On March 12, 2001, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Racine Unified School District. This is the departments decision on that complaint.
The issues in this investigation are whether the district failed to:
- implement provisions of the childs current individualized education program (IEP) related to the amount and frequency of special education vision services;
- provide supplemental aids and services as outlined in the childs IEP, including the use of a computer and software, use of Braille textbooks, and having assignments Brailled; and
- inform the complainant of the extent to which the childs progress toward annual goals is sufficient to enable the child to achieve the goals by the end of the year.
The students October 16, 2000, IEP states that the student will receive direct instruction and classroom consultation provided by a teacher of the visually impaired for a minimum of three 55-minute class periods per week. The following supplementary aids and services are to be provided: color CCTV, Braille and Speak, laptop computer with MS word and JAWS, Perkins Braille writer, hand held magnifier, monocular talking/large print calculator, and tape recorder. Program modifications or supports include Braille, large print and taped textbooks, tests, worksheets. The IEP includes the following procedures for notifying parents of progress toward annual goals: parent-teacher conference, reports mailed at least quarterly, notebook and telephone communication as often as necessary, and use of a student planner on a daily basis.
A teacher of the visually impaired worked with the student for one 55-minute class period, three days per week from October 17, 2000, until the last week of January, 2001, when the childs vision teacher accepted a full-time position in another school. The remaining teacher of the visually impaired adjusted her schedule in an attempt to meet students needs as outlined in their IEPs. However, this teacher of the visually impaired did not begin working with the complainants child until February 26, 2001, causing a lapse in service from February 1, 2001, to February 25, 2001. From February 26, 2001, until April 5, 2001, the teacher of the visually impaired saw the youth for 45-minutes, two days per week. Beginning on April 6, 2001, the teacher of the visually impaired began serving the student one class period per day, three days per week.
From the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year, the district has failed to provide supplementary aids and services outlined in the October 16, 2000, IEP. On April 4, 2001, a consultant contracted by the district conducted an evaluation of the students needs in order to recommend appropriate equipment and software for the student and provide training in its use.
At the time this complaint was filed, the only quarterly report the complainant had received this school year was from her childs orientation and mobility teacher. She had not received any other communication in regard to her childs progress toward annual goals. The district acknowledges it failed to carry out this part of the IEP. Since the new teacher of the visually impaired began working with this student, a quarterly report was sent out at the end of the third quarter. An IEP team meeting is scheduled for May 22, 2001, when the parent will receive a report of her child's progress.
The district acknowledges that it failed to provide the direct instruction and consultation, supports and devices, as well as reports on student progress described in the IEP. The following corrective activities are required:
- At the May 22, 2001, meeting, the IEP team will consider whether additional special education services are required due to the lapse in services from February 1, 2001, to February 25, 2001; the reduction in the amount of service from February 26, 2001, to April 5, 2001; and the failure to provide supplementary aids and services as outlined in the October 16, 2000 IEP. The district will advise the department regarding the IEP teams determination.
- The district will submit to the department documentation that the services are provided to the child as promised in the IEP and that the parent is informed of the childs progress pursuant to the IEP.
- The district will, within 30 days of receipt of this decision, submit to the department a plan to ensure that the district provides all children with vision impairments the special education, related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modifications and supports, as outlined in the IEP, and to ensure that all parents of children with disabilities, receive reports of their childs progress toward annual goals, consistent with the requirements of their IEP.
The plan shall include the activities the district will undertake, the personnel responsible for each activity, the date by which each activity will be completed, and the type of documentation that will be submitted to the department as evidence of completion of each activity. The plan will be reviewed and the district will be informed if any revisions are required. The district will implement the plan after the department has approved it.
//signed MJT/SJP 5/11/01
Mike J. Thompson, Assistant Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy