IDEA Complaint Decision 02-049

On August 6 and 30, and December 1, 2002, a special education complaint was filed with the Department of Public Instruction by XXXXX against the School District of Marinette. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district:

  • Timely responded to the parent's request for a copy of his son's educational records prior to a June 3, 2002, individualized education program (IEP) team meeting;
  • Properly responded to the parent's request in late spring 2002 for a reevaluation of his son;
  • Considered, during the June 3, 2002, IEP team meeting, parent concerns for enhancing the education of the child and, prior to the meeting, developed the IEP and determined the child's placement; and conducted, prior to or after the June 3, 2002, IEP meeting, an IEP review meeting without notifying or involving the parents;
  • Properly responded to the parent's request for a copy of the June 3, 2002, IEP;
  • Clearly stated in the June 3, 2002, IEP the amount, frequency, and location of special education, related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modifications and supports for school personnel; the extent of student participation in the regular education environment; the transition services to be provided; and a proper statement related to student participation in district and state assessment; and
  • Provided proper notices in the local newspaper of the district's transportation and student record policy regarding students with disabilities.

An IEP team meeting was conducted on June 3, 2002, to develop the child's IEP. The parent received notice of the June 3, 2002, IEP meeting and the child's mother and grandmother attended. Prior to the June 3, 2002, IEP team meeting the parent requested, by letter dated May 23, 2002, a copy of the child's education records dating back to the beginning of the sixth grade middle school education experience. The district did not provide a copy of pupil records before the June 3, 2002, meeting. The district will provide a copy of all pupil records to the parent within 30 days of receiving this decision. No further corrective action is required.

The parent, in May 13 and 15, 2002, e-mails to the district, requested a comprehensive reevaluation prior to the June 3, 2002, IEP meeting. The district initiated the reevaluation and was required to complete the evaluation within 90 days unless an extension was granted by the parent or the department. The district sought an extension from the department which was not granted. The district did not complete the evaluation within 90 days of initiating the reevaluation. The district, within thirty days of receiving this decision, will demonstrate to the department that it has completed the reevaluation.

Regarding the parent allegation that the IEP team did not respond to parent concerns and that the IEP was predetermined due to the fact that parts of the IEP were typed prior to the meeting, the department concludes that the district followed proper state and federal law in developing the IEP. School staff may bring drafts of some or all of the IEP content to the meeting, as long as parents and IEP team members have an opportunity for input and discussion at the meeting. The IEP team discussed this with the parent and informed the parent in attendance that she would have input and an opportunity to discuss the IEP at the meeting. Further, the department concludes that the IEP team considered parent concerns for developing the IEP. Specifically, the parent requested a full-time paraprofessional and extended school year programming. These requests were considered by the IEP team but rejected. The district provided proper documentation to the parents of this request via Form M-3: Notice of Response to an Activity Requested by Parents.

Regarding the allegation that district did not respond to parent's request for copy of the June 3, 2002, IEP, the department determines that the district followed applicable state and federal law. At the conclusion of the IEP meeting, the team offered to give the parent a copy of the IEP as drafted or to mail the final version reflecting the team's decisions following the meeting. The parent agreed to wait for the final version. The IEP was accordingly mailed to the parent following the meeting.

The child's IEP details the special education, related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modifications to meet the needs of the child. Additionally, the IEP includes, among other things, information about the extent to which a child will not participate with nondisabled students in regular classes, extracurricular and other non-academic activities; how the child will participate in statewide assessments; and a transition statement. With regard to the June 3, 2002, IEP the parent alleges procedural violations in the amount, frequency, and location of special education, related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modifications and supports for school personnel; the extent of student participation in the regular education environment; the transition services to be provided and a proper statement related to student participation in district and state assessments. With regard to the June 3, 2002, IEP, the department finds the district followed proper procedures except for the following:

  • The IEP indicates that occupational therapy will be provided "50 per week". It appears this is a typographical error and the team determined the student would receive 50 minutes of occupational therapy per week.
  • The district agrees the IEP needs to specify Adaptive PE as the "other" related service that is provided to the child, and frequency of Adaptive PE will also be clarified to indicate how many days per week the service will be provided.
  • The IEP includes the related service of transportation, but does not include frequency/amount or location.

The district will clarify each of these provisions of the IEP within 30 days of receiving this decision.

Finally, the complainant objects to notices of school policy in the August 10, 2002, local newspaper regarding pupil transportation and student records. The complainant alleges that the district fails to transport students with disabilities on early release days. The department finds that neither the district's policy nor its practice supports this allegation. The district's public notice regarding directory data contained in pupil records appears broader than section 118.125(1)(b), Wisconsin Statutes. Specifically, the policy includes "courses studied" and "grade point average." The district will review this policy and ensure it releases directory data only as allowed by law.

This concludes the department's review of this complaint.

signed CST 12/20/02
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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