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The 2012 Wellness Promotion Policy Annual Report
The School District of Palm Beach County, Florida
Exceptional Student Education - Section 504 Accommodation Plan

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is Congress’ directive to schools receiving federal funding to eliminate discrimination based on disability from all aspects of school operation. Since the District has been a recipient of federal dollars, we were required to provide eligible students with equal access (both physical and academic) to services, programs and activities offered by our schools. A 504 Team convened to address eligibility on a student-by-student basis. If a student meets eligibility requirements, an individualized accommodation plan was developed. Section 504 is a civil right statute. Therefore, it was the responsibility of regular education staff and administration to implement those practices and procedures necessary for a school to fulfill this law’s requirements. Schools received no additional funding to implement Section 504 accommodations. At each school, the responsibility for ensuring Section 504 compliance rested with the principal or principal’s designee, and each of the district’s schools had an identified Section 504 designee.

Leveling the playing field has been what Section 504, an anti-discrimination act, has been all about. Each school’s principal or their designee, the 504 Contact, facilitated a 504 team meeting to determine if a student was eligible for a 504 plan. If eligible, the team developed an individual 504 plan outlining the accommodations necessary for the student to access what all students have access to. It is then the responsibility of the school’s administration and general education staff to implement the specific plan, which is reviewed at least annually, without the benefit of any extra funds. During the 2011-2012 school year, the District served 6,645 eligible students.

The 504 Team at my daughter's school has been integral in ensuring the educational and emotional well-being of my child. They continually communicated with me regarding her medical issues as well as providing feedback on any impact they had on her academics.
Eunice Greenfield, High School Counseling Specialist and Parent
The 504 process of identifying the unique needs of students results in the development and implementation of individual accommodation plans. As the playing field is leveled, it is always the goal to ensure that students reach their optimum potential.
Kathleen Murphy, Central Area Resource Teacher