The School District of Somerset
Bylaws & Policies


Pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Section 504"), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended ("ADA"), and the implementing regulations (collectively "Section 504/ADA"), no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. The Board of Education does not discriminate in admission or access to, or participation in, or treatment in its programs or activities. As such, the Board's policies and practices will not discriminate against students with disabilities and will make accessible to qualified individuals with disabilities its facilities, programs, and activities. No discrimination will be knowingly permitted against any individual with a disability on the sole basis of that disability in any of the programs, activities, policies, and/or practices in the District.

"An individual with a disability" means a person who has, had a record of, or is regarded as having, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities are functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.

Major life activities also include the operation of a major bodily function, including, but not limited to, functions of the immune system, special sense organs and skin, normal cell growth, and digestive, genitourinary, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal and reproductive functions. The operation of a major bodily function includes the operation of an individual organ within a body system.

An impairment that is episodic in nature or in remission is considered a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.

The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity must be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures such as medication, medical supplies, equipment or appliances, low-vision devices (not including ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics (including limbs and devices), hearing aids and cochlear implants or other implantable hearing devices, mobility devices, oxygen therapy equipment or supplies, assistive technology, reasonable accommodations or auxiliary aids or services, or learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications.

With respect to public preschool, elementary and secondary educational services, a qualified person with a disability means a disabled person:



who is of an age during which nondisabled persons are provided educational services;



who is of any age during which it is mandatory under Wisconsin law to provide educational services to disabled persons; or



to whom the State is required to provide a free appropriate public education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).

With respect to vocational education services, a qualified person with a disability means a disabled person who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the vocational program or activity.

District Compliance Officer

The following persons are designated as the District Section 504 Compliance Officers/ADA Coordinators ("hereinafter referred to as the COs").

Shannon Donnelly

John Walsh

Director of Pupil Services

Director of Programs

639 Sunrise Rise

639 Sunrise Rise

P.O. Box 100

P.O. Box 100

Somerset, WI 54025

Somerset, WI 54025

(715) 247-4848, Ext. 575

(715) 247-5552, Ext. 580

The names, titles, and contact information of these individuals will be published annually:



in the staff handbooks.



on the School District's web site.

The CO is responsible for coordinating the District's efforts to comply with and fulfill its responsibilities under Section 504 and Title II of the ADA. A copy of Section 504 and the ADA, including copies of their implementing regulations, may be obtained from the CO.

The CO will oversee the investigation of any complaints of discrimination based on disability, which may be filed pursuant to the Board's adopted internal complaint procedure, and will attempt to resolve such complaints.

The Board will provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging violations of Section 504/ADA. The Board will further establish and implement a system of procedural safeguards in accordance with Section 504, including the right to an impartial due process hearing. Finally, students and parents will be advised of their right to request a due process hearing before an Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO) regarding the identification, evaluation or educational placement of persons with disabilities, including the right to participation by the studentís parents and representation of counsel, and their right to examine relevant education records.


The CO will also oversee the training of employees of the Board so that all employees understand their rights and responsibilities under Section 504 and the ADA, and are informed of the Board's policies, administrative guidelines and practices with respect to fully implementing and complying with the requirements of Section 504/ADA.

The Board will provide in-service training and consultation to staff responsible for the education of persons with disabilities, as necessary and appropriate.


No qualified person with a disability will, because the District's facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by persons with disabilities, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity to which Section 504/ADA applies.

For facilities constructed or altered after June 3, 1977, the District will comply with applicable accessibility standards. For those existing facilities constructed prior to June 3, 1977, the District is committed to operating its programs and activities so that they are readily accessible to persons with disabilities. This includes, but is not limited to, providing accommodations to parents with disabilities who desire access to their child's educational program or meetings pertinent thereto. Programs and activities will be designed and scheduled so that the location and nature of the facility or area will not deny a student with a disability the opportunity to participate on the same basis as students without disabilities.


The Board is committed to identifying, evaluating, and providing a free appropriate public education ("FAPE") to students within its jurisdiction who are disabled within the definition of Section 504, regardless of the nature or severity of their disabilities.

If a student has a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits one or more major life activities, the Board will provide the student with a free appropriate public education ("FAPE"). An appropriate education may include regular or special education and related aids and services to accommodate the unique needs of students with disabilities. For disabled students who are not eligible for specially designed instruction under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act ("IDEIA"), the related aids and services (including accommodations/modifications/interventions) they need in order to have their needs met as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are met, shall be delineated, along with their placement, in a Section 504 Plan (Form 2260.01A F13). Parents/guardians/custodians ("parents") are invited and encouraged to participate fully in the evaluation process and development of a Section 504 Plan.

The Board is committed to educating (or providing for the education of) each qualified person with a disability who resides within the District with persons who are not disabled to the maximum extent appropriate. Generally, the District will place a person with a disability in the regular educational environment unless it is demonstrated that the education of the person in the regular environment even with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. If the District places a person in a setting other than the regular educational environment, it shall take into account the proximity of the alternate setting to the person's home.

The Board will provide non-academic extracurricular services and activities in such a manner as is necessary to afford qualified persons with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in such services and activities. Nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities may include counseling services, physical recreational athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interests groups or clubs sponsored by the District, referrals to agencies that provide assistance to persons with disabilities, and employment of students. In providing or arranging for the provision of meals and recess periods, and nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities, including those listed above, the District will verify that persons with disabilities participate with persons without disabilities in such services and activities to the maximum extent appropriate.

Investigation and Complaint Procedure

The CO shall investigate any complaints brought under this policy. Throughout the course of the process as described herein, the CO should keep the parties informed of the status of the investigation and the decision making process.

All complaints must include the following information to the extent it is available: a description of the alleged violation, the identity of the individual(s) believed to have engaged in, or to be actively engaging in, conduct in violation of this policy, if any; a detailed description of the facts upon which the complaint is based; and a list of potential witnesses.

If the complainant is unwilling or unable to provide a written statement including the information set forth above, the CO shall ask for such details in an oral interview. Thereafter the CO will prepare a written summary of the oral interview, and the complainant will be asked to verify the accuracy of the report by signing the document.

Upon receiving a complaint, the CO will consider whether any action should be taken during the investigatory phase to protect the Complainant from further loss of educational opportunity, including but not limited to a change of class schedule for the complainant, tentative enrollment in a program, or other appropriate action. In making such a determination, the CO should consult the Principal prior to any action being taken. The Complainant should be notified of any proposed action prior to such action being taken.

As soon as appropriate in the investigation process, the CO will inform any individual named by the Complainant in connection with an alleged violation of this policy, that a complaint has been received. The person(s) must also be provided an opportunity to respond to the complaint.

Within five (5) business days of receiving the complaint, the CO will initiate an investigation.

Although certain cases may require additional time, the CO will attempt to complete an investigation into the allegations of harassment within fifteen (15) calendar days of receiving the formal complaint. The investigation will include:



interviews with the complainant;



interviews with any persons named in the complaint;



interviews with any other witnesses who may reasonably be expected to have any information relevant to the allegations;



consideration of any documentation or other evidence presented by the complainant, respondent, or any other witness which is reasonably believed to be relevant to the allegations.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the CO shall prepare and deliver a written report to the District Administrator which summarizes the evidence gathered during the investigation and provides recommendations based on the evidence and the definitions in this Policy, as well as in State and Federal law as to whether the complainant has been denied access to educational opportunities on the basis of one of the protected classifications, based on a preponderance of evidence standard. The COís recommendations must be based upon the totality of the circumstances, including the ages and maturity levels of those involved. The CO may consult with the Board Attorney before finalizing the report to the District Administrator.

Absent extenuating circumstances, within ten (10) business days of receiving the report of the CO, the District Administrator must either issue a final decision regarding or request further investigation. A copy of the District Administrator's final decision will be delivered to the complainant.

If the District Administrator requests additional investigation, the District Administrator must specify the additional information that is to be gathered, and such additional investigation must be completed within ten (10) business days. At the conclusion of the additional investigation, the District Administrator must issue a final written decision as described above. The decision of the District Administrator will be reviewed by the Board upon request.

If the complainant feels that the decision does not adequately address the complaint s/he may appeal the decision to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The Board reserves the right to investigate and resolve a complaint or report of regardless of whether the member of the School District community or third party chooses to pursues the complaint. The Board also reserves the right to have the complaint investigation conducted by an external person in accordance with this policy or in such other manner as deemed appropriate by the Board.

Additional School District Action

If the evidence suggests that any conduct at issue violates any other policies of the Board, is a crime, or requires mandatory reporting under the Children's Code (Sec. 48.981, Wis. Stat.), the CO or District Administrator shall take additional such actions as necessary and appropriate under the circumstances, which may include a report to the appropriate social service and/or law enforcement agency charged with responsibility for handling such investigations.


The District will make reasonable efforts to protect the privacy of any individuals involved in the investigation process. Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed however. All complainants proceeding through the investigation process should be advised that as a result of the investigation, allegations against individuals may become known to those individuals, including the complainantís identity.

During the course of an investigation, the CO will instruct all members of the School District community and third parties who are interviewed about the importance of maintaining confidentiality. Any individual who is interviewed as part of an investigation is expected not to disclose any information that s/he learns or that s/he provides during the course of the investigation.

All public records created as a part of an investigation will be maintained by the CO in accordance with the Board's records retention policy. Any records which are considered student records in accordance with the state or Federal law will be maintained in a manner consistent with the provisions of the law.


Notice of the Board's policy on nondiscrimination in education practices and the identity of the CO will be posted throughout the District, and published in the District's recruitment statements or general information publications.

34 C.F.R. Part 104
29 U.S.C. 794, Section 504 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended
42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended

Revised 5/18/15
Revised 7/20/15

© Neola 2015