Changing the location in which educational services are provided will not necessarily amount to a significant change in placement.

It didn’t in Oneida (NY) City School District, 54 IDELR 173 (OCR 2009). Here, the district arranged for a student with cystic fibrosis to receive five hours of home instruction on a temporary basis. The parent asked the district to continue the services during the next school year. The district agreed but said it would provide the services only on the school campus.

The parent alleged that providing tutoring services at school rather than at home constituted a significant change in placement, requiring the district to convene a Section 504 meeting. OCR disagreed, noting that the district provided the same amount of services and used the same tutors, curriculum and teaching methods.

A clear explanation of the difference between placement and location may have prevented this parent from filing a complaint with OCR. As such, educate staff and parents about what may constitute a significant change in placement under Section 504.

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