On March 19, 2001, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Watertown School District. The issue in this investigation is whether the district, during the 2000-2001 school year, failed to implement provisions of the childs individualized education program (IEP) requiring preferential seating, shortened assignments and extra time to complete assignments. This is the departments decision for that complaint.
An IEP developed for the child during an IEP team meeting held December 13, 2000, requires supplementary aids and services including "preferential seatingextra time[and] shortened assignments." Complainant alleges that these supplementary aids and services were not provided for her child. A school district must ensure that all services specified in a child's IEP are provided.
Based on materials submitted by the district, including portions of the child's records, and on discussions with the complainant, two of the child's teachers, a building principal and the director of special education, the department determines that the district did provide the supplementary aids and services in his IEP. Following development of the IEP, both the child's classroom and special education teachers did afford him more time to complete assignments and did reduce the amount of work which is expected of him as compared with his classmates. Both teachers provided the department with specific examples of how they fulfill this requirement. Preferential seating is provided for him both at a desk in the back of the room when he needs it, and another seat at a table at the front of the room which he utilizes when his teacher uses the chalkboard or overhead projector.
Two IEP team meetings were held in March and one in April, two of which were held after the district learned this complaint had been filed. The team discussed the complainant's concerns and staff explained how these supplementary aids and services are provided for the child. The IEP was clarified by explaining in greater detail what the teachers had been doing in providing supplementary aids and services. The teachers also are clearly marking at the top of each homework assignment what portion of it is to be completed by the student. Finally, the team ensured that the IEP addresses the student's educational needs resulting from a medical diagnosis made after completion of the December IEP.
We are closing this complaint investigation.
//signed MJT 5/18/01
Mike J. Thompson, Assistant Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy