Notice of Availability of Educational Services to Children With Disabilities

Pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Carteret County Public School System attempts to locate, identify and evaluate every child with a disability residing in Carteret County who qualifies for Section 504 accommodations or services and to offer such child a free appropriate public education. Children eligible for Section 504 accommodations or services include those who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. If you suspect or know that your child has a disability and may require or would benefit from Section 504 accommodations as part of a free appropriate public education, or if you would like additional information, please contact your child's teacher if your child is enrolled in the Carteret County Public School System, and if not enrolled, contact the Department of Exceptional Children's Programs, Carteret County Public Schools, 107 Safrit Drive, Beaufort, NC 28516, telephone (252) 728-4583, extension 160146.

Section 504 Procedures Manual for Carteret County Schools


What is Section 504?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law intended to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination. Section 504 protects qualifying students by ensuring that these students are not excluded from public schools, or being denied the benefits of the public schools, because of their disability. For more information visit: the Office for Civil Rights "Frequently Asked Questions About Section 504 and the Education of Children with Disabilities"

How does a Section 504 Plan differ from an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?

Section 504 plans provide accommodations that allow students with disabilities to access instruction in the general education setting. Students who are eligible for Section 504 do not need or receive specially designed instruction. 

Students who are determined eligible under Special Education Law, IDEA, require specially designed instruction and/or direct services in addition to accommodations to access instruction. The specially designed instruction and accommodations are outlined in a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).


How do I know if my student is eligible for Section 504? 

Individual student eligibility is determined by a team of individuals familiar with the student. The student's Section 504 team includes: a parent, the student, a current teacher/counselor, an administrator, and a 504 coordinator. Other individuals may be invited to the meeting as needed (ex. School Nurse). If your student has a physical/mental impairment that possibly requires additional support, please contact your school counselor.

What information does the 504 team consider to determine eligibility? 

The 504 team considers data gathered from a variety of sources including, but not limited to: parent input, student work samples, teacher/administrator input and recommendations, Special Education records, aptitude & achievement tests, disciplinary records, early intervention data, mitigating measures, grade reports, adaptive behavior, school health information, medical evaluations/diagnoses/physical conditions, state test information, attendance, etc.

My student has medical documentation of a disability or diagnosis. Do they automatically qualify for Section 504 accommodations? 

No, individual student eligibility is determined by the Section 504 team. The team considers data gathered from a variety of sources to make an eligibility determination. A medical diagnosis alone does not automatically qualify a student for Section 504.

In addition, students can be eligible for Section 504 and not require accommodations.  For example, a student with a hearing impairment, who wears a hearing aid, may not need further accommodations to access instruction.  The determination of whether or not accommodations are necessary is made by the student's Section 504 team and based on careful review of the student's data.

My student is transferring from a school outside of CCPS and has a 504 plan from their previous school. Does the plan transfer with them? 

Yes, please be sure to indicate the existence of a Section 504 plan on your student's enrollment paperwork, as well as, notify the registrar upon enrollment. The plan provided by the previous school will be distributed to your student’s teachers and followed as written to the extent possible. The 504 coordinator will reach out to schedule an initial 504 meeting for your student to review their eligibility and make sure their accommodations are updated to comply with local and state requirements. Documentation of your student’s disability may be requested.


How often does the 504 team meet? 

Once a student is determined eligible, the team will meet annually to review their eligibility and accommodation plan. Every three years, the team will conduct a re-evaluation and request updated documentation (medical, therapeutic, etc.). This process will continue until a student exits Section 504 or graduates.

Can my student come to the meeting? 

Absolutely! Students are always a welcome part of their Section 504 team.  Consideration should be given to the maturity of the student and their ability to meaningfully participate.  However, it is especially important in high school for students to participate. They are expected to attend and provide input at meetings.

I want to make changes to my student's accommodations. Do we have to have a meeting? 

Yes, in order to make any changes to student accommodations, the student's Section 504 team must hold a meeting and review updated information supporting the addition or removal of accommodations.

Do I have to wait until the annual review meeting to discuss 504 specific concerns? 

Parents may request a 504 review meeting at any time to discuss 504 specific concerns. 

It is not necessary to schedule a Section 504 review meeting to address course concerns unless there is an accessibility issue. Teachers are able to offer specific information about their assignments and grading policies. If your concerns are related to your student’s experience in a specific course (grading, missing assignments, attendance, etc.), please begin by contacting your student’s teacher directly.  Your student's school counselor can assist you with this also.


What accommodations are available to my student? 

Once the team determines a student is eligible for Section 504 and that accommodations are needed, the team will work together to create accommodations that ensure the student has access to instruction at the same level as his or her non-disabled peers. Because these plans are specific to each student, there is no list of available accommodations.

The team will consider several factors to create accommodations, including: evidence of need, best practice, developmental appropriateness, etc.

Will my student have accommodations on Advanced Placement (AP) Exams, the SAT and ACT? 

Having a Section 504 plan does not automatically qualify a student for accommodations on these tests. Applications for testing accommodations must be submitted directly to the College Board and ACT testing companies for consideration.  Your student's school counselor can advise you further about this.

My elementary student has a 504 plan in place. Will the accommodations change when they move to middle or high school?

Possibly.  As a student matures and changes the nature of the accommodations needed to most appropriately serve him/her changes also.  It is the role of the students Section 504 team to review accommodations and student data annually and make the appropriate adjustments.

How do I change my student's accommodations? 

In order to make any changes to student accommodations, the student's Section 504 team must hold a meeting and review updated information supporting the addition or removal of accommodations.




Does 504 eligibility affect college admission? 

No, when students complete their college applications they are not asked to disclose any disabilities or diagnoses. It is up to the individual student if he or she chooses to self-disclose any diagnoses and 504 eligibility to their prospective schools.

Will my student's accommodations continue in college? 

Public colleges and universities have their own procedures for identifying and accommodating students with disabilities. They are not required to accommodate students to the level of a public high school. The best way to find out what potential accommodations your student may be eligible to receive is to contact the prospective school or visit their website. Schools usually have a designated office for students with disabilities.

Colleges or universities that do not receive federal funding (private) are not required to provide accommodations to students. The decision to accommodate individuals with disabilities is left up to the individual school. It is important to consider what accommodations, if any, will be provided when reviewing prospective private institutions.