan form will be used to document the meeting, the participants, and the recommended accommodations. (See Attachment E and F)
  5. Upon conclusion of the 504 meeting, the parent will be given a copy of the 504 Student Accommodation Plan, as well as a copy of the Parent/Student Rights packet. (See Attachment G)
  6. Immediately following the 504 meeting, copies of the 504 Student Accommodation plan should also be: (1) given to the student's teacher(s) and support staff so that they will be aware of the necessary accommodations; (2) placed in the student's cumulative file; (3) placed in the student's health file; and (4) kept in the school 504 file (to be kept by the school nurse).
  7. A copy of each 504 Student Accommodation Plan should also be sent to the Coordinator of School Health Services at Hamden High School and to the District 504 Student Compliance Coordinator at Central Office.
  8. The school nurse will maintain a file of all the school 504 Student Accommodation Plans, and will schedule review meetings on at least an annual basis (or before, if additional accommodations become necessary). When a new 504 Student Accommodation Plan is developed for a student at the annual meeting ( or sooner), the new plan should be distributed as indicated in #5, 6, and 7 above. The new plan should be stapled to the earlier plan(s), and kept as a packet in the school 504 file which is maintained by the school nurse in her office.
  9. At the end of the year, the nurse should review the active 504.
  10. Student Accommodation Plans, and if a student will be going to another school (i.e., elementary to HMS, HMS to HHS, moving, etc.), the 504 Student Accommodation Plan should be sent to the nurse in the receiving school.

    Each September, the nurse should prepare copies of all the active 504 Student Accommodation Plans, and each student's plan should be reviewed with the appropriate teachers and support staff for each student. 
  11. If the building SAT has any questions regarding a particular student and/or accommodations, the Director of School Health Services and the District 504 Student Compliance Coordinator should be consulted.

2.    Grievance Procedures for Persons with Disabilities

A.    The Board of Education of the Hamden Public Schools has implemented this grievance procedure to provide for the fair and timely resolution of any complaints by persons who have disabilities and who grieve and protest any alleged violation of the Board's obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  1. Informal Resolution

    Any student, parent/guardian, staff member, or applicant with disabilities who believes that the Board of Education or any of its members, agents, or employees have failed to meet their obligations to operate in a non-discriminatory manner, to provide effective communications, to ensure that programs and activities are readily accessible and usable, or to afford equal employment opportunity is encouraged to make his/her complaints known. It is recommended that complaints be brought to the attention of the supervisory personnel in the program or department directly involved. 
     
  2. Formal Resolution - Stage One

    a.    If a satisfactory resolution is not achieved, or if the aggrieved student, parent/guardian, staff member, or applicant chooses not to seek such an informal resolution, a formal complaint may be submitted in writing within 30 calendar days of the alleged occurrence to the,

    District ADA 504 Coordinator, Pupil Services
    Hamden Public Schools 
    60 Putnam A venue 
    Hamden, Connecticut 06517 
    203-407-2000
    Fax: 203-407-2001

    b.    A written complaint should include:
  • Name(s) and address(es) of the person(s) submitting the complaint;
  • Short description of the alleged discriminatory action or condition;
  • Date, time, and place of the occurrence;
  • Names of any parties involved directly or as witnesses;
  • Nature of the complainant's disability.

c.    Upon receipt of the written complaint, the ADA/504 Coordinator may contact the individual(s) against whom the complaint was lodged for information-gathering purposes.

d.    Within 14 calendar days of receipt of the written complaint, the ADA/504 Coordinator will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. The individuals(s) cited in the complaint may be included in the meeting at the discretion of the ADA/504 Coordinator. The ADA/504 Coordinator shall serve as mediator and shall seek an informal agreement between the parties involved. Every attempt shall be made to seek a solution and resolve the alleged discrimination complaint at this level.

e.    If the ADA/504 Compliance Coordinator proposes a resolution that is accepted by the complainant, a letter summarizing the complaint and the terms of the agreement will be prepared by the ADA/504 Coordinator and signed by the complainant, the ADA/504 Coordinator, and any administrator party to the execution of the agreement Copies will be provided to all.

f.    The ADA/504 Coordinator will maintain copies of all Formal Resolutions to Stage One grievances that are resolved satisfactorily, and will also provide copies to the Superintendent of Schools. Copies of grievances that are not resolved satisfactorily will also be passed along to the Superintendent, in case of an appeal.

3.    Formal Resolution - Stage Two

  1. If the complainant is not satisfied with the proposed resolution, an appeal to the Superintendent of Schools may be initiated within 14 calendar days of the meeting with the ADA/504 Coordinator. The complainant shall present to the Superintendent a simple statement that the complainant wishes to appeal an unsatisfactory ruling by the ADN504 Coordinator as well as a copy of the original complaint and a copy of the reply by the ADA/504 Coordinator.
  2. The Superintendent may resolve the complaint alone or with the appropriate administrator/principal/program director.
  3. The ADA/504 Coordinator shall inform all parties of the date, time, and place of the grievance hearing and of their right to present witnesses or representatives, if desired. The ADA/504 Coordinator shall provide assistance to the complainant in understanding the grievance procedure process.
  4. The Superintendent shall hear and fully review the case within 15 school days of the written appeal. A written record of the hearing shall be kept. A written decision shall be sent to the complainant within 5 school days of the hearing.
  5. If the complainant is not satisfied with the Superintendent's recommended resolution, she/he may submit a written appeal to the Board of Education within 15 school days of receipt of the Superintendent's decision.
  6. With at least 5 days notice given prior to the hearing, the Board of Education shall inform all parties involved of the date, time, and place of the hearing and the right to present witness(es) and to have legal counsel or other representation, if desired. The Board of Education shall hear all aspects of the appeal and shall reach a decision within 20 days of receipt of the written appeal. The decision shall be presented in writing to the complainant at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
  7. The time limits as noted above may be extended by mutual agreement in writing.

In the event a complaint is not resolved through this grievance procedure, a complainant shall be advised, in writing, that she/he may have further rights and/or remedies under the Americans with 
Disabilities Act. 


1. How to File Complaints:

a. Title I: It is the policy of the Board of Education and the Hamden Public Schools that there shall be no discrimination by any Board of Education member, agent, or employee against any individual on the basis of any disability in its hiring and employment practices. 

Complaints about violations of Title I (employment) should be filed with: 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 
Program Development and Technical Assistance Division 
Office of Program Operations 
1801 "L" Street, N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20507 
l-800-669-4000 (voice)
TDD: use relay service

b. Title II: It is the policy of the Board of Education and the Hamden Public Schools, that there shall be no discrimination by any Board of Education member, agent, or employee against any individual on the basis of any disability with respect to admission to, access to, or operation of, its programs, services, or activities. 

Complaints about violations of Title II (access to programs and services) should be filed with: 

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Coordination and Review Section
Post Office Box 66118
Washington, D.C. 20035-6118
1-800-514-0301 (voice)
1-800-514-0383 (TDD)

2.    Any person may also file a complaint of illegal discrimination with the Office of Civil Rights, John W. McCormick Post Office and Court House Building, 2nd Floor, Post Office Square, Boston, MA 02109 at the same time she/he files a grievance, during or after use of the grievance process, or without using the grievance process at all. If a complaint is filed with the Office of Civil Rights, it must be filed in writing no later than 180 days after the occurrence of the possible discrimination.

3.    A copy of the grievance procedure shall be posted in a prominent place in all Board of Education facilities and schools. (See Attachment H)

This grievance procedure is available, upon request, in large print, on audio tape, and in Braille from the District ADA/504 Coordinator. 

ADA/504 District Coordinator 
Director: Pupil Services
Hamden Public Schools 
60 Putnam Avenue 
Hamden, Connecticut 06517
203-407-2000
Fax: 203-407-2001

 

Regulation approved:  June 27, 2005

Hamden Public Schools     Hamden, Connecticut