504- Parent Rights and Grievance Procedures
The following is a description of student and parent rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The law requires that you be kept fully informed concerning decisions about your child and that you be informed of your rights if you disagree with any of these decisions.

It is the policy of River Mill Academy not to discriminate on the basis of disability. RMA has adopted a Grievance Procedure to provide for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, committed by a student, employee, or third party. RMA has designated the following person as 504 Coordinator to coordinate these efforts:

Ashley Rocha
[email protected]
(336) 229-0909; ext. 7508

I. Parents' Rights
You have the right to:  

1. Have your child take part in and receive benefits from public education programs without discrimination based on a disability;  

2. Have the school district advise you as to your rights under federal law;  

3. Receive notice with respect to evaluation, identification, or placement of your child;  

4. Have your child receive a free appropriate public education, including being educated with other non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate and having the school district make reasonable accommodations to allow your child an equal opportunity to participate in school;  

5. Have your child educated in facilities and receive services comparable to those provided students without disabilities;  

6. Have evaluation, identification, and placement decisions made based upon a variety of information sources, and by individuals who know the student, the evaluation data, and placement options;  

7. Examine all relevant records relating to decisions regarding your child's evaluation, identification, educational program, and placement;  

8. Obtain copies of educational records at a reasonable cost;  

9. Receive a response from the school district to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of your child's records;  

10. Request amendment of your child's educational records if there is reasonable cause to believe they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy rights of your child and receive notification and advice about your right to a hearing if the school district refuses this request: and  

11. Request mediation or a grievance hearing related to decisions regarding your child's evaluation, identification, educational plan, or placement as described in Section II below in which you and your child may take part and have an attorney represent you.

The 504 appeals procedure may be used for a disagreement with respect to actions regarding the identification, evaluation, educational services, or educational program of students who, because of disability, need or are believed to need Section 504 plans and are not eligible under the IDEA.

II. Grievance Procedure

It is the policy of River Mill Academy not to discriminate on the basis of disability. RMA has adopted this Grievance Procedure to provide for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Any person who believes that they have been subjected to discrimination on basis of disability may file a grievance under this procedure. It is against the law for RMA to retaliate against anyone who files a grievance or cooperates in the investigation of a grievance.

STEP 1- 504 Coordinator Conference:

A student, parent, or guardian wishing to invoke the 504 appeals process shall make a written request for a conference with the 504 Coordinator to discuss the grievance and seek resolution. The request shall fully describe the grievance including the remedy or relief sought. The following additional guidelines shall be observed in Step I:

A. A grievance shall be filed as soon as possible but not longer than thirty school days after disclosure of the facts giving rise to the grievance.

B. The 504 Coordinator shall grant the conference within ten school days following receipt of the request. Only the parent, guardian, or someone acting in loco parentis shall be permitted to join or represent the student in the conference with the 504 Coordinator. ; C. The 504 Coordinator shall conduct an investigation of the grievance as needed and shall maintain records of any activity related to the handling of the grievance;

D. The 504 Coordinator will provide a written decision on the grievance to the grievant within ten school days following the conference.

STEP II – Appeal to Administration:

1. The grievant may appeal the decision of the 504 Coordinator by writing to the Principal within five school days of receiving the 504 Coordinator’s decision.

2. The Principal will receive and review the 504 Coordinator decision and any records related to the grievance.

3. The Principal will provide a written decision in response to the appeal within ten school days following the appeal request.

Step III - Appeal for a Section 504 Due-Process Hearing:

If the grievance is not resolved at Step II, an appeal may be made for a due process hearing before an independent hearing officer.

1. The appeal must be made in writing within ten school days following the written response from the Principal in Step II.

2. Upon receipt of the request for a hearing, the principal will arrange for an independent hearing officer to hear the case. The hearing officer must be familiar with the requirements of Section 504 and must not be an employee of RMA.

3. The student is entitled to be present for the hearing, to have his/her parent/guardian participate in the hearing, and to be represented by counsel if so desired.

4. The hearing officer will schedule the hearing within thirty school days of the request. The hearing will be conducted in an informal and nonadversarial manner and the hearing officer may consider any relevant evidence that is of a kind commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of serious matters. Each party will be allowed up to two hours to present their case.

5. The hearing will be recorded by RMA.

6. The hearing officer will issue a written decision with findings of fact and conclusions of law within thirty days of the hearing.