IDEA Complaint Decision 02-058

On October 4, 2002, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the New Berlin School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 1999-2000, 2000-2001, and 2001-2002 school years, implemented the child's individualized education program (IEP) by providing the required amount of services in the areas of Specific Learning Disability (SLD) and Speech/Language (S/L).

The parent alleges that the district did not provide the required amount of special education services as written into her child's IEPs for the 1999-2000, 2000-2001, and 2001-2002 school years for the areas of SLD and S/L. The parent states that her child missed two hours per week for each of the three years. The IEP for 1999-2000 states the child will receive five hours per week of SLD services and 90 minutes per week of S/L services. The IEPs for 2000-2001 and 2001-2002 state the child will receive 10 hours per week of SLD services and 90 minutes per week of S/L services. During this investigation the parent clarified that her child did not receive quality special education services, at unspecified times, due to services being provided by individuals other than the SLD teacher and S/L therapist. Specifically, she contends that her child received S/L services from a student intern while the child and intern sat close to the S/L therapist and SLD services from other individuals.

The district states the child received the amount of SLD and S/L services specified in the IEPs. The district further indicates that during this time the child received SLD services from either the SLD teacher or the paraprofessional. The child also received services from the S/L therapist and, at times, from the student intern who was under the direct supervision of the S/L therapist.

The department has determined that the district provided the amount of SLD and S/L special education services prescribed in the student's IEP for the 1999-2000, 2000-2001, and 2001-2002 school years. The student intern was directly supervised by the S/L therapist. The paraprofessional was supervised by the SLD teacher. The student intern and the paraprofessional did not engage in professional teaching responsibilities such as diagnosing educational needs, prescribing content delivery and learning procedures, and evaluating the effects of teaching. The required services were provided by qualified staff.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.

//signed CST 1/16/03
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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