Referring a Child for a 504 Plan or Student Support Team Screening
What is a 504 Plan?
A 504 Plan is designed to provide necessary accommodations to students as required by federal regulations under Section 504.
What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was Congress's directive to schools receiving any federal funding to eliminate discrimination from all aspects of school operation. We are required to provide eligible students with disabilities with equal access (both physical and academic) to services, programs, and activities offered by our schools. Section 504 is a civil rights statute and not a special education statute.
What criteria are used to determine 504 eligibility?
For a student to qualify for Section 504 protection, the student must meet three criteria. The three criteria are (1) A mental or physical impairment (or has a record of an impairment or is regarded as having an impairment), (2) which substantially limits, (3) one or more major life activities.
How is a Section 504 student referral made?
A parent, guardian, teacher, Child Study Committee, counselor, related service providers, other school staff and administration, and/or community agencies can initiate a Section 504 referral. Referrals should be made to the Section 504 Coordinator.
What is a Student Support Team Screening?
A Student Support Team Screening is the formation of a committee to determine how to best serve and assist a student who is experiencing some obstacle to his/her success in school. Referrals might be made for a variety of reasons. They are most commonly made for students having academic, attendance, and/or behavior problems. Student Support is not a part of Special Education services! However, a Student Support Team Screening may result in the referral to Special Education for additional evaluation.
Who can make a referral?
Most referrals come from teachers and parents. Other referring sources include, but are not limited to, the health department, social services, hospitals, and physicians. Referrals should be made to the Student Support Team Chairperson.
Who serves on a Student Support Team (SST)?
Administrators, regular education teachers, special education teachers, counselors, parents, and the referring source are always invited to the meeting. Sometimes, it is also appropriate to invite the school nurse, drop-out prevention specialist, intervention specialist, and/or school psychologist to sit on the committee. Note: The student may attend the meeting.
What happens at the meeting?
Basically, it's like a parent/teacher conference with all the school's "resources" in the room. Everyone gives his/her response to the reason for referral and we formulate a plan of action. The Student Support Team will design an Intervention Plan with strategies to be implemented over 4-6 weeks. At the end of the prescribed time, the SST will reconvene and decide if any progress is being made.