Guidance Department

Our Mission

The primary role of Guidance is to help students achieve academic success. The information provided here will assist in preparing students for success throughout their school years and in future endeavors. Guidance can help with:

  • adolescent problems and issues with peers, parents, and teachers.
  • career information, college planning, and occupational assessment
  • scholarship information and applications
  • course selection information and assistance with scheduling classes
  • academic conferences, interventions, and peer tutoring
  • conflict resolution, anger management, and substance abuse

Students or parents who would like to speak with a counselor or arrange a conference should call the Guidance Department at (856) 881-8701. Students can also stop by the guidance office and make an appointment to see their counselor. A pass will be counted as an excused absence from class.

Guidance Department Information

2024-2025 Clayton High School Course Catalog

504 Accommodations and Plans

504 Accommodations and Plans

What is Section 504?


Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met. Section 504 is not a special education statute, although it addresses the provision of education to qualified individuals with disabilities. Public school districts are required to provide a free appropriate public education to all qualified students with disabilities. This must include an education designed to provide educational benefit despite the child’s disability.


Which students are covered?


A person with a disability under 504 is defined by an individual who:


  1. Has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (i.e. learning);
  2. Has a record of such an impairment; or
  3. Is regarded as having such an impairment.


Students who satisfy the first definition are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (‘FAPE”) in the least restrictive environment and an individualized accommodation plan. Students who satisfy only the second and third definitions are not entitled to FAPE or accommodations, but are entitled to be free from discrimination.


Who is an “individual with a disability?”


As defined by federal law: “An individual with a disability means any person who: (i) has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity; (ii) has a record of such an impairment; or (iii) is regarded as having such an impairment.”


What is an “impairment” as used under the Section 504 definition?


An impairment as used in Section 504 may include any disability, long-term illness, or various disorder that “substantially” reduces or lessens a student’s ability to access learning in the educational setting because of a learning-, behavior- or health-related condition. [“It should be emphasized that a physical or mental impairment does not constitute a disability for purposes of Section 504 unless its severity is such that it results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities.”]


The United States Supreme Court has stated that, to be substantially limited, the impairment’s impact must be permanent or long term. Other courts have defined substantial as limited considerably or to a large degree. Minor or moderate limitations are not sufficient for a student to be eligible under 504. In determining whether a student’s impairment substantially limits a major life activity, the District is required to compare the individual to his or her average peer in the population. Students, therefore, are measured by reference to the performance of children at the same age or grade level. Under Section 504, it is not proper to compare the student to only his own potential. When determining eligibility under Section 504, the District also is required to determine if environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage are the primary reason for any limitations that the student may exhibit. Temporary impairments may be covered by 504 if the impairment is substantially limiting and if it is of sufficient duration. However, temporary, non-chronic impairments of short-duration, with little or no permanent long-term impact, usually are not disabilities as defined by Section 504.


Is medical diagnosis required for consideration for a 504 plan?


A medical diagnosis or report are pieces of information to be considered regarding eligibility. A diagnosis from a medical provider does not automatically determine eligibility. The disability must be determined to be substantially impacting a major life activity (i.e. learning). A student’s eligibility under Section 504 is not determined by a doctor or psychologist, but by a multidisciplinary team convened by the District. That team must include persons who are knowledgeable about the student, Section 504, and the evaluation data to be considered. The 504 committee may review medical documentation, academic achievement, and feedback from teachers, parents, and the student.


Are there grievance procedures?


If a parent or guardian disagrees with the school’s decision regarding their child’s 504 plan, a written statement stating the specific facts of the grievance shall be submitted to the District 504 Coordinator at the following address:


Joseph Valentino

Supervisor of Guidance and Counseling

55A Pop Kramer Blvd., Clayton, NJ  08312

856-881-8701 ext. 1010

Email address:


In the event the grievance is directed towards or involves the District 504 Coordinator, the written grievance described above shall be submitted to:
Gregory Esposito, Supervisor of Special Services
300 West Chestnut Street, Clayton NJ  08312
856-881-8704, extension 3007


Are accommodations designed to produce achievement equal to that of non-disabled students?


504 accommodation plans are designed to level the playing field for equal access to and opportunity for free and appropriate education. They are not intended to guarantee increased achievement.

How do I refer my child for consideration for a 504 Accommodation Plan?


If you wish for your child to be reviewed for 504 plan eligibility, please contact your child’s counselor.


Is there an annual review process?


Each student with accommodations and/or services will have the plan reviewed annually. The review may occur more often if the student’s rate of progress changes significantly, if there is noticeable change in behavior, or upon parental request.


The review should address the need for additional evaluation information, whether the student continues to have a qualified disability, and the effectiveness of the accommodations.


How are transfer student Section 504 accommodation plans handled?


When a student transfers to the Clayton School District from another school district with an existing Section 504 plan, the 504 team will meet to review the plan. If there are no concerns about the transfer student’s eligibility or the accommodation plan, the plan will be implemented immediately. Conversely, if the 504 team does not agree with the decision and/or plan from the previous school district, the student should be promptly evaluated to determined eligibility and the need for accommodations. In this case, the existing plan will be followed until the reevaluation and eligibility determination are completed.


Click HERE for the Reasonable Accommodations 504 Form

Education Verification Requests

All requests for education verification must be submitted in writing, accompanied by a release form signed by the individual. Electronic signatures are accepted. Please provide as much information as possible with your request, including any alternate names the individual may have been known by while a student, along with their date of birth, and year of graduation. Typical turnaround time is within 2 to 3 business days. 

Submit your requests via email to or via fax 856-863-0808.

Guidance Calendar

Harassment/Intimidation/Bullying (HIB)


Anti-Bullying Coordinator – Joseph Valentino
(856) 881 -8701 ext. 1010
Middle School Anti-Bullying Specialist – Tyler Fruits
(856) 881-8701 ext. 1011
High School Anti-Bullying Specialist – Lisa Atanasio-Sloat
(856) 881-8701 ext. 1013
Simmons Elementary School Anti-Bullying Specialist – Bianca Matthews
(856) 881-8704 ext. 3292

Additional links:

Transcript Request Form

All requests for transcripts must be made in writing. Students and alumni, please fill out this google form in its entirety with your complete information.

Alumni, please provide complete email and mailing addresses for where to send your transcript. Any errors may delay the processing of your request. The typical turnaround time is within 2-3 business days. If you have any questions, please call the Guidance Department at 856-881-8701 ext. 1005.

Related Links

Please visit the Staff Forms section of Staff Resources for I&RS Forms:

Summer School

Middle School 2024 Summer School Options
  • Details to follow

Guidance Department Contact Info

Address & Phone

Clayton High School
55 Pop Kramer Blvd. Suite A
Phone: (856) 881-8701 x1005

Office Hours

Mon – Fri 7:00 AM. – 4:00 PM

Social Info

Department Staff


Joseph Valentino

Supervisor of Guidance and Counseling
(856) 881-8701 x1010

Mary Pfeifer

Administrative Assistant
(856) 881-8701 x1005

Tyler Fruits

HS Counselor (Letters A-K)
(856) 881-8701 x1011

Lisa Atanasio-Sloat

MS Counselor (6th-8th Grade)
(856) 881-8701 x1013

Mary Ellen Walker

ES Counselor (PreK-2nd)
(856) 881-8704 x3291

Bianca Matthews

ES Counselor (3rd-5th)
(856) 881-8704 x3292

Susan Koreck-Maxwell

Student Assistance Counselor
(856) 881-8701 x2202

Ashley Smith

HS Counselor (Letters L-Z)
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