Section 504 Annual Notice
In accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly known as “Section 504,” the PA STEAM Academy Charter School hereby notifies disabled children and their parents of the school’s duty under Section 504.
Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act is a non-discrimination statute barring discrimination on the basis of disability. It is the policy of PA STEAM not to discriminate on the basis of disability in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices as required by Section 504.
PA STEAM shall provide to each protected handicapped student with a disability without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s abilities. In order to qualify as a protected handicapped student, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits/could limit or prohibits/could prohibit participation in or access to a major life activity.
PA STEAM shall conduct pre-placement evaluations and shall establish standards and procedures consistent with Section 504 and its implementing regulations for the evaluation and placement of children who need or are believed to be protected handicapped students.
These services and protections for “protected handicapped students” are distinct from those applicable to all eligible or exceptional students enrolled in special education programs.
For further information on the evaluation procedures and provision of services to protect students with disabilities, please contact Jennifer Morrison, CEO and Principal at 717-884-0950.
Notification of Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students who are 18 years of age or older (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the PA STEAM Academy Charter School (“PA STEAM”) receives a request for access.
Parents or eligible students who wish to inspect their child’s or their education records should submit to the school principal Jennifer Morrison a written request that identifies the records they wish to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
Parents or eligible students who wish to ask PA STEAM to amend their child’s or their education record should write the Principal, Jennifer Morrison clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the school will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the school discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. The criteria for determining who constitutes a school official and what constitutes a legitimate educational interest must be set forth in the school’s or school district’s annual notification for FERPA rights. A school official typically includes a person employed by the school or school district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel) or a person serving on the school board. A school official also may include a volunteer, contractor, or consultant who, while not employed by the school, performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist; a parent or student volunteering to serve on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a parent, student, or other volunteer assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Upon request, PA STEAM discloses education records without consent to officials of another school or school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes of the student’s enrollment or transfer.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by PA STEAM to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the parent or eligible student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the parent or eligible student, § 99.32 of the FERPA regulations requires the school to record the disclosure. Parents and eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.
Directory Information Exception: PA STEAM may disclose, from time to time, PII from students’ education records without consent of the parent or eligible student when the PII qualifies as appropriately designated “directory information,” unless you notify PA STEAM in writing within twenty (20) days of the date you receive this notice that you do not want any or all of those types of information about the student designated as directory information. Directory information includes the following information relating to a student: student name, family members’ name, address, email address, photograph, telephone number, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, degrees and awards received, years of attendance, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and similar information. Directory information does NOT include a student’s Social Security Number, grades, or status as a student with special needs.