Pine Island Public Schools Section 504 Compliance Plan
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal funds from the US Department of Education. To qualify for section 504, a student must be determined to have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Each school in the Pine Island Public School District has a 504 coordinator who will work with the school team to address 504 referrals and accommodations. For further information regarding section 504, please contact your child’s school counselor.
Section 504 Compliance Plan:
The compliance plan serves students, parents, employees, applicants for employment, and programs within Pine Island Public School District no. 255.
1. The Pine Island School District assures students, parents, and applicants for employment, and employees that it will not discriminate against any individual with disabilities.
2. The following persons are designated as section 504 compliance coordinator:
3. Parents/guardians are provided a copy of parent and student rights.
4. An appeal/grievance process is available and provided in the parent and student rights, as well as upon request.
5. Notice to students, parents, employees, and the general public of nondiscrimination assurances and parent and student rights and identification, evaluation and placement will be disseminated annually in the following manner:
a. Announcement in office and school buildings
b. Posted notice in each school building
c. Posted on the school website
Additionally, the notice will be included in the professional handbook of district employees, the Student Code of Conduct, school-home communications, and in the parent/student handbook.
Pine Island Public School has established the following local grievance procedure to resolve complaints of discrimination on the basis of a disability:
Complaint Procedure Section 504
Pine Island Public Schools, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, prohibits discrimination on the basis of a handicapping condition. If any person believes Pine Island Public Schools or any of the District’s staff have violated the principles and/or regulations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, they may bring forward a complaint in accordance with the following procedure. This procedure does not preclude informal solutions or restrict the right of the complainant to file formal complaints with state and federal agencies or to seek private counsel for complaints alleging discrimination at any time.
If discrimination is determined to have occurred, the District will take prompt action to correct any effects of the discrimination and to prevent further occurrences.
The complainant must submit a signed, written Statement of Complaint to the District 504 Coordinator, Cheryl Kuss. The Statement of Complaint must fully set out the circumstances giving rise to the alleged complaint and include a statement of the relief sought by the complainant. The Statement of Complaint shall be filed within thirty (30) calendar days of the alleged violation. A Statement of Complaint filed beyond thirty (30) calendar days of the alleged violation may not be considered.
The district 504 Coordinator and/or administration will conduct an investigation of the allegation(s). The parent, student, employee or third party against whom the complaint is alleged will be given full and fair opportunity to present evidence, including witnesses, relevant to the issues raised in the complaint. The investigation will be completed and a written report of findings and recommendations shall be given to the complainant within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of the Statement of Complaint. If the District 504 Coordinator and/or administration is the subject of the written complaint, the Superintendent will appoint an impartial investigator who will conduct the investigation.
Appeal: If the complaint is not satisfactorily resolved following Step 2, an appeal may be made in writing to the Superintendent of Schools, Tammy Berg-Beniak, within five (5) calendar days after receipt of the written findings and recommendations. The Superintendent will review the written findings and recommendations in light of the issues raised by the complainant, and provide the complainant a written decision within ten (10) working days following receipt of the appeal.
This procedure does not deny the right of the grievant to file a formal complaint at any time in federal court or with the MN Department of Human Rights, to the U.S. Department of Education. Changes in the law, including time-lines for filing, may affect your rights. Following the decision of the appeal to the Building Principal the grievant may alternately request an impartial hearing up to 30 calendar days following the Section 504 Team decision.
Impartial Hearing: In order to request an impartial hearing, the request must be in writing and must include:
I. The child’s name
Ii. The address of the child’s residence
Iii. The name of the school the child is attending
iv. A description of the nature of the problem, including facts relating to the problem
V. A proposed resolution to the problem to the extent known and available to the grievant.
The complaint must be signed by the grievant, the child’s legal parent or guardian, or by legal counsel.
The complaint must be sent to:
Office for Civil Rights, Chicago Office (Region V)
U.S. Department of Education
500 W. Madison Street Suite 1475
Chicago, Illinois 60661
Phone: (312) 730-1560
Fax: (312) 730-1573
TDD: (312) 730-1609
Inquiries regarding compliance with the above can be directed to
Section 504 Coordinator: Cheryl Kuss
Phone: (507) 356-3218
k-4 Building Principal: Cynthia Hansen
Phone: (507) 356-2488
5-8 Building Principal: Joshua Westphal
Phone: (507) 356-8326
9-12 Building Principal: Mitch Schiltz
Phone: (507 356-8326
Superintendent: Tamara Berg-Beniak