IDEA Complaint Decision 02-064

On November 25, 2002, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Eau Claire Area School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district timely developed an individualized education program (IEP) and behavioral intervention plan (BIP) when the student transferred to the district in September 2002.

The parent claims that the district failed to timely determine the special educational program and placement for her child upon his return to the district from a residential care center (RCC). On April 22, 2002, the complainant attended an IEP team meeting to review and revise her child's IEP and determine placement. The IEP indicates that from April 29, 2002, to May 29, 2002, the student's placement was at an RCC. The district reported to the department that an IEP team meeting was held on May 22, 2002, and the team agreed to continue the child's placement at the RCC until the end of the first quarter of the 2002-2003 school year. A copy of the invitation to the May 22, 2002, IEP team meeting was provided to the department. No changes were made to the IEP developed on April 22, 2002, and the documents do not reflect an extension of the placement.

On October 23, 2002, an IEP team meeting was held to develop a plan for the student to transition back to the district school. According to the district, beginning October 28, 2002, and ending November 1, 2002, the student attended the district school for approximately three hours in the mornings and attended the RCC in the afternoons. Beginning on November 4, 2002, the student would attend school full time at the district school. The district did not provide the parent with a notice of placement or a copy of an IEP following the October 23, 2002, IEP team meeting. The IEP team met on November 21, 2002, to complete the student's IEP and determine placement. A copy of this IEP was provided to the parent on November 26, 2002.

The IEP developed on April 22, 2002, changed the student's placement to the RCC and was in effect from April 29, 2002, until May 29, 2002. From that date until November 26, 2002, the student did not have a current IEP and placement. Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must submit a proposed corrective action plan to the department to ensure that special education staff are aware that a plan for reintegration must be developed prior to a student's return from an RCC to their district. The plan must also include assurances that when an IEP team changes a student's placement, and changes the start and end dates of the IEP, an IEP team meeting is held to review and revise the IEP and determine placement prior to the existing IEP end date. Because an IEP team meeting was held for this child in November 2002, the district is not required to develop a corrective action plan specific to this child.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 1/24/03
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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