Special Education / 504 Process

The teachers at Independence Charter Academy are highly trained and qualified to help aid in every child’s educational success. Independence Charter Academy’s teaching staff is equipped to serve all students at every learning level and dedicated to helping special education students reach their full potential.

For many students, independent study is the educational option that enables them to most fully realize their potential. Independence Charter Academy’s instructional strategy offers the flexibility to meet individual student needs, interests, styles of learning and meet the same educational objectives as all students in traditional California schools.

There are two general pathways for students that need additional support during the learning process: Section 504 and IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act).

Section 504

Section 504 is a broad federal civil rights law that protects all individuals with a handicap. Students who qualify under this program must have a 504 plan that outlines the services to be provided to help them learn in the best way possible. Click the button below to learn more about the protections offered under Section 504.


Some students will also qualify under the more stringent IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act). IDEA only applies to students who require special education because they have one of the specified types of disabilities.

Students who qualify for IDEA will have an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) rather than a 504 plan to best suit their individual educational needs. If a student is determined by the school district’s evaluation team to be eligible for special education and related services under IDEA, that will take the place of a Section 504 plan.

Student Protections

There are no categorical restrictions as to what supports and services might be appropriate on an IEP or a 504 accommodation plan. In other words, it would be incorrect to say that specific benefits are only available under either IDEA or Section 504 because all supports and services are determined based upon the individual need(s) of the student. All students with IEPs or on 504 plans are covered by the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and therefore cannot be discriminated against because of their disability.

Local Plan

The Local Plan is a written document that outlines the joint effort of member school districts and charter schools that describes how services for children with disabilities are provided, and the responsibility for management and supervision of all special education program operations within the SELPA region of San Bernardino County. Click the link below for more information on the CAHELP website for the latest revision of the Local Plan.

Links to Content

Have a question?

If you have a question about these programs or if you feel your student may benefit from extra assistance, please contact your student's teacher to learn more.