Grievances – Section 504 and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
The Board is committed to maintaining equitable employment/educational practices, services, programs, and activities that are accessible and usable by qualified individuals with disabilities.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that: No otherwise qualified individual with handicaps in the United States… solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990 provides that: No otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall be discriminated against in regard to job application procedures, the hiring, advancement, or discharge of employees, employee compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
The Board shall designate at least one employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504, including any investigation of any complaint alleging non-compliance with the Acts or alleging any actions that would be prohibited by the Acts.
The Board shall make available the name, office address and telephone number of the ADA/Section 504 coordinator. Methods of initial and continuing notification may include the posting of notices, publication in newspapers and student and employee handbooks and distribution of memoranda or other written communications.
The coordinator will hear ADA/Section 504 complaints. Complaints shall be submitted in writing to the coordinator who will endeavor to accomplish prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited by the ADA/Section 504. The coordinator will respond to all complaints within twenty (20) days with a written response as well as information on further grievance procedures that may be followed if the complaining party is not satisfied with the coordinator’s proposed resolution. At any time, a complaining party may request a hearing before an impartial hearing officer designated by the LEA. The request for a hearing must be in writing and signed by the requesting party and sent to the ADA/504 Coordinator. The LEA shall ensure that not later than forty-five (45) days after the receipt of a request for a hearing –
- A final decision is reached in the hearing; and
- A copy of the decision is mailed to each of the parties.
The hearing officer may grant specific extensions of the forty-five (45) day timeline at the request of either party.
ADA Coordinator – Supervisor of Special Services
504 Coordinator – Director of Student Services
4300 Mouse Creek RD NW
Cleveland, TN 37312
Cleveland City Schools Media Statement
Publicity is an integral part of the regular school program for Cleveland City Schools. Therefore, if you do not want your child in any story, picture or video for publicity in the media, please notify the school in writing within two weeks after the first day of school or within two weeks after registration.
Cleveland City Schools Notice for Directory Information
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Cleveland City Schools with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, Cleveland City schools may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the District to the contrary in accordance with District Procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the Cleveland City Schools to include this type of information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include:
- A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
- The annual yearbook;
- Honor roll or other recognition lists;
- Graduation programs; and
- Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) provide military recruiters, upon request, with three directory information categories – names, addresses, and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent.
If you do not want Cleveland city Schools to disclose directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the District in writing within the first two weeks after the first day of school or within two weeks after registration. Cleveland City Schools has designated the following information as directory information:
- Student’s name
- Telephone listing
- Electronic mail address
- Date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Grade level
- Enrollment Status
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- The most recent educational agency or institution attended
Cleveland City Schools Notification of Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational rights and Privacy Act ((FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the School principal (Or appropriate school official) a written request that identifies the records(s) they wish to inspect. The School official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place were the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy acts under FERPA. Parents or eligible students may ask the School to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the School principal (or appropriate school official), clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the School decides not to amend the recorded as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the School as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using its own employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, Cleveland City Schools discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
- Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland AVE SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
- Family Policy Compliance Office
Tennessee Department of Education Contact Information
Legal Services Division, Division of Special Education
Tennessee Department of Education
710 James Robertson PKWY
Andrew Johnson Tower, 5th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243-0380
(615) 741-2851 [voice]
(615) 253-5557 or (615) 532-9412 [fax]
East Tennessee Regional Resource Center
2763 Island Home BLVD
Knoxville, TN 37290
(865) 594-5691 [voice]
(865) 594-8909 [fax]
Child Advocacy Group Contact Information
In addition to the state and local resources available to parents and children, there are many agencies and organizations that offer support, information, training, and help in advocating for persons with disabilities in Tennessee.
A few of these organizations are listed below.
The ARC of Tennessee
44 Vantage WAY, STE 550
Nashville, TN 37228
(615) 248-5878 or (800) 835-7077 [voice]
(615) 248-5879 [fax]
Support and Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP)
712 Professional Plaza
Greeneville, TN 37745
Tennessee Protection and Advocacy (TP&A)
416 21st AVE South
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 298-1080 or (800) 287-9636 [voice]
(615) 298-2471 [TTY]
(615) 298-2046 [fax]
Cleveland City Schools Notification of Rights Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA)
PPRA affords parents and students who are 18 or emancipated minors (eligible students) certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:
- Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas (protected information survey) if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education.
- Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parent;
- Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
- Sex behavior or attitudes;
- Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior;
- Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
- Legally recognized privileged relationships, such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers;
- Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
- Income, other than as required by law to determine program eligibility.
- Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of
- Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
- Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and
- Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.
- Inspect, upon request and before administration or use
- Protected information surveys of students;
- Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes; and
- Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.
Cleveland City Schools conducts an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Violence Survey each March for students in grades 5, 7, and 11. This is an anonymous survey that asks students questions about drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and other at risk behaviors. Copies of this survey will be available in the school office two weeks before the survey is to be distributed. Parents or students who are 18 may choose to opt out of this survey simply by providing written notice to the school principal before distribution of the survey.
Cleveland City Schools has developed and adopted policies, in consultation with parents, regarding these rights, as well as arrangements to protect student privacy in the administration of protected surveys and the collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales, or other distribution purposes. (See Board of Education Policy 6.4001 available at www.clevelandschools.org) Cleveland City Schools will directly notify parents and eligible students of these policies at least annually at the start of each school year and after any substantive changes. Cleveland City Schools will also directly notify parents and eligible students, at least annually at the start of each school year of the specific or approximate dates of the following activities and provide an opportunity to opt a student out of participating in:
- Collection, disclosure, or use of personal information for marketing, sales or other distribution.
- Administration of any protected information survey not funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Any non-emergency, invasive physical examination or screening as described above.
Parents/eligible students who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Transfer Option for Students Victimized by Violent Crime at School
Under the Tennessee State Board of Education’s Unsafe School Choice Policy, any public school student who is the victim of a violent crime as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 40-38-111(g), or the attempt to commit one of these offenses as defined under Tennessee Code Annotated 39-12-101, shall be provided an opportunity to transfer to another grade-level appropriate school within the district.
Additional information regarding this option may be obtained by contacting the Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction at (423) 472-9571.
Cleveland City Schools Title VI and IX Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy
Title VI and Title IX Coordinator
Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction
Cleveland City Schools
4300 Mouse Creek RD NW
Cleveland, TN 37312
Cleveland City Schools will not tolerate discrimination or harassment from employee to employee, employee to student, or student to student on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or disability. Anyone who feels he/she has been grieved in regard to any of the aforementioned categories may file a grievance with the Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction for Cleveland City Schools. A grievance form may be obtained in the school office or the Administrative Offices Building. A grievance may also be filed with the U.S. Office of Civil Rights. For detailed information, refer to the Cleveland City Schools Board of Education policies Discrimination/Harassment of Employees (5.500), Discrimination/Harassment of Students (6.304), and Student Concerns, Complaints, and Grievances (6.305). Copies of these policies may be obtained at any school or they can be accessed at www.clevelandschools.org.
Annual Notice to Parents
In compliance with state and federal law, the Cleveland City School district will provide to each protected student with a disability without discrimination or cost to the student or family, those related aids, services or accommodations which are needed to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s abilities. In order to qualify as a protected student with a disability, the child must be of school age with a physical or mental disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program.
These services and protections for ‘protected students who are disabled’ are distinct from those applicable to all eligible or exceptional students enrolled (or seeking enrollment) in special education programs.
For further information on the evaluation procedures and provision of services to protected handicapped students, contact the 504 Coordinator for Cleveland City Schools, 4300 Mouse Creek RD, Cleveland, TN 37312, (423) 472-9571.