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Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 27009
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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Our daughter is entering her first year of high school. She

Customer Question

Our daughter is entering her first year of high school. She has had an IEP since 2nd grade. It was recommended at her last IEP meeting that she be placed on a 504 plan now that she is meeting her goals. My husband and I disagreed due to her transitioning to high school and she will regress. After the meeting we were never sent any paperwork to sign to reject their recommendation. I just called the high school to get her in to do a walk thru for her schedule and they told me she is on a 504 Plan. Can they move her to this plan with out our acceptance and with no signatures on any documents. We live in Massachusetts.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Sam replied 3 months ago.

Hello

This is Samuel.

According to the federal regulations Please See This LINK under 34 C.F.R. 104.35 (c) 3)

“…placement decisions are to be made by a group of persons who are knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, placement options, least restrictive environment requirements, and comparable facilities”

Unlike Special Education, the federal regulations for Section 504 do not require or even mention that parents are to be a part of the decision-making committee. The decision to include parents in the decision-making committee is a determination that is made by each school district and should be spelled out in the district’s procedures for implementing Section 504.

I suggest, the school can make the decision without parental consent.

Expert:  Sam replied 3 months ago.

Here is what it states in the C.F.R.
(c) Placement procedures. In interpreting evaluation data and in making placement decisions, a 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) establish procedures to ensure that information obtained from all such sources is documented and carefully considered, (3) ensure that the placement decision is made by a group of persons, including persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options, and (4) ensure that the placement decision is made in conformity with 104.34.

Expert:  Sam replied 3 months ago.

I suggest, that you might try a mediation with the Massachusetts school system by putting in writing that you are not in agreement with the 504 and would like a dispute resolution.

Expert:  Sam replied 3 months ago.

Unfortunately, the law only says the parents need to be given a copy of the child's 504 plan. It does not say when or that the parent must approve or give permission. Though there is a statement "notice" although somewhat ambiguous again as to when, how Notice must be given.

Here is what that section states:

104.36 Procedural safeguards.

A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program or activity shall establish and implement, with respect to actions regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of persons who, because of handicap, need or are believed to need special instruction or related services, a system of procedural safeguards that includes notice, an opportunity for the parents or guardian of the person to examine relevant records, an impartial hearing with opportunity for participation by the person's parents or guardian and representation by counsel, and a review procedure. Compliance with the procedural safeguards of section 615 of the Education of the Handicapped Act is one means of meeting this requirement.

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