The District shall establish and implement a system of procedural safeguards that includes notice of rights to the parent/guardian of a student suspected of being a qualified student with a disability, an opportunity for the parent/guardian to review relevant records, an impartial hearing with an opportunity for participation by the student’s parent/guardian, and a review procedure.
A student or parent/guardian filing a claim of discrimination need not exhaust these procedures prior to initiating court action under Section 504.
Parental Request for Assistance –
- Parents/Guardians may file a written request for assistance with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) if one (1) or both of the following apply:
- The District is not providing the aids, services and accommodations specified in the student’s Service Agreement.
- The District has failed to comply with the procedures and state regulations.
- PDE shall investigate and respond to requests for assistance and, unless exceptional circumstances exist, shall, within sixty (60) calendar days of receipt of the request, send to the parents/guardians and district a written response to the request. The response to the parents’/guardians’ request shall be in the parents’/guardians’ native language or mode of communication.
Informal Conference –
- At any time, parents/guardians may file a written request with the District for an informal conference with respect to the identification or evaluation of a student, or the student’s need for aids, services or accommodations. Within ten (10) school days of receipt of the request, the district shall convene an informal conference. At the conference, every effort shall be made to reach an amicable agreement.
Formal Due Process Hearing –
- If the matters raised by the District or parents/guardians are not resolved at the informal conference, the District or parents/guardians may submit a written request for an impartial due process hearing. The hearing shall be held before an impartial hearing officer and shall be conducted in accordance with state regulations.
Judicial Appeals –
- The decision of the impartial hearing officer may be appealed to a court of competent jurisdiction.