Grievance Procedures – Section 504 Plans
The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, physical or mental disability, age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation in matters affecting employment or in providing access to programs. The HCPSS has grievance procedures established to apply to complaints alleging disability discrimination carried out by students, employees, or third parties.
Discrimination against students by other students or employees/third parties and discrimination against employees/third parties is covered through Board Policy 1010. Please review Policy 1010 Anti-Discrimination for grievance procedures in such cases.
Parents/guardians and students have a right to seek resolution of issues if they are dissatisfied with the decisions regarding a student’s identification, evaluation, and educational placement/program related to Section 504. The following grievance procedures have been established to apply to Section 504 for students. Section 504 Reviews and Impartial Hearings are limited to alleged actions that have occurred within one year which in the absence of federal guidance aligns to the Maryland Department of Education’s limitation on special education complaints.
Central Office Section 504 Review
A parent/guardian, student, or employee may request a Section 504 Review. If a parent/guardian, student, or employee is:
- dissatisfied with the decisions of the Section 504 team regarding the identification, evaluation, and educational placement/program for a student; educational placement/program for a student,
- believes the 504 Plan has not been implemented; or
- believes a student has been subject to discrimination due to the student’s disability
then the parent /guardian, student, or employee may request a Section 504 review by the HCPSS Section 504 Coordinator. Review requests must be made to the 504 Coordinator at 410-313-1252. The HCPSS 504 Coordinator is the Coordinator for Section 504 and Student Services Implementation.
Section 504 Hearing
If a complainant wishes to contest an action or failure to act on the part of the school system with regard to the identification, evaluation, or placement of a disabled student under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the complainant may initiate a Section 504 Hearing before an impartial Hearing Officer.
The complainant must submit a written request for a hearing before an impartial Hearing Officer, who is not an employee of the Howard County Public School System. Impartial Hearing requests must be made to the 504 Coordinator at 410-313-1252. The HCPSS 504 Coordinator is the Coordinator for Section 504 and Student Services Implementation.
Office for Civil Rights
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces Section 504 and it handles Section 504 complaints. If a parent believes that the school system has committed a violation that falls under the jurisdiction of the OCR, the parent may file a complaint to the OCR.
- Find your child’s school and ask for their Section 504 Administrative Building Coordinator
- HCPSS 504 Coordinator at 410-313-1252