IDEA Complaint Decision 03-028

On June 27, 2003, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Milwaukee Public Schools. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, regarding individualized education programs (IEPs) for a child developed in May and June 2003:

  • Included needed positive behavioral interventions, strategies and supports;
  • Improperly changed portions of the IEP not revised by the team; and
  • Developed a proper placement.

On May 9, May 14, and June 20, 2003, the district held individualized education program (IEP) team meetings for the child. The child's May 9 and May 14 IEP includes: academic goals with objectives and a goal with objectives for socially acceptable behaviors; a supplementary aids and services statement for daily close supervision during lunch/recess, bus dismissal and hallways in the school setting; and a program modification or supports for school personnel statement to inform all school staff (including substitutes) who the student is and how to approach him. These goals and services relate to the child's individual needs identified in the present level of educational performance statement. In addition, attached to the IEP is a February 26, 2003, behavior intervention plan. Positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports are included in the child's IEP.

On May 9, 2003, the IEP team determined that the child would not participate full time with non-disabled peers because he required instruction in a small, highly-structured classroom which could not be delivered in a regular education classroom. This IEP team decision is reflected in both the present level of performance and least restrictive environment (LRE) statements. The team was not able to finalize the placement determination on May 9 and reconvened on May 14 to determine placement. Both the district special education supervisor serving as the local education representative and the parent advocate stated in interviews that the IEP team which met on May 9 determined that services would be provided in a comprehensive special education classroom 6 hours each day. The child's parent and parent advocate did not attend the May 14 IEP team meeting. At the May 14 meeting the team determined services would be provided 6 hours daily in the special education/regular education room. This description of services did not clearly state the location in which services would be delivered and was not consistent with the present level of performance and LRE statements. The IEP team placed the child in a district school which did not have a comprehensive special education classroom and services were provided in regular education classrooms with special education support. The placement determined on May 14, 2003, was not consistent with the present levels of performance and LRE statements in the IEP.

On June 20, 2003, the child's placement was changed to a comprehensive program at an alternative school where the child was to receive services during the summer. Because this placement is consistent with the present levels and LRE statements in the IEP and the parent agrees with the placement, no further corrective action is required.

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

//signed 8/26/03
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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