IDEA Complaint Decision 01-008

On January 29, 2001, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Lake Holcombe School District. The issues in this investigation are whether the district failed (1) to implement transition services in the individualized education programs (IEPs) for two students with disabilities (students A and B), and (2) to implement the current IEPs for the two students with disabilities, due to lack of qualified personnel, during the 2000-2001 school year. This is the departments decision regarding that complaint.

The complainant alleges that specific transition-based services were not provided for students A and B. For student A, the complainant stated the district did not implement transition services in the areas of identifying jobs of interest and no interest; dressing and personal hygiene independently; using simple tools and appliances; increasing functional word vocabulary; washing, drying, folding and hanging up clothes at laundromat independently; telling time; and identifying the approximate cost of every day items. Student Bs parent indicated her child did not receive transition services in the areas of telling time; increasing functional reading/word vocabulary; planning and preparing a simple meal with clean up; performing laundry tasks independently with coin and non-coin machines; using simple tools and appliances; and identifying and visiting possible post-high-school living situations.

The special education supervisor, during an interview with department staff, indicated that the transition services for students A and B were provided. Further, the special education teacher reviewed with department staff all the goals and objectives for students A and B, and described how the students were working toward the objectives. The teacher also indicated that the amount of special education required in each students IEP had been provided during the year and that staff had provided transition services consistent with the description of services on the IEPs. Conversations with the complainant and the second students parent indicate that each of the objectives was being addressed, but not to the extent, or in the way, anticipated by those individuals. The law requires that a district must ensure all services specified in a students IEP are provided. However, the law does not require an IEP to include a day-to-day teaching approach or a lesson plan. Transition services were provided consistent with the IEPs.

The complainant also alleges that the district failed to implement the current IEPs for students A and B due to a lack of qualified personnel, during the 2000-2001 school year. The specific concern was that unlicensed foster grandparents were allowed to work with the students. The special education teacher assigned to instruct students A and B has licenses in the area of cognitive disability (CD) and learning disability (LD) issued by the department. The coordinator of the foster grandparent program advised department staff that foster grandparents were placed in classrooms to support special education teachers and to provide a nurturing environment for the students. Foster grandparents assigned to work in the students classroom, accompanied the students to classes and provided support with their daily classroom assignments. They worked under the direct supervision of the special education teacher, who was in the same classroom, and provided no direct instruction. The IEPs were implemented by qualified staff.

We are closing this complaint investigation.

//signed MJT 6/19/01
Mike J. Thompson, Assistant Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy



For questions about this information, contact Patricia Williams (608) 267-3720