VirtualSC and Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act Of 1973
VirtualSC (VSC) is an option for students who are disabled according to Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and who wish to take courses for high school credit. It is essential to consider the nature of online instruction, and consider if online courses are an appropriate placement.
Under this policy, a student with a disability is one who (a) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (b) has a record of such impairment, or (c) is regarded as having such impairment. Students may be disabled under Section 504 even though they do not require services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
To ensure that VSC serves students who are identified as disabled under Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, we have developed the following guidelines:
Enrollment Policies and Procedures
Before Enrollment -
- The 504 plan (provided by the sponsor school) should indicate that virtual schooling is an appropriate placement for the student, and approval for online learning should be written into that document. The student’s sponsor school should have a system in place to ensure that follow-up meetings occur promptly to facilitate the success of the 504 student while he/she is enrolled in VSC.
- The accommodations document must be uploaded into the VirtualSC Dashboard before the first day of class. The student’s teacher will have access to the accommodations document once the student is placed and a classroom is assigned.
During a student’s enrollment at VSC, the student’s 504 will be subject to periodic review (at minimum, at the time of student’s enrollment and after any updates have occurred). VSC staff will review the 504 to ensure that the listed accommodations are able to be provided in our program’s virtual learning program as specified in the student’s 504. If there is a concern with the student’s documentation, or if the accommodation is one that can not be met as written in the document, the school and parent will be alerted about the concern. The student may be dropped (in accordance with the South Carolina Uniform Grading Policy [UGP]) if there is not a team agreement on comparable accommodations that considers student needs and the nature of the VSC program within 14 days of enrollment (or 14 days of notification of a concern). The team agreement should be in line with best practice - having accommodations denoted or adapted as appropriate for the virtual setting, including asynchronous instructional methods. These may be different from other online/blended methods. The agreement should be in the form of an amended or updated 504 for the student. Exceptional Learner Specialists are available and willing to be a part of teams and assist with consulting and reviewing 504s for additional support.
Failure of the Sponsor School to adhere to the above responsibilities may result in an administrative withdrawal.
During Enrollment -
During enrollment, VSC will be responsible for the following:
- Providing those accommodations that are possible in virtual learning as specified on the student’s 504 plan.
- Maintaining the security and confidentiality of each student’s educational records in a manner consistent with the IDEA and FERPA.
During enrollment, the student’s sponsor school district will be responsible for the following.
- Monitoring the student’s progress in a course.
- Providing updated accommodations information to VSC within 48 hours following any action taken by the school district .
- Notifying VSC instructors of any information that may affect the student’s performance in or during the online course(s);
- Providing any technology necessary (including assistive technology) to support the implementation of accommodations;
- Providing accommodations necessary for the student’s participation in VSC or statewide assessments;
- Providing all special education and related services to (or on behalf of) the student, including accommodations and additional supports needed for a student with a disability;
- The school district is responsible for any hardware or software accommodations necessary for the student to access the course.
For more information regarding special education in South Carolina, please contact the SCDE, Office of Special Education Services, at 803 734-8224 or visit the Office of Special Education Services webpage.
For more information on the enrollment of students who require 504 accommodations in VSC courses, please contact Liz Crouse at firstname.lastname@example.org
 The student’s sponsor school district is responsible for ensuring that the child receives all accommodations (instructional and testing) outlined on the student’s 504 plan. The sponsor school district is responsible for collaborating with VSC to determine how each student’s accommodations will be implemented. Neither the student’s sponsor school district nor VSC staff or faculty, may unilaterally change or determine that a specific accommodation can or cannot be implemented in a virtual learning program.