COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 22

January 27, 2006

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Patricia I. Wright

Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Notification Procedures Related to Non-discrimination Requirements

 

The U. S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The provisions of these civil rights laws apply to any programs or activities receiving or benefiting from Federal financial assistance.

Title IX states: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

 

Section 504 states: No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, 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.

 

This memorandum is provided as follow-up to the Virginia Department of Educations (VDOE) agreement with the OCR to address notification procedures that were recently identified through its review of the agency. The memorandum also serves as follow-up to the departments recent Title IX informational forums. All educational agencies receiving federal assistance, including the VDOE, are reminded of the obligation under Title IX and Section 504 to designate one or more employees to coordinate the responsibilities of these civil rights laws. These regulations require all educational agencies that receive federal financial assistance to have well-publicized policies against discrimination, including sexual harassment, and to have procedures for students and their families to raise and resolve issues concerning discrimination. Educational agencies are required to implement specific and continuing steps to notify all students, parents, employees, and the public that the school does not discriminate. Educational agencies also are required to publish a notice of non-discrimination in publications made available to students, parents, employees, applicants for admission or employment, and in other sources of information. The Office for Civil Rights encourages the use of one combined notice for all the civil rights regulations. A combined non-discrimination notice should contain two basic elements: (1) a statement of non-discrimination in all programs and activities; and (2) identification by name or title, address, and telephone number of the employee or employees responsible for coordinating the compliance efforts.

 

Attached you will find a copy of the sample notice of non-discrimination that is posted on the OCR website. This sample notice is provided to assist school divisions in formulating and reviewing their required local notice of non-discrimination. Please note that such notice should be prominently posted on websites, in schools, publications, and by other means as required by law. The Deputy Superintendent for Public Instruction at the VDOE is the designated Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator for VDOE.

 

Compliance with Title IX and Section 504 is a shared responsibility of an entire institution, from top-level administration to individual staff members. We appreciate your leadership in promoting equity and excellence in education for all students.

 

Further information about Title IX and Section 504, including resources on developing policies of non-discrimination and effective grievance procedures, can be obtained from the Office for Civil Rights at the U. S. Department of Educations website at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/nondisc.html or you may contact Dr. Sandra E. Ruffin, director of federal program monitoring Sandra.Ruffin@doe.virginia.gov, at (804) 225-2768, or Dr. Bondy Shay Gibson, monitoring specialist Bondy.Gibson@doe.virginia.gov), at (804) 225-2618.

 

PIW/MMV/cb

 

Attachment

 

http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2006/inf022a.pdf