Special Education & 504 Plans

Special Ed Art Being Displayed

Da Vinci Schools provides a full continuum of supports to learners. Our goal is to provide supports in the least restrictive environment by meaningfully including students with disabilities in the general education setting to the greatest extent possible. Our schools prioritize psycho-educational awareness so that students can advocate for themselves in all spaces. We also work diligently with families to inform them about the complex special education system and how it functions. If you have specific questions or concerns regard the special education process, please contact Dr. Lynn Rodriguez, Director of Special Education at lrodriguez@davincischools.org.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Special Education

Q: Can a parent request an assessment for special education?
A: Yes, parents can submit a written request to have their student assessed for special education. In the written request, it is helpful to include the specific ways in which your child is struggling, as well as any previous diagnosis your child has received. The written response can be submitted to the Principal or directly to the Director of Special Education. Once your written request is submitted, Da Vinci will have 15 calendar days to respond to your request for assessment.

Q: What are the timelines for special education assessment?
A: Once the assessment plan has been signed and returned, Da Vinci will have 60 calendar days to complete the assessments and hold an initial IEP meeting to determine eligibility. It is important to note that assessment for special education does not guarantee that the student will be found eligible for special education services.

Q: What are the 13 eligibility categories for special education?
A: Students can be found eligible for special education under one of the eligibility categories per California Education Code. The 13 eligibility categories are:

1. Autism
2. Deaf-Blindness
3. Deafness
4. Emotional Disturbance
5. Hearing Impaired
6. Intellectually Delayed
7. Multiple Disabilities
8. Orthopedic Impairments
9. Other Health Impairments
10. Specific Learning Disability
11. Speech or Language Impairment
12. Traumatic Brain Injury
13. Visual Impairment

Q: If my child has dyslexia will he or she qualify for an IEP?
A: While dyslexia is not one of the 13 eligibility criteria, a student with dyslexia could potentially meet the eligibility criteria under Specific Learning Disability.

Q: What types of services can a student with an IEP access?
A: Services are determined on an individualized basis. Some of the services currently being accessed by students with IEPs at Da Vinci include Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy, Social Skills support, Counseling, and Behavior supports.

Q: If my child has a medical diagnosis, such as ADHD or anxiety, will he or she automatically qualify for an IEP?
A: A medical diagnosis does not automatically trigger eligibility for special education. Special education eligibility criteria is based on the California Education code and there are differences between medical criteria and Education Code criteria. Nonetheless, it is possible for students with a medical diagnosis to also qualify under one of the 13 special education eligibility categories.

Q: What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan?
A: Both IEPs and 504 plans can offer formal support for student K-12. 504 plans can provide services and accommodation, changes to the learning environment, to meet the needs of individual students. 504 plans are governed by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This is a federal civil rights law intended to remove barriers and prevent discrimination against people with disabilities. An important factor to consider is that 504 plan are monitored and implemented by the general education staff. Students with 504 plans are not considered students in special education. >> Understanding the IEP (PDF)

Q: Does my student’s IEP have to say that independent study is the recommended setting in order to attend Da Vinci Connect?
A: While your child will not be denied access to Da Vinci Connect if independent study is not the recommended setting, under the Individual’s with Disabilities Act, DV Connect is required to provide services that are similar or equivalent to what was provided at the last placement. This could result in the determination that independent study is not an appropriate placement option for your child.


Dr. Lynn Rodriguez
Director of Special Education

Dr. Allegra Johnson
Executive Director of Educational Services

Section 504 American with Disabilities Act

Da Vinci Schools do not discriminate in its educational programs and activities on the basis of a student’s disability. If you have reason to suspect that a student may have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, please notify your school counselor or Charter Section 504 Coordinator, Dr. Lynn Rodriguez. A team will convene to determine whether accommodations may be needed to meet your student’s needs as adequately as the need of other students. You will be included as a member of the team. Feel free to contact the Section 504 Liaison/Coordinator:

Dr. Lynn Rodriguez
Director of Special Education