Our goal is to provide positive educational experiences for all students, including students with disabilities. Teachers, counselors, and special education staff continue to work together to meet the comprehensive needs of our students in the regular education classroom.
Parents and other service providers of children age 3 – 21 are encouraged to contact the Director of Special Services or special education teachers and guidance counselors at the local schools for assistance with questions and concerns regarding your child’s educational needs.
Preschool (Ages 3-5)
Child Find screening, which takes place annually, provides an opportunity for parents to refer preschool children for screening to determine whether they are in need of services prior to kindergarten. Although many children will be referred to Child Find, evaluations may take place at other times during the year, as needed. Preschool referrals should be directed to Jessica Bisson, Preschool Coordinator at 444-2831, or Kelly Noland Director of Student Services, at 444-3014.
Kindergarten – Grade 12
A continuum of services is provided to ensure that students have an optimum opportunity to succeed. Teams of professionals meet frequently to develop the optimum educational programs for the students in their schools.
Teachers, parents, agency affiliates, physicians, and others who are involved with our students are encouraged to participate as part of each child’s educational team.
If a student is experiencing difficulty academically, socially and/or emotionally, parents are encouraged to call the Director of Student Services or either the special education teachers or school counselors at the local schools. The Director of Student Services can be reached at 603-444-3014 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New Hampshire Procedural Safeguards Handbook For Special Education: A Parents’ Rights in Special Education
To receive a copy of this informative booklet which explains the special education process from referral to monitoring or to discuss a special education issue with the Director of Student Services, please contact Kelly Noland at 603-444-3014.
The Littleton School District implements Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 based on federal, state, and local school district policies and procedures. If you suspect your child is eligible for a Section 504 Plan, please contact your child’s school guidance counselor who can assist you in the Section 504 process. To assist you in better understanding Section 504, the following is provided for your consideration and review.
What is Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education. This law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities, public or private, that receive federal financial assistance. Section 504 regulations require a school district to provide a “free appropriate public education” (FAPE) to each qualified student with advisability who is in the school district’s jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the disability. Under Section 504, FAPE consists of the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student’s individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met. Section 504 and the ADA protect qualified individuals with disabilities.
An individual with a disability is a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities mean functions such as caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. Under Section 504and the ADA, a person is a qualified individual with a disability if he or she meets the essential requirements for receipt of services or benefits or participation in the programs or activities of a covered entity. The question of whether a particular condition is a disability within the meaning of Section 504 and the ADA is determined on a case-by-case basis.
How does an individual qualify as disabled under Section 504?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 defines a person as disabled if he or she:
- has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities,
- has a record of such an impairment, or
- is regarded as having such an impairment. 28 CFR Sec. 36.104
Under the regulation, learning, reading, thinking, and concentrating among others listed in the ADA are all considered major life activities. As a general rule, if a child is eligible for services under IDEA, he or she qualifies for protection under Section 504. However, not all students covered by Section 504 are eligible for IDEA-related services. Section 504 has much broader definitions of disability and so it pertains to many more people.
What does an evaluation involve?
For school-age children, if parents (or guardians) believe their child should qualify for protections under Section 504, they should contact their child’s school about an evaluation. The law mandates that an evaluation must include a variety of assessment tools that will accurately demonstrate the child’s specific areas of educational need. The evaluation process should also consider various other factors, such as teacher recommendations, physical condition, social and cultural background, behavior, and any independent evaluations. Evaluation and service decisions are made by a multi-disciplinary team of people familiar with the child who understands the means of evaluation and the special service options. Section 504 requires the use of evaluation procedures that ensure that a child is not misclassified, unnecessarily labeled as having a disability, or incorrectly placed. The child must be re-evaluated periodically.
It is unlawful to consider the child’s use of mitigating measures in determining eligibility under Section 504. In other words, students cannot be penalized for the use of coping strategies or adaptive behaviors when being evaluated under Section 504.
What happens if a child is eligible for services under Section 504?
If a child is considered disabled under Section 504, school district personnel must create a Section 504 plan. If that child is also eligible for services under IDEA, then in most cases the Individualized Education Program (IEP) will take the place of a Section 504 plan. Some school districts use a separate form.
In order to determine what kind of services would be most appropriate for a child, a team of regular and special education teachers, as well as the school principal, will meet to consider the child’s disability, how it affects the child’s education, and what services would be most helpful. Parents (or guardians) should be present for all planning sessions regarding their child(ren).
What services are available under Section 504?
Section 504 clearly states that a free and appropriate education must be made available to all qualified students with disabilities. The educational needs of students with disabilities must be met as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities.
A child may be placed in regular education classes with accommodations such as a computer or other technology or extended time for test-taking. Modifications in academic requirements and expectations may also be considered. In each case, the individual educational needs of the child should be addressed in the least restrictive environment (LRE) possible.
What is the role of a parent under Section 504?
Under Section 504, a child’s school district must receive permission from a parent (or guardian) to evaluate the child. Parents should also ask to participate in all aspects of planning and decision-making for the child’s education.
Once a child has been evaluated the school must notify the parents (or guardians) about the results and any decisions that are made. If the parents disagree with any decisions the child’s school makes, both the parents and the school have the right to use mediation to resolve any differences of opinion.
Is there a complaint process under Section 504?
Any individual who believes that he or she or a specific individual or class of individuals has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability, in a health or human service program or activity conducted by a covered entity, may file a complaint with OCR. Complaints must be filed within 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination. OCR may extend the 180-day deadline if you can show”good cause.” Include the following information in your written complaint, or request a Discrimination Complaint Form from the Boston OCR Regional office (complaints must be signed by the complainant or an authorized representative).
- Your name, address, and telephone number.
- Name and address of the entity you believe discriminated against you.
- How, why, and when you believe you were discriminated against.
- Any other relevant information.
Any formal complaints must be sent to:
United States Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
33 Arch St., Suite 900
Boston, MA 02110-1491
Where can you receive more information about Section 504?
The New Hampshire Department of Education will respond to questions concerning Section 504.
For information on 504s from the US Department of Education:
Your rights under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Office of Civil Rights): https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/504-resource-guide-201612.pdf
English as a Second Language
The Littleton School District recognizes that students may be enrolling in our school district who have limited English proficiency. For these students to compete with his/her English speaking peers and ESL program is available in accordance with the State of NH requirements and in compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Equal Education Act of 1974.
Please contact the Director of Student Services, Kelly Noland at 603-444-3014 or email@example.com for any questions regarding Home Education.