Section 504 Support

Region 17 Education Service Center

Although Region 17 Education Service Center is closed, we are still committed to providing you the needed services remotely from home. Since we know learning never stops, we are committed to working with you through a digital format and posting the latest information here. We thank you for your support as we continue to work together to stay safe and healthy. If you have any questions regarding Section 504, or how we can best support you, please email or call.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do we have to send out a Prior Written Notice to our Section 504 Students? No. Under Section 504, there is not a mandate to provide prior written notice. You will need to notify parents of every Section 504 student and communicate how services will be working during this time. Their Section 504 plan will be considered to the greatest extent possible when serving the students at home. Communicate with the parents the services in the plan that will be provided and the services that will not be provided and why. Document all conversations and all of the previously mentioned information.

2. Do I have to provide services to my Section 504 students while they are working from home? Yes--OSEP Guidance provided March 12, 2020, stated that "if schools provide any educational services to the general student population during a closure, students with disabilities must have equal access to such services."

3. What quality of services must be provided during closure? Schools must ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, each student with a disability can be provided special education and related services identified in the student's IEP developed under IDEA, or a plan developed under Section 504.

4. How do we provide the accommodations for our Section 504 students? Each student's plan should be reviewed on an individual basis and justifiable rationale for judging whether an accommodation can or cannot be provided whether through virtual learning or packets sent home. You will send the accommodations with the packets for your 504 students, or if you are working virtually, then apply those accommodations during your virtual lessons. If the accommodation is not applicable, then don't use it and document why it was not used. For example, preferential seating at home is probably not an applicable accommodation.

5. What if an evaluation was not completed, do the timelines still apply? Be sure to communicate with the parents in writing what you are continuing to work on and why you can't continue the assessment. Document the date that you had to stop the evaluation, and what was tried to meet the timeline. The completion may be delayed due to the health and safety of the students, parents, and staff. As soon as it is safe and schools resume, you will complete the evaluation as soon as possible.

6. What if a student misses some or all of services during this time? Carefully document all missed services and/or accommodations in the student's file and explain why. Document the student's performance and progress in distance learning activities. If student is refusing to participate, document that information and any efforts made to rectify the situation.

7. What else should we be providing parents besides accommodation and services information? Parents should be given some way of communicating back to the school/504 person whether they have concerns or want to give input or get guidance. They should be given the contact information including a phone number, email, and even possible "office" times.

Section 504 Resources