Federal Programs Definitions
Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 ensures that the child with a disability has equal access to an education. The child may receive accommodations and modifications –
Notice of Non-discrimination
Jon Clark, Superintendent
Pine River-Backus Schools
Rick Aulie, Principal
School Districts that offer career and technical (vocational) education must provide notice to students, parents, employees and the general public that all vocational opportunities will be offered regardless of race, color, national origin, sex or disability. The notice must be published each year, prior to the beginning of the school year. Vocational Education Programs Guidelines for Eliminating Discrimination and Denial of Services on the Basis of Race, Color, National Origin, Sex, and Handicap, 44 Fed. Reg. 17162, March 21, 1979, part IV-0.
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) has developed this sample Vocational Opportunities Annual Notification for use by the education community. Schools are not required to use this sample notification. The purpose of this sample notification is to provide helpful guidance, including the required elements for compliance with federal civil rights laws. Contact Carolyn Ellstra at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions regarding this document.
VOCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES ANNUAL NOTIFICATION
Chisholm school district offers a variety of vocational opportunities through the Business Education, Industrial Technology and Family and Consumer Science Departments. The purpose of this notice is to inform students, parents, employees and the general public that these opportunities are offered regardless of race, color, national origin, sex or disability. Admission in the specific courses is determined by grade level, and in some cases, completion of prerequisite courses. The district has designated the following individuals to coordinate compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972.
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”
- Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
- Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
- Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
- School officials with legitimate educational interest;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
Grievance Procedure for Complaints of Discrimination
The following grievance procedure applies to claims of sex, disability, and racial discrimination:
- Any person who believes he or she has been the victim of unlawful discrimination or any person with knowledge or belief of conduct that may constitute unlawful discrimination shall report the alleged acts immediately to an appropriate school district official designated by this policy. The complaint must be filed within 90 calendar days of the alleged violation.
- The Human Rights Officer is responsible for receiving oral or writtencomplaints of unlawful discrimination toward an employee orstudent. However, nothing in this policy shall prevent any person from reporting unlawful discrimination toward an employee or student directly with the Human Rights Officer, the school board or other school district official.
- While the school board has designated the Human Rights Officer to receive complaints of unlawful discrimination, if the complaintinvolves the Human Rights Officer, the complaint shall be made to thesuperintendent.
- Upon receipt of a complaint, the Human Rights Officer shallimmediately notify the superintendent. If the superintendent is the subject of the complaint, the Human Rights Officer shall immediately notify the school board.
- The Human Rights Officer may request but not insist upon a written complaint. Alternative means of filing a complaint, such as through a personal interview or by tape recording, shall be made available upon request for qualified persons with a disability. If the complaint is oral, it shall be reduced to writing within 24 hours and forwarded to the superintendent. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. The school district encourages the reporting party to complete the complaint form for written complaints. It is available from the principal of each building or the school district office.
- The school district shall respect the privacy of the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and the witnesses, consistent with the school district’s legal obligations to investigate, take appropriate action, and comply with any discovery or disclosure obligations.
- The Human Rights Officer, upon receipt of a complaint allegingunlawful discrimination shall promptly undertake an investigation if deemed appropriate. The investigation may be conducted by the TitleIX coordinator for complaints of sex discrimination or the Section 504 Coordinator for complaints of disability discrimination, or a school district official or neutral third party designated by the Title IX coordinator, Section 504 coordinator or Human Rights Officer. The investigation shall be completed within 30 days of the complaint, unless impracticable.
- The investigation may consist of personal interviews with the complainant, the individual(s) against whom the complaint is filed, and others who may have knowledge of the alleged incident(s) or circumstances giving rise to the complaint. The investigation may also consist of other methods deemed pertinent by the investigator.
- In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes a violation of this policy, the school district shall consider the facts and the surrounding circumstances such as the nature of the behavior, past incidents or continuing patterns of behavior, the relationships between the parties involved and the context in which the alleged incident occurred.
- The school district may take immediate steps to protect the parties involved in the complaint process, pending completion of an investigation of alleged unlawful discrimination.
- Upon completion of the investigation, the school district investigator shall make a written report to the Human Rights Officer. If the complaint involves the Human Rights Officer, the report may be filed directly with the superintendent or school board. The report shall include the facts, a determination of whether the allegations have been substantiated, whether a violation of this policy has occurred as well as a description of any proposed resolution which may include alternative dispute resolution.
- The district shall comply with federal and state law pertaining to retention of records.
If the grievance has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant, s/he may appeal to the Human Rights Officer within ten (10) school days of receipt of the findings of the school district investigation. The school district investigator shall conduct a review of the appeal and within ten (10) school days of receipt of the appeal, shall affirm, reverse, or modify the findings of the report. The decision of the school district investigator is final but does not preclude pursuit of alternative complaint procedures noted in the section entitled “Right to Alternative Compliant Procedures.”
School District Action
- Upon conclusion of the investigation and receipt of the findings, the school district shall take appropriate action. If it is determined that a violation has occurred, such action may include, but is not limited to, warning, suspension, expulsion, transfer, remediation or termination.
School district action taken for violation of this policy shall be consistent with the requirements of applicable collective bargaining agreements, Minnesota and federal law and school district policies.
- The result of the school district’s investigation of each complaint filed under these procedures shall be reported in writing to the complainant by the school district in accordance with state and federal law regarding data or records privacy.
The school district shall take appropriate action against any student, teacher, administrator or other school personnel who retaliates against any person who reports alleged unlawful discrimination toward an employee or student or any person who testifies, assists or participates in an investigation or hearing relating to such unlawful discrimination. Retaliation includes, but is not limited to, any form of intimidation or harassment.
Conflict of Interest
If there is a conflict of interest with respect to any party affected by this policy, appropriate action shall be taken such as, but not limited to, appointing or contracting with a neutral third party investigator to conduct the investigation or recusal from the process by the person for whom a conflict or potential conflict of interest exists.
Dissemination of Policy
The school district shall adopt and publish these procedures.
These procedures do not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse, which may include filing charges with the agencies listed below or initiating action in state or federal court.
Claims of discrimination may also be pursued through the following agencies where appropriate:
U.S. Department of Education MN Department of Human Rights
Office for Civil Rights, Region V 190 E 2nd Street
500 W. Madison Street – Suite 1475 St. Paul, MN 55101
Chicago, IL 60661 Tel: 800-657-3704
Tel: 312-730-1560Tel: 651-296-5663
TDD: 312-730-1609TDD 612-296-1283
For complaints of employment discrimination:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
330 S. 2nd Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55401