Houston County Schools is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which states," No otherwise qualified individual with disabilities in the United States shall, solely by reason of his or her handicap be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
To fall under the protection of Section 504, a person must have physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; have a record of such an impairment; or be regarded as having such an impairment.
Mental or physical impairments are broadly defined and include any diagnosed medical or psychological condition. However, an impairment, alone, is insufficient to qualify a student as Section 504 disabled. In addition, a medical diagnosis or the fact that a student takes medication is not controlling in determining whether that student has a 504 disability. The Office of Civil Rights, which is charged with the responsibility to enforce 504, has stated that finding a student 504 eligible solely on the basis of a diagnosis generally violated Section 504.
A student’s eligibility under Section 504 is not determined by a doctor or psychologist but by a multidisciplinary team convened by the District. That team must include persons who are knowledgeable about the student, Section 504, and the evaluation data to be considered.
The purpose of Section 504 is to eliminate barriers that exclude or limit the ability of individuals with disabilities to participate in federally-funded programs to the same degree as individuals who do not have disabilities. In legal terms, the statue was intended to prevent intentional or unintentional discrimination against persons with disabilities, persons who are believed to have disabilities, and persons with a record or history of disabilities.
Section 504 is considered to be a provision of general education. It is therefore the responsibility of classroom teachers, designated personnel, and the administration to assure that Section 504 accommodations are carried out.
Public elementary and secondary schools must employ procedural safeguards regarding the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of persons who, because of disability, need or are believed to need related plans in terms services/classroom accommodations.
For information regarding Section 504 please contact your local school 504 Chairperson. An individual (parent/guardian/school staff member) may make a Section 504 referral for a student by completing the appropriate form and health release available at each school from the local school 504 Chairperson.
To discuss any further questions or concerns you may have, you may contact Houston County School District Section 504 Coordinator Jillian Taylor Chapman at 334-792-8331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Response to Instruction (RtI) refers to an instructional framework that promotes a well-integrated system connecting all school services in providing high quality, standards-based instruction and intervention that is matched to students' academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs. RtI combines core instruction, assessment, and intervention within a multi-tiered system to increase student achievement and reduce behavior problems.
Houston County School’s purpose of the process is to enhance the success of students with a variety of needs. The effectiveness of RtI is maximized through a collaborative problem-solving approach to identify student needs and implement targeted interventions. Data is utilized to measure student progress as a result of the instruction, as well as to monitor intervention integrity.
The RtI instructional model has three tiers that focus on academic and behavioral strategies in the general education setting. The expectation is that K - 12 general education teachers teach in a way that meets the varied needs of their students, utilizing ongoing assessments to identify students in need of additional instructional support as early as possible.
The RtI process is carried out in each school day. Each school has a team for reading, mathematics, and behavior. The team may consist of administration, reading coaches, math coaches, instructional aides, Title 1 support services, mental health services, behavioral support services, etc. The team assists the classroom teacher in designing and selecting strategies for improving student academic and/or behavioral performance. The purpose of the problem-solving process is to develop academic and behavior intervention strategies that have a high probability of success. The problem-solving team uses the three-tiered model to determine appropriate intervention. Every student is provided an appropriate level of support under tiered intervention.
The local school RTI (PST) Team is responsible for decisions which ensure that:
If you have questions regarding RTI based services, please contact your student’s teacher first, then your local school’s RTI coordinator. If you have any further questions or concerns, please reach out to Houston County School’s District RTI Coordinator Jillian Taylor Chapman 334-792-8331 or email@example.com.