DATE: June 22, 2018
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: James F. Lane, Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT:

Training Opportunity: Re-enrollment and Section 504 – Beyond the Basics


The Regulations Governing the Re-enrollment of Students Committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (8 VAC 20-660-10 et seq.) present the procedures for re-enrollment of students into the public schools when they have been in the custody of the juvenile justice system and receiving instruction through local and regional detention centers and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).  These regulations promote the exchange of educational information concerning students among DJJ, local and regional detention centers and local education agencies (LEAs).  The regulations are intended to: (i) create a positive impact on the family, the students, court services, school divisions, and correctional centers as they are seeking to continue the students education upon his or her release from a juvenile correction center; (ii) provide for the coordinated transfer of information by court services, school divisions, detention centers, and correctional centers in order to afford students timely involvement in appropriate educational programs; and (iii) enhance communication, cooperation, and coordination of services among the public systems required to provide for the educational needs of students released from correctional centers and detention centers. 

Additionally, 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 from the U.S. Department of Education (USED).  The regulations implementing Section 504 in the context of educational institutions appear at 34 C.F.R. Part 104 and require a school division to provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to each qualified student with a disability who is in the school division'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 nondisabled students are met.

To assist school divisions in satisfying the requirements of the above-referenced regulations, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will offer two one-day training opportunities related to the re-enrollment procedures and Section 504 regulations on the dates indicated below at the identified locations/times:

September 19, 2018

September 26, 2018

The re-enrollment training is designed for anyone who is involved in the re-enrollment of students who leave the juvenile justice system and re-enroll into the public school system.  This could include special education directors, special education supervisors, guidance specialists, or other school personnel as deemed appropriate by the local school divisions.  A review of the re-enrollment regulations will be the primary focus of the training.  These regulations represent the structured procedures that will keep a youth from losing academic ground as they transition back into their community schools.  After a review of the regulatory requirements, there will also be a discussion of best practices relating to re-enrollment. 

The Section 504 training is designed for anyone who is involved in the identification of students who may be eligible for supports and services under Section 504 requirements; along with the development of appropriate 504 plans and their implementation.  This would include special education directors, special education supervisors, Section 504 coordinators, school nurse coordinators, guidance specialists, or other school personnel as deemed appropriate by the local school divisions.  Participants will receive information on how to develop, manage, and implement an effective Section 504 program through presentations on: (i) the Section 504 regulations; (ii) the correlation between Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and (iii) the impact of disability harassment and discrimination on a student’s access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

These trainings are designed for persons who are currently employed by local public schools and authorized by the division superintendent to represent the school division. Therefore, registration for the training is limited to current public school employees only.  No on-site registration will be accommodated.  All registrants will be required to present a school-issued identification card at the check-in desk upon arrival.  Individuals registered will not be permitted to send a substitute if they are unable to attend.  No audio or videotaping of the training sessions will be allowed.  The Virginia Department of Education reserves the right to cancel the registration of any person who does not meet the registration criteria.  The VDOE is also planning to conduct the Section 504 training for parents, advocates, and other community stakeholders, on a date yet to be determined to ensure that all personnel involved in the Section 504 process have the same information as will be provided through this training opportunity.

This is a free opportunity for all participants.  Participants are not required to attend both the re-enrollment and Section 504 trainings.  As such, to ensure adequate meeting space is available for both training events and that sufficient meals are available, we are requesting that anyone interested in attending these trainings, in whole or in part, preregister using the following Web link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/REEROLLMENT-504: This link takes you out of the Virginia Department of Education website. .  Lunch will be provided to all participants.  Lodging is limited and, as such, requests for lodging will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Participant materials and an agenda will be provided at the training venue.  Questions regarding online registration or general questions regarding these trainings should be directed to Hank Millward, Director, Office of Specialized Education Facilities and Family Engagement, by email at Hank.Millward@doe.virginia.gov: Email link. or at (804) 371-0525.

JL/HJMJr