School districts have a legal obligation to provide a free and appropriate public education to district students with disabilities who are eligible under Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Some students require an individual plan to ensure that appropriate accommodations are in place that allow them to succeed in their general education setting. If school staff suspect a student needs some kind of accommodation, a referral is made and the student is evaluated by a team knowledgeable about the student.
If the team determines that accommodation is required, the team develops a 504 Plan with input from the parents. The plan details individual accommodations and instructional strategies designed to meet the student's needs. Results are shared with the parents and the general education staff. A 504 Plan is not a special education plan. The school staff and parents collaborate to help ensure that students are provided with accommodations through general education. An appropriate education under Section 504 requires that the services be effective and fair.