ALLEGED VIOLATION OF NON-DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF DISABILITY
Any student, parent/guardian of a minor student or employee of the West Springfield Public Schools who believes that he/she has been discriminated against or excluded from participation in or denied the benefits of any program, activity or service of the West Springfield Public Schools because he/she is an otherwise qualified disabled individual may file a written grievance giving the factual basis of the grievance, and the requested remedy, with the school principal when such grievance arises from an alleged discriminatory practice occurring in a school or related to a school program or policy. The principal or the principal’s designee will investigate the grievance and respond, in writing, within seven (7) school working days. The investigation will include an interview of the grievance. If the grievance alleges discrimination which is based upon a policy or district-wide procedure or event, then the grievant should file the grievance with the Section 504/ADA coordinator for the system. See the second paragraph below.
If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved at the principal’s level, the written complaint may be forwarded to the West Springfield Public Schools’ Section 504/ADA Coordinator who is the Administrator of Special Services. The written grievance must fully set out the circumstances that gave rise to the alleged grievance and must be filed within seven (7) school working days of the receipt of a response rom the school principal or designee.
The Section 504/ADA Coordinator will conduct a hearing, and respond in writing within fourteen (14) school working days.
If the parent/guardian, student, or employee disagrees with the decision or proposed resolution made by the Coordinator, the grievant may appeal, in writing, to the Superintendent of Schools. Such appeal must be received by the Superintendent within seven (7) school working days of the response from the Section 504/ADA Coordinator. The Superintendent will provide the grievant with the opportunity to present evidence supporting the grievant’s position that the response of the Coordinator was wrong. The Superintendent will issue a written response to the appeal within fourteen (14) school working days of the final submission of written or oral information provided by the grievant.
If the grievant is still not satisfied with the response of the District, he/she must notify the Superintendent within seven (7) school working days of the Superintendent’s determination, and the Superintendent shall arrange for a due process hearing with an impartial hearing officer who shall be an individual knowledgeable about Section 504 and the ADA, and who shall not be an employee of the district. The impartial hearing officer shall conduct a hearing as soon as practicable, and shall issue a decision writing on the grievance. The complainant has the right to opt for a hearing before the BSEA if the complainant is bringing a grievance on behalf of a student. Rules for the conduct of the hearing shall be generally consistent with the BSEA rules for due process hearings, but may be modified as determined appropriate by the hearing officer.
Rewritten: Atty Tate (November 2010)
First Reading: Policy Subcommittee (December 27, 2010)
Second Reading: January 11, 2011 (Title change 3/25/13-policy subcommittee)
Approval: January 11, 2011
Reviewed: March 25, 2013 [Policy Subcommittee]