IDEA Complaint Decision 03-040

On October 6, 2003, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2003-2004 school year, implemented a student's individualized education program (IEP) regarding the provision of supplementary aids and services in science classes.

The parents maintain that during the fall semester of 2003 a science teacher did not follow the accommodations required by their son's IEP. The department had originally identified as an issue similar allegations regarding the 2002-2003 school year. However, through discussion with the mother, the department learned that the problems in 2002-2003 were resolved and were not intended to be part of the complaint.

With regard to the fall semester of 2003, the district, based on its own investigation, has acknowledged that the IEP for the 2003-2004 school year was not implemented as written. The district determined that there were inconsistencies in the implementation of specific accommodations. For example, contrary to the IEP, the student was not allowed consistent access to the resource room. The student ultimately transferred to another science class due to the frustration in not receiving consistent accommodations.

The district has already taken several steps to prevent this situation from arising in the future. These steps included inservice training on IEP development and informing the science department through e-mail and a meeting to not modify the implementation of supplementary aids and services. The staff was further informed that such changes must occur in the context of an IEP meeting.

The district has also agreed to take additional steps to address the problem, which include instructing all special education teachers and case managers of the need to clearly identify supplementary aids and services and providing in-service opportunities to general education teachers on how to implement those identified. Finally, the district states the student involved will be offered the opportunity to transfer back to the original science class with a guarantee of appropriate supplementary aids and services. The district will provide a different teacher, if requested by the student.

The corrective actions taken and proposed by the district are appropriate. The district will provide the department with documentation that the corrective actions have been completed.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 11/17/03
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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