Prohibition of Discrimination
Students with Disabilities, Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that no otherwise qualified handicapped individual 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.

Questions regarding Section 504 should be directed to the Somerville Public Schools Student Services Director, email Elizabeth Doncaster or call 617-625-6600 x6028.

Section 504 Plan Documents


Notice of Parent/Student Rights

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

The following is a description of the rights granted by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act ("Section 504") to parents and their children who are identified as disabled. The school district is obligated to inform you of decisions about your child and of your rights if you disagree with any of those decisions.

You have the following rights:

  1. To have your child take part in, and receive benefits from, public education programs without discrimination because of his/her disability;
  2. To have the school district advise you of your rights under federal law;
  3. To receive notice from the school with respect to the identification, evaluation, educational program or placement of your child;
  4. According to the Department of Education’s 504 Regulations, to have your child receive a free appropriate public education. This includes the right to be educated with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate. It also includes the right to reasonable accommodations, modifications, and related aids and services necessary for your child to benefit from his or her educational program;
  5. To have you child educated in comparable facilities and receive comparable services to those provided non-disabled students;
  6. To have decisions regarding your child’s evaluation, program and placement based upon a variety of information sources, and made by persons familiar with the students, the evaluation data, and the placement options;
  7. To have your child re-evaluated periodically, to the extent necessary, including before any significant changes are made to your child’s educational program or placement;
  8. To have your child receive an equal opportunity to participate in extra-curricular school activities;
  9. To examine all relevant educational records relating to decisions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, education program, and placement;
  10. To obtain copies of educational records at a reasonable cost unless the fee would effectively deny you access to the records;
  11. To receive a response from the school district to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of your child’s records;
  12. To request amendment of your child’s educational records if there is reasonable cause to believe that they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of your child. If the school district refuses this request for amendment, it shall notify you within a reasonable time, and advise you of the right to a hearing;
  13. To file a complaint through local complaint procedures regarding any alleged violation of the Rehabilitation Act;
  14. To request an impartial hearing, to be conducted by a person who is not an employee of the district, to dispute decisions or actions regarding your child’s identification, evaluation, educational program or placement as a student with a disability. You and your child may take part in the hearing and have an attorney represent you at your own expense. Questions about how to request a hearing may be forwarded to the person responsible for the district’s compliance with Section 504 listed below;
  15. To have the decisions made by hearing officers or others reviewed in state or federal court.

The person in this District who is responsible for assuring that the District complies with Section 504 is:

Elizabeth Doncaster, Director of Student Services
Somerville Public Schools
167 Holland Street
Somerville, MA 02144
617-625-6600 x6028