Parents or a student who has reached the age of majority who wish to challenge a decision of the 504 Committee shall file a written notice of appeal with the District Section 504 Coordinator within fifteen calendar days of the decision(s) with which they disagree or upon the date of exhaustion (date of Superintendent’s written determination letter) of the district level appeals process. A written notice may be submitted electronically or by US mail/hand delivered to:
Within 30 calendar days of receiving the written notice of appeal, the Section 504 Coordinator will:
- Schedule a hearing with an impartial hearing officer
- Provide written notice to the parents of the date, time and place for the hearing, as well as their right to participate and be represented by counsel.
Please note the following:
- The hearing officer may reschedule the hearing upon good cause shown by either party.
- The impartial hearing officer shall not be an employee of the District
- The impartial hearing officer shall not be a member of the Board of Trustees nor be related to any member of the Board of Trustees in a degree that would be prohibited under the nepotism statute.
The impartial hearing will be provided at no cost to the parent. (The fact that the District pays the fee for the impartial hearing officer does not make that person an employee of the District, or partial.)
- It is not required that the impartial hearing officer be an attorney; however, the impartial hearing officer should be someone familiar with the requirements of Section 504.
The hearing will be conducted in an informal and nonadversarial manner. The rules of evidence and procedure do not apply. However, the hearing officer may limit any evidence from either party which he or she believes to be irrelevant to the issues or redundant. A written transcript of the proceedings will not be provided. If the District records the proceedings, the parents or student that has reached the age of majority are entitled to receive a copy of the recording at a reasonable cost.
The party requesting the hearing (the petitioner) will present relevant information to the hearing officer about the issues in question through oral or written testimony. The petitioner may question the petitioner's own witness or persons present for the responding party (respondent). The responding party may then present relevant information to the hearing officer in the same manner. The hearing officer has the discretion to ask questions and direct the flow of evidence as he or she deems relevant to the issues.
At the close of the hearing, the impartial hearing officer will render a decision at that time, if possible. If the impartial hearing officer wishes to take the evidence under advisement, a decision will be rendered within 15 calendar days of the close of the hearing. The decision will be in writing and will explain the impartial hearing officer's decision and the evidence on which it is based. Formal findings of fact and conclusions of law are not required.