IDEA Complaint Decision 03-013

On March 4, 2003, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2002-2003 school year, improperly disclosed personally identifiable information from a student record without obtaining the parent's consent.

Two individualized education program (IEP) team meetings focusing on transition were held for a high school student in October and December of 2002. Following the last meeting, the district communicated with extended family members in an effort to locate an appropriate living arrangement for the student upon her 18th birthday.

The district acknowledges that they did not have the necessary written releases from the parent to speak with extended family members. The district has assured the parent that there will be no further contact with any extended family members. The district will only contact the parent until the student turns 18. At age 18, the student will have the right to make decisions regarding access to her pupil records. The district is directed to submit, within 30 days of receiving this decision, a plan of correction to ensure the protection of personally identifiable information in student records.

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

//signed 3/24/03
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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