IEPs and 504 Resources

Does your child need help?

CUHSD offers many different types of supports and interventions for students who are struggling with school. Read below to find descriptions of our general education interventions including Student Success Teams, Section 504 Programs, and Special Education/IEP programs.

General Education Program Supports for Students

Student Success Team: The Student Success Team (SST) assists students, families and teachers to seek positive solutions for student potential and provides a structure to review a students academic, behavioral and health needs.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Accommodations and related services provided through Section 504 ensure that a student with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity has equal access to education. 


Special Education Services

Students identified with a disability that affects their education may be eligible for special education services and an Individual Education Program (IEP). This educational plan is developed by a team that includes: parents/guardians, teachers, administrators, and other special education service providers. An IEP may include special education instruction, related services, the use of supplementary aids and services, curriculum accommodations and modifications and a range of other services.
The Individualized Education Program (IEP), is a written document that is developed for each public school child who is eligible for special education. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is created through a team effort and reviewed at least once a year.
Before an Individualized Education Program (IEP) can be written, a student must be eligible for special education. By federal law, a multidisciplinary team must determine that (1) they are a student with a disability and (2) they require special education and related services to benefit from the general education program.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law, requires certain information to be included in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) but doesn't specify how the Individualize Education Program (IEP) should look. Because states and local school systems may include additional information, forms differ from state to state and may vary between school systems within a state. 
Eligibility: A student may qualify for special education services as an individual with special needs in one of thirteen areas identified by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These are:
  • Autism
  • Deaf
  • Deaf-Blind
  • Emotionally Disturbed
  • Hard of Hearing
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Handicapped
  • Orthopedically Impaired
  • Other Health Impaired
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Speech-Language Impaired
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visually Impaired
IEP Team: The IEP Team includes parents/guardians, student (when appropriate), general education teacher, special education teacher, administrator, assessors (when an assessment has been completed), other service providers as appropriate.
IEP Process: ????
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a Federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance. A 504 helps a child with special health care needs to fully participate in school. Usually, a 504 Plan is used by a general education student who is not eligible for special education services.
A 504 Plan lists accommodations related to the student's disability and required by the student so that they may participate in the general classroom setting and educational programs.
The 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.

Requesting Section 504 Evaluation
  • If you think your child needs a Section 504 plan, ask to speak to the School Counselor at your child’s school, to request a Section 504 evaluation
  • Provide information regarding your child’s suspected disability to the school site (i.e. diagnosis, educational or health-related reports).  Please note that a medical diagnosis may be considered among other sources of information, but it is not sufficient by itself as an evaluation for the purpose of providing FAPE. Section 504 requires a review of multiple sources of information that can also include aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, and adaptive behaviors.
  • Be a part of the team that helps inform your child’s eligibility and identify the appropriate accommodations for your child. 
What it does:
  • An IEP is a blueprint or plan for a child’s special education experience at school.
  • A 504 plan is a blueprint or plan for how the school will provide support and remove barriers for a student with a disability.
What law applies:

Who is eligible:

To become eligible for an IEP, there are two requirements:

  1. A child has one or more of the 13 disabilities listed in IDEA. The law lists specific disability categories such as emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, autism, and speech or language impairment.
  2. The child must need specialized instruction and/or related services to access the school program.

To become eligible for a Section 504 plan, there are two requirements:

  1. A child has a qualifying disability. Section 504 defines “disability” as a physical or mental impairment that causes a substantial limitation on learning or a major life activity.
  2. The student requires Section 504 services in order for the student’s individual educational needs to be met as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities (aka for the student to receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).  

Section 504 has a broader definition of a disability than IDEA. That is why a child who doesn’t qualify for an IEP might still be eligible for a Section 504 plan.


Additional Information:

View this chart from which explains the differences between an IEP and a 504 plan as well as this article: Parents’ guide to 504 plans and IEPs: What they are and how they're different